Bridge Loan Program Assisting Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Matthew
Derria and Barry Dixon (left) are working to recover from flood Damage at the offices of Dixon Social Interactive Services in Kinston (right).
The Rural Center made the first loan from the N.C. Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to Derria and Barry Dixon of Dixon Social Interactive Services. Dixon Social Interactive Services is a provider for Mental and Behavioral Health offering counseling, day treatment, and therapy to individuals as well as families with offices in Greenville, Kinston, New Bern, and Rocky Mount.
The Dixons were shocked to return to their office in Kinston after Hurricane Matthew to find it flooded with almost a foot of water and most of its contents destroyed. The Dixons saw information about the Emergency Bridge Loan Program posted from MCO Eastpointe, a company that works with communities and the behavioral healthcare system. Derria and Barry applied and were approved a loan to help them get back on their feet quickly. When the hurricane hit, they had to cease operations, but because of this loan they were able to start back up while waiting for their insurance provider to cover damages. “This was our first time working with the Rural Center and it has been a beyond pleasant experience from the quickness in addressing the need our community had, to approving the loan. We are grateful,” said Derria Dixon.
The Rural Center launched the N.C. Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on October 27th, and so far has made 8 loans for a total of $120,000 to small businesses affected by Hurricane Matthew. The loans have helped the businesses retain 72 full-time and 34 part-time jobs in Chowan, Columbus, Cumberland,Lenoir and Robeson counties. The Bridge Loan Program is a partnership of the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), and the Community College Small Business Center Network. The program has raised over $2.6 million from funders including the Golden LEAF Foundation, N.C.'s Electric Cooperatives, BB&T, PNC and Wells Fargo.