PPP guidance, recovery kits, open communication and more were part of the Bank's approach
The call came in right after dinner one night and the voice on the other end of the line simply said, “Don’t worry, we’ll get through this together.”
For small business owner Jatin Mehta, those words spoke volumes during a time when he wasn’t sure his business, MetaSense Inc. in West Berlin, NJ, would survive the coming months.
COVID-19 has and continues to send shockwaves throughout the world, claiming lives, but also causing economic disruption that has left small businesses devastated.
After not qualifying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding during its first round earlier this year, Jatin decided to try something new, including a new bank.
“I was working with another bank and it just didn’t work out,” he admitted. “So, I decided to try TD. TD Bank had been a trusted financial Institution throughout our company’s growth process, and they came through for us. The PPP was a lifesaving loan for our business. If not for that and TD’s help, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you right now.”
Jatin is candid when he talks about how the global pandemic has affected his staffing and marketing company MetaSense, Inc.
MetaSense used to focus primarily on digital marketing, SEO and IT staffing.
With stay-at-home mandates consuming most of the Northeast in 2020, staffing companies took a major hit.
“Business is very difficult right now,” Jatin said. “We spent a lot of time trying to come up with a new strategy.”
And that’s exactly what he and his staff of 55 did. They pivoted from IT to healthcare staffing, helping to source qualified nurses and other medical staff to support the front lines.
MetaSense also helped to prep clinics and local organizations for the respiratory needs that people afflicted with the virus would face.
“Because of PPP, we didn’t lay off anyone, we didn’t reduce salaries, and business has started to turn around,” he said.
‘Icing on the cake’
In addition to financial matters like PPP loans, TD created a special kit for small business customers to help them with their reopenings.
This extra human touch included notes, hand sanitizer, floor markers to ensure physical distancing, single-use pens for customers to take home and face coverings.
“TD has been my lifesaver, no question about it,” Jatin said. “When they delivered the sanitizer and masks just to help us and our customers out, that was simply icing on the cake.”
For TD Bank Small Business RM Mary Piro, Jatin and his company's success had a special place in her heart beyond him just being a TD client.
"Jatin was actually one of my first calls when I came back from maternity leave in the midst of this pandemic," she admitted. "Even as he described to me how he and his business had been impacted by COVID-19, the positive attitude he maintained was inspiring."
It was that positive outlook that inspired Mary and her team to really think outside the box to see how they could help holistically.
"We were able to look at his business as a whole and come up with multiple solutions to help them get through this time," she said. "Most of all, I think he was just grateful we were supporting him no matter what through this."
Jatin said he’s taken that support from TD and paid it forward to his own customers.
“Our business model is more now about caring and sharing,” he said. “We've offered some of our services free of charge to those who need them. If people needed to delay payments, we’ve done that. We bend over backwards to make sure the customer is supported during this challenging time.”
A leader and small business owner, Jatin said the pandemic has made everyone realize we are all human and that “we need to take care of each other and respect each other.”
“It’s not just about the money,” he said. “It’s about helping families, so they all can put food on the table, and helping our fellow small businesses, working together, so we all succeed.”