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For Liz Mumford, her passion lies in empowering her Reno, Nevada community by helping local businesses build a strong purpose and vision.
As the co-owner of creative agency Mabble Media, she loves to “engage with our community, learn their stories, and help them figure out how to tell those stories in meaningful ways.” Mabble’s services run the gamut, including logo design, branding, social media, and videography.
Mabble Media has helped elevate local resorts, restaurants, entrepreneurs, and more.
But when COVID-19 came to town, companies needed to close shop, and this greatly impacted Mabble Media’s bottom line.
“A majority of our clients are brick-and-mortar businesses or are in the hospitality industry, so we had a sharp decline in projects when COVID hit,” says Liz. “If our clients were paused, we were paused. It was an overnight loss of a lot of projects, which meant an overnight loss of income. The loss was steep—comparing February to April, we were down in sales by 73%.”
Business trickled in—companies asking to write COVID-19 website copy and social media updates —but not enough to pay the bills.
Still, Liz, along with her co-owner Bobby Stiehler, vowed to continue to pay employees while allowing them time to be with loved ones.
“In one sense, it felt really assuring to put our money where our mouth is; our employees always come first,” says Liz. “And even when things got tough, we put that to the test and came out the other side being able to have integrity in that promise.”
To help pay their staff, the agency launched a community non-profit project, Wash-oe Hands, to provide short-term assistance for people living in their county. While it kept people employed, it didn’t bring in any money.
“With most of our efforts being directed toward Wash-oe Hands, we knew that our savings were dwindling and we needed some assistance in paying our team, says Liz.
Mabble Media had never sought outside financial assistance, so the thought of doing so terrified Liz. But the company needed it to get through the pandemic.
“The first few days felt like all we could do was watch the news and had no control of real tangible steps,” says Liz. So, she spent several days talking to other business owners, friends that were loan officers, lawyers, accountants, CPAs, and anyone that could help.
“After exhausting all of our networks, a friend told us about Lendio. Within 24 hours not only did we have our first email responded to, but we were on the phone with a real person,” says Liz. “Our PPP Loan was being processed with Lendio’s help even before our bank had announced that they could start receiving applications.”
The money ensured Mabble Media didn’t have to lay off employees and could get back to helping the community.
“We offered no money down to clients who needed it on their projects and found ways to help other clients evolve during the quarantine,” says Liz. “We felt compelled to not be the sole beneficiary of our quickly processed loan, but to pay it forward and make sure that we were carrying the burden of others who didn’t have the same luck.”
Besides getting a PPP loan through Lendio, Mabble Media applied to receive a Lendio Small Business Grant and received $10,000.
“We were stoked!” says Liz after finding out Mabble had won. “It’s been a hard year, it was nice to take a moment and reflect on all that we have accomplished during COVID and the generosity that Lendio has had with this grant.”
She added, “Our grant money means that we can keep coming to work, paying our bills, and taking care of our families. It also means that we can get a little jump start on paying back the first loans that we have ever had in our history as a company.”
The money will also go toward supporting the Wash-oe Hands Relief fund for the community during the upcoming months.
“Our client projects are picking back up, but we are thankful to get this cushion, so that we can also cushion things for some of our clients who haven’t been so lucky,” says Liz.
Andrea Huspeni is a New York City-based freelance journalist, editor, and PR media consultant. Prior to going out on her own, she was the Special Project Director at Entrepreneur.com, where she oversaw staff series and tent-pole projects, along with contributors’ posts.
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