During a time of increasing economic anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Paolino Properties – which rents space to an array of companies, including small businesses such as restaurants, salons, clothing retailers and auto garages – has taken steps to ensure that their tenants have the resources necessary to successfully navigate this period of unprecedented uncertainty.
While the Small Business Association (SBA) has enacted several new temporary assistance programs in response to this crisis, navigating these new programs may be overwhelming to small business owners who are already embroiled with the task of keeping their businesses afloat and their staff employed. Recognizing this potential challenge, Paolino Properties Managing Partner Joseph R. Paolino Jr. announced on Wednesday that the company has hired Bill White, former president and CEO of Coastway Community Bank – a leading small business lender.
White has over 40 years of experience in the industry, and most recently served as the Director of Banking for Rhode Island at HarborOne Bank. His role will be to work directly with Paolino Properties tenants to ensure they are able to identify all assistance programs they may qualify for, and then support them when filling out applications.
“I don’t want any of our tenants to lose sleep at night wondering if they can access financial support,” Paolino said. “I’ve known Bill for many years and am proud to have him join my staff. It’s wonderful that the state and the Small Business Association are making resources available to those who need support, but we must also ensure that small business owners have access to experts who can help them throughout the application process for these programs.”
“I am grateful to Joe and Paolino Properties for the opportunity to assist small businesses in applying for the various forms of financial aid that have been made available to them during these difficult times,” Bill White said. “A little extra knowledge can go a long way, especially when it comes to accessing these types of programs.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has also provided a ripe opportunity for scammers to defraud business owners and private citizens seeking financial relief. Paolino said that hiring White will also help ensure that tenants are not victimized by such bad actors, and will provide needed assurance during a time when so much is at stake.
“Many small business owners have never had to go through this before,” he said. “Small business owners in Rhode Island need to have their questions answered. How do they apply for money? How do they know if they qualify? These owners feel just as passionate about sustaining the livelihoods of their employees – their business families – as they do about maintaining their businesses.”
Paolino called for a consortium of experts across multiple areas – property management, banking, academia, government and the business community – to come together in order to help small businesses across Rhode Island weather the storm of the Coronavirus.
“Our small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy, and their employees are crucial contributors to the overall health and welfare of their families and communities, and the state as a whole. We are all in this together,” he said. “Without small business, we have no business.”
If you are a tenant of Paolino Properties and wish to contact Bill White for assistance, he can be reached at 401-274-661l (ext. 244), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.