When Lucky Slice Pizza restaurant co-owner Nick VanArsdell got word that Governor Herbert had ordered the shutdown of restaurant dine-in services in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Utah, he had to make some tough decisions. Luckily a good part of the business relied on takeout and delivery, but nonetheless Lucky Slice’s business dropped to 45 - 50 percent of normal and he and his partners, Mike McDonald and Will Shafer, were forced to furlough many of their full and part time staff.
“It was like losing part of our family,” said Nick. And being able to pay the remaining staff became a challenge as the business’s emergency fund was dwindling fast. It seemed Lucky Slice owners might have to shut down one or more of their locations in Ogden, Logan or Clearfield.
A smart businessman, Nick had been tracking proposed federal and state legislation meant to help small businesses keep rolling, and as soon as he got word of the federal Paycheck Protection Plan loans he called his Bank of Utah contact, Steve Diamond, and began the application process.
He said the process was remarkably efficient. He had already pulled together the papers and numbers he would need to apply and filled out the application in 20 minutes. Even though he had to repeat that application process the next day due to government adjustments, Bank of Utah submitted it two days later and in three working days he received confirmation that the loan had gone through. Two days later the money had been deposited in his bank account and he could make payroll.
“The process was very fast in the scheme of things, although it didn’t feel like it at the time because we really needed the money,” added Nick. “But when you think about it, the process took only two weeks from approval of the PPP program on the legislative floor to getting the funds deposited into our bank account. We were able to bring back a few additional employees and give many on our team the confidence that they still had a job.”
Lucky Slice employees are a close-knit group and Nick said they hated to lose any of their hand-picked staff who make up the restaurant’s fun community culture. “We’re very grateful to Steve and the Bank of Utah for helping us get funding through the Paycheck Protection Program to keep our team together.”