As a manufacturer of chairs, tables, desks, and a variety of other school equipment, Paragon Furniture’s company could have been jeopardized as a result of the pandemic shutdown.
With schools shuttered and kids learning at home, there was minimal demand for new classroom and library furnishings.
As a result of the company’s identification as a “important business” and assistance from the United States Small Business Administration, CEO and co-owner Ricky Kassanoff said the company was able “to maintain things normal” during the crisis.
Founded in 2004, Kassanoff and co-owner Mark Hubbard grew the company from its modest beginnings to a $20 million enterprise with global reach and cutting-edge products targeted to 21st-century educational innovation.
Sales are on the up, thanks in part to the Paycheck Protection Program offered by the Small Business Administration and other financial assistance.
“The Small Business Administration has done an outstanding job and has provided us with lines of credit to assist us in navigating the ups and downs of the business,” Kassanoff continued.
On Feb. 11, Kassanoff gave a tour of his furniture manufacturing facility to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and Arlington Mayor Jim Ross, allowing them to see firsthand the positive impact of SBA assistance on his company.
She paid a visit to the factory as part of her first official trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth area since joining Vice President Joe Biden’s administration. Since May, she has traveled to 23 states and territories to meet with small business owners and discuss the economic impact of the Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, the American Rescue Plan, and other disaster relief programs, among other things.
During her trips in Dallas County, she had meetings with U.S. Representatives Colin Allred and Beth Van Duyne, among others.
During her tour of the Paragon plant, Guzman expressed her delight at seeing firsthand how the Small Business Administration’s support has benefited local small businesses.
“It has been a pleasure to visit and witness how small businesses have taken use of the SBA’s loan programs to provide COVID relief,” Guzman said.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has committed $34 billion in COVID support in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, “demonstrating the strength of these communities” and their “resiliency.”
“It’s fantastic to see products that are developed in America being produced here,” Guzman expressed delight.
According to Ross, the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, and Six Flags Over Texas all contribute to the perception of Arlington as a large commercial town. However, “little business is truly our backbone,” as he puts it.
“Without the aid of the Tiny Business Administration, our small businesses would not have survived,” Ross continued.
The Small Business Covid-19 Relief Program gave financial assistance to 2,920 businesses in Tarrant County, for a total of $23,309,136 in cash assistance. According to the city of Arlington, a total of $8,171,800 in disaster aid was provided to 1,055 small businesses in the city of Arlington.