Kansas Small Business Owner Running Out of Time, Needs PPP Money
April 16th, 2020 – Word that the $350 billion in funds in the Paycheck Protection Program dried out today is upsetting to small business owners across the state, as well as the head of NFIB, or the National Federal of Independent Business, the state’s leading small business organization.
“Small business owners here in Kansas are on the brink of disaster. Without immediate funding, many will go under. The small business owners who need the funding the most have applied for help from the federal government under the Paycheck Protection Program – and haven’t heard anything.,” said NFIB State Director in Kansas, Dan Murray. “I’m urging our Kansas Congressional leaders to think about Kansas small business and immediately pump more funding into the Paycheck Protection Program.”
In Lawrence, Ken Campbell’s interior design and furniture store is closed and barely hanging on. While he’s received funding through the Paycheck Protection program, it’s only a band aid. Campbell says the funds he received through the program will only last until the end of the month.
Ken Campbell poses outside Winfield House before Small Business Saturday.
“The funds provide payroll for our seven employees and rent for our facilities. We want to re-open as soon as we get the go ahead. We are currently closed because we’re not considered an essential business, according to our Governor. However, if things stay as they are for much longer, we will have to shut our doors,” said Campbell.
Campbell’s small business, Winfield House, relies on foot traffic. They don’t have an e-commerce website, so in order to make a profit, their doors have to be open. Each day he’s forced to stay shuttered is another day of lost revenue.
“Our business model is to display our inventory professionally arranged in room settings decorated to provide our customers with a unique personal experience. That just doesn’t translate to online sales.”
Campbell and his daughter Sam Thomsen are worried that the business their grandfather Win started in 1964 is in jeopardy of shutting its doors. That’s when Sam’s grandfather Win opened Campbell’s Clothing Store, which sold high end men’s suits. In the 1990’s the family noticed a decline in business: the workplace was more causal and men didn’t need all those three piece suits anymore. Win Campbell’s business motto was simple: he always offered his products at an affordable price so that his customers didn’t have to rely on a sale. Win felt he couldn’t do that anymore. So Win and wife Linda decided to shift their focus to home furnishings. Linda had great eye for interior design and so in 1995, the couple moved two blocks north on Massachusetts Ave. and opened Winfield House.
Sam Thomsen poses with her dog at Winfield House in happier times. Right now, the store has been forced to shut its doors.
Win died in January of 2018 after a battle with cancer. Today, his son Ken and granddaughter Sam run the small business and credit their success to an equal partnership with employee and interior designer Tiara Boyd. The three buy all the store’s inventory together and have one simple rule: if they spend too much time debating about a potential product, they move on. It’s a play straight out of Win’s handbook. “Be smart about what you buy and be smart how you price it.” It’s worked for the past 65 years.
This week, NFIB penned letters to congressional leaders, urging them to immediately provide further appropriations to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and to the Small Business Administration, strongly encouraging them to address significant funding and communication issues related to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.