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The middle image taken by: Nate Abraham Jr., Carolina Panorama Newspaper

PPP Relief Loans: A Lifeline During a Pandemic

Self-Help's PPP Loan Impact


million lent




of loans to businesses or nonprofits led by people of color


of dollars to nonprofits


median loan amount


jobs maintained

If you would like more information on our PPP lending or the forgiveness process, please visit our Paycheck Protection Loans page.

Self-Help’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lending is strongly focused on assisting nonprofits and small businesses run by women and people of color, especially those that currently partner with us for financial services or social justice.

The PPP, offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has been a major response to provide economic relief during COVID-19. PPP loans are forgivable under specified conditions, and they provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep employing their workers.


Meet just a few of the small businesses and nonprofits we have been privileged to serve:

Bennett College

Educating Women for Leadership in Greensboro, NC

Founded in 1873, Bennett College is a liberal arts college for young women of color with a mission to create the next generation of engaged leaders through high-quality education. “Securing PPP funding made a tremendous impact on Bennett College,” said LaDaniel Gatling, VP of Institutional Advancement. “It allowed our faculty and staff to remain fully focused on meeting the needs of our students, which was particularly critical because of our shift to remote learning and the closure of our campus.”

Gina Berry - FL

Women-Led Architecture and Planning in Tampa, FL

Gina Berry Collaborative is a woman-owned architecture and planning company that provides an array of professional services, including project management, master planning and research and development. Their PPP loan was used for payroll, allowing this small business to avoid furloughs and keep staff focused on the work at hand without interruption.


Women-Led Interior Design in Greensboro, NC

Alem Dickey Keel, an interior design firm located at Revolution Mill in Greensboro, NC, was founded by three women dedicated to creating extraordinary spaces for their clients. When COVID-19 struck, the partners were concerned about the impact on their business. Two of the founders, Gina Alem (right) and Melinda Bell Dickey, went to Self-Help and received a loan that helped them focus on meeting their clients’ needs during a challenging time

project fighting chance

Giving Kids a Fighting Chance in San Bernardino, CA

Founded in 1999, Project Fighting Chance began as an amateur boxing program and has since grown into an organization that has assisted, trained and mentored over 5,000 youth. The nonprofit works with families, schools, municipalities, businesses and community agencies. It offers an integrated program that provides athletics, healthy eating, vocational training, and education and counseling services.

Conetoe honey

Improving Health and Nutrition in Eastern NC

Conetoe Family Life Center is a nonprofit dedicated to improving health and providing education. Local youth have an opportunity to participate in CSAs, grow food and even produce honey from bees. “We’re helping our community come to a place of sustainability,” said Reverend Richard Joyner, who leads the organization.

El Pueblo

Leadership Development and Advocacy in Raleigh, NC

El Pueblo’s mission is to effect positive change in the Latin American community through leadership development, organizing and direct action. The PPP loan helped cover staffing and administrative costs while also maintaining a mutual aid fund for local immigrants during a time of great need.

Windsor child care

Child Care in Windsor, North Carolina

Kiddie World Child Development Center is an essential service in Windsor, NC as it provides child care during the pandemic. "The parents of the children we serve are essential workers," said owner Mary Cofield. "They are working in a nearby chicken factory or in the hospital or in nursing homes."


A Community-Based Group in Los Angeles

Inquilinos Unidos is dedicated to empowering low-income tenants through community organizing, education and advocacy for safe, decent and affordable housing in Los Angeles. Steve Zrucky, who serves on IU's Board, said, “After this [loan] process I feel as if we have a sisterly/brotherly connection with you folks. You treated us like family.”

Buxton Books

An Independent Bookstore on Hatteras Island, NC

Buxton Village Books has been serving Hatteras Island, NC since the 1980s. Owner ___ said, “While I am very used to preparing for hurricanes, this closure was an abrupt and unprecedented situation. It’s a scary time for all of us. Being a small business owner adds another layer of uncertainty.”

Fern City

Community Art in San Diego

In 1990 John Highkin and Cindy Zimmerman dreamed of bringing performance art directly to neighborhoods. That dream is now known as Fern Street Circus, which produces shows in parks and communities in San Diego. Their offerings include a free after-school program for lower-income families, where kids learn performance skills with dedicated teachers.

Appalachian Mountain

Health Care in Western North Carolina

Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers, located in western NC, serves the community in six different locations. Duane Everett, an AMCHC administrator, said they seek to provide a high quality of health care with limited resources. "We service a diverse population, and the most vulnerable of that population are the uninsured," he said. "Getting a loan allowed us to continue the same level of quality, and it helped stop the [financial] bleeding."


More than just a Print House

Established in 2011, MOTR GRAFX is a minority-owned, women-owned business in the Greater Chicago area.  They house all the capabilities required to deliver a project from innovative concept to dynamic result and work with a number of international and national brands. With the PPP loan, the business is able to maintain a staff of 3, and they’ve shifted their output to working with their vendors to provide hand sanitizer, thermometers, and face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

fernando valenzuela

32 Years in Oakland, California

Fernando Valenzuela’s State Farm office has been serving the diverse Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland, California for 32 years.  When the pandemic hit, he was aware that many of his clients were struggling to make their premium payments, and his main concern was for their well-being and that of his staff of 5. “I can’t thank you enough for all your help in finalizing my PPP. As this COVID-19 bug continues, there has been a negative effect on our gross sales. You have had a hand in protecting 5 families from a serious negative impact. I can maintain their 100% company paid health insurance and I can guarantee them no layoff or reduced hours. Your help was God sent no doubt,” said Mr. Valenzuela.