Elevate Rapid City offering loans, businesses get creative with their business models.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — It was an eerie scene, Monday, in Downtown Rapid City. Local businesses are closing, modifying hours and finding ways to remain in business.

Outside In Children’s Playground owner, Taryn Pike, relies on social interaction to keep her business going.

That’s now changed.

Pike, who co-owns the business with her sister,  has closed their physical building to customers, and has an online store to create some income. They’ve also been forced to lay off six employees.

“Two of those girls have been with us since we opened,” said Pike.”You know the resources that are available now, hopefully, will allow us to do that because losing six jobs in a community like this is a big deal.”

She says her options right now are to sell toys and clothes online. Pike looked into loan opportunities to hold the business over during the COVID-19 pandemic, but she says it’s just not feasible.

“I think for us, just because it is short term, and where the interest rate goes after that,” Pike says. “I think that it’s better for us to just hold on and wait for the Small Business Administration (S.B.A.), and wait for their response.”

Neugebauer’s Fine Jewelry has shortened their hours and staff hours due to less customers.

Manager Barb Baumann says they have already started working on a contingency plan – working with the business’s bank.

“I’m just pursuing everything that we can,” said Barb. “And not knowing exactly if we’ll be needing all of it. But I just want to be prepared. And I‘m sure most businesses are doing the same thing.”

Elevate Rapid City announced Monday that they have secured $750k for an emergency bridge loan fund to supplement other financial plans small business owners may have.

The loan does just that, bridges the gap from now until owners can receive federal funding, stimulus checks or other financial loans.

“We think many, many businesses have been affected by the coronavirus crisis,” said C.E.O. of Elevate, Tom Johnson. “And so you should be applying for these S.B.A. disaster loans because what’s likely to happen is that they’ll end up possibly being forgiven in the future. So, what we think will happen is, folks will apply for this S.B.A. Money and it’s going to be a little while before they get it, so these loans will tie them over.”

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