A few weeks ago, we visited Moab and some surrounding towns to learn how they’ve weathered the pandemic, and we were encouraged to hear about the ways so many have not only kept their businesses viable but have gone above and beyond to support their community.

Take The Donut Shop, for example. Aside from serving some of the most delicious donuts you will ever taste (have you tried their double-dipped donut holes?), owner John Schwader stayed open throughout COVID-19 to provide sweet treats for his homebound neighbors. He retained his employees using a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and aided his business through an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). These lending programs are facilitated by the Small Business Association and are designed to support business employee retention and disaster mitigation.

Sweet Cravings Bakery has also demonstrated the innovation and service of small businesses in the last few months. Shortly after the pandemic hit, Cinda Culton, owner of the bakery, pivoted her business model to become a grocery resource for Moab citizens. She utilized a PPP loan to cover payroll costs, which enabled her business to amplify their community service efforts.

These stories are just a few that demonstrate the incredible actions of your business community, and the SBA is honored to play a part in making them possible. To date, more than 50,000 Utah businesses have received over $5 billion in loans.

Visiting your community, we were reminded that so much good is happening despite the challenges around us. Yes, times are tough, but by investing in local businesses, we’re truly building a foundation for a stronger tomorrow. We are profoundly grateful to the Moab business community and Mayor Emily Neihaus for hosting us in July.

Together, we’ll continue empowering Utah entrepreneurs to serve their hometowns and pursue their American Dream. To learn more about the PPP or other SBA programs, visit sba.gov/ut.

Dan Nordberg, Small Business Association national director for rural affairs

Maria Trollan, Small Business Association Utah District director