UCEDC’s Crisis Relief Loans at Work! How Small Businesses Are Using Their Loans to Ensure Their Business Survival

Historic Building Architects
Trenton, New Jersey

When Annabelle Radcliffe-Trenner, AIA, RIBA, LEED, principal and founder, of Historic Building Architects, received an email from Mercer County informing her of UCEDC’s Crisis Relief Loan Program she didn’t hesitate to secure the funds she needed to preserve her own small business.

Historic Building Architects, LLC (HBA) was established over 25 years ago with one central mission: the high-quality restoration, repair, and adaptive use of publicly used historic properties that are listed on the National Register for Historic Places. The 8-person firm, led by Radcliffe-Trenner, develops award-winning designs for preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive use solutions, and guides their implementation. HBA is certified as a Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) and a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) by the State of New Jersey.

When asked how the Crisis Relief Loan has helped HBA, Radcliffe-Trenner said that the money they received helped immensely “in covering payroll for our wonderful staff.” She said the loan had helped to keep the business running and while she is “concerned about future work, we seem to be doing okay.” She went on to mention that HBA has a lot of construction work they are still able to perform and that the health and safety of their staff remains a primary concern.

Redd’s Restaurant and Biergarten
Carlstadt, New Jersey

When Doug Palsi, owner of Redd’s Restaurant and Bar, found out that he would have to temporarily close the doors to his successful restaurant in Carlstadt, New Jersey, he reached out to UCEDC’s Loan Officer Mark Leichtling to see if he could help. At the time, UCEDC hadn’t yet introduced a loan product, so Mark conveyed all of the information he had regarding what aid was available, and told Doug that he would be in touch if and when UCEDC came out with its own COVID-19 response fund. As Palsi put it, “Obviously we were in dire straits.”

Luckily it was only a few weeks later that UCEDC introduced the Crisis Relief Loan program. According to Doug, Mark reached out to let him know that UCEDC had a $15K loan at 0% interest and no payments for six months. “So, that was great,” said Palsi, “obviously, we took advantage of that, we were able to get that loan, and it was a huge help!”

Doug said he has used the Crisis Relief Loan toward the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and payroll. It was important to him that his employees were provided for financially. Since then, he has also been able to take advantage of a Paycheck Protection Program loan which enabled him to rehire all ten of his full-time staff.

When asked what advice he would give to other entrepreneurs facing similar circumstances, Palsi said, “Communication is key. Reach out to whoever you bank with. Reach out to other establishments, maybe they’ve heard of a grant or maybe a loan. You really need to be constantly texting or emailing different people because there’s help out there, you just have to find it. And you really have to take advantage of all of it.”