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Bend energy company receives federal relief funding

CEO says companies need a lifeline: 'We have a team of 12 employees, and this will give us the breathing room to be able to ride the wave'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ ) -- Many small businesses and CEOs are trying to stay afloat during closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Companies have been having to act fast and tirelessly apply for federal funding.

Rita Hansen, the CEO of Onboarding Dynamics, a Bend energy company that provides natural gas compressor machines and equipment for vehicle fleets, says a loan approval process that should have taken three to four days became a waiting period of weeks.

Hansen said Tuesday she has received an advance of funds for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan that she applied for the last week of March. Hansen was also recently approved for the Paycheck Protection Program, but is still waiting to receive that funding.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a first-come, first-serve loan for businesses to apply for. It seeks to provide companies with cash from the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, part of the $2 trillion CARES Act.

"We started leveraging the Oregon Workshare program," Hansen said. "We applied for that March 20, and we still have yet to hear whether or not we've been approved for that."

Hansen, like many other business owners, also quickly turned to state resources for help, but with so many people filing for government assistance, she decided to utilize different loan options to help Onboarding Dynamics stay afloat.

Hansen said the funding she's received so far will benefit her team of employees.

"We have a team of 12 employees, and this will give us the breathing room to be able to ride the wave," Hansen said. "I talk about not just being able to survive, but to succeed and thrive."

Hansen said she is grateful for the cushion her company has been given, which she considers a lifeline, as the PPP funding quickly ran out within just weeks of the application opening.

"My heart aches for the others who didn't get it in," she said. "I'm hopeful that Congress is going to do something to replenish that, and hopefully they step back and focus on the true small businesses."

Tuesday the Senate passed a new coronavirus relief bill that will provide almost $500 billion of support to businesses, hospitals and other agencies. The bill is expected to be signed by President Trump by the end of the week.

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.


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