How Safer Society is Doing During this Covid-19-Induced Economic Downturn

An Update from Safer Society Foundation Executive Director, Mary Falcon

I decided to write this blog entry in answer to the many concerned inquiries about Safer Society’s financial wellbeing in these difficult times. The answer is surprising: We are doing better than expected!

Surprising because tens of thousands of small enterprises in the U.S. are struggling to stay afloat and many are going under. Fortunately for us, the speedy action of our community bank enabled us to be among the first in the nation to apply for—and receive—a loan convertible to a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Plan (PPP).

Are you wondering why a nonprofit entity such as Safer Society would qualify for a federal small business loan? As you may or may not be aware, our free products and services (e.g., our ChIPs books for children of incarcerated parents, treatment provider directory, New Circle Mentoring program, Safer Talk webinars and podcasts, and now The New Circle online magazine) are basically supported by the book sales generated by Safer Society Press, our publishing business.

Our book sales took a dive in early March. By late April it was clear that returning to financial normality was going to take many months, not a few weeks. But the PPP loan has given us some breathing room. We are maintaining a full staff (which is required in order to convert the PPP loan into a grant). And because the governor of Vermont has begun to loosen stay-at-home restrictions, some of our staff are back working in the Brandon office. The rest of us are still working full time, but from home. So yes, we are doing better that expected. Although our book sales this year are not yet back to where they should be, we are hanging in there, coping as best we can, and we know you professionals out there are doing the same.

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