YOUNGSTOWN – By leveraging digital technology, DJL Accounting and Consulting Group Inc. kept its clients up-to-date on what they needed to know to acquire pandemic relief funds and keep their doors open.
There was “an immediate flight or fight response,” says Debra Rodway, president of the Youngstown firm. “But entrepreneurs are a tough breed and were ready to fight.”
Staff immediately began calling clients to share critical information from the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Small Business Administration, which changed almost daily, Rodway says. The firm interpreted the changes and provided clarity to clients while working with loan officers to get vital relief funds to businesses that needed it.
DJL walked clients through loan applications, grants, credit applications and unemployment benefit hurdles. Staff spent weekends assisting clients with Paycheck Protection Program applications, the Ohio small business relief grant program and various local, state and federal grants.
“While our economy and so many of our friends and neighbors struggled during the pandemic, we are awe inspired by collective efforts to dig in and help each other,” Rodway says.
Investments in a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) system and designated document drop-off area allowed staff to work safely and effectively from home, she notes.
“Our office helped close millions of dollars in PPP loans and grants for small businesses in a very short period,” Rodway says. “Those loans and grants saved many businesses from closing and enabled them to keep their people employed.”
The business advisory and tax services firm, in business 20 years, is expanding with the addition of Jennifer Wollet, CPA of Columbiana. Wollet is merging her practice and clients with DJL and will become a shareholder in the firm.
DJL also hired three staff members in 2020, Rodway says.