DUNEDIN, Fla. — Over the past year, Achieva Credit Union has delivered $100 million dollars in loans to hundreds of businesses across Tampa Bay. It’s all part of the Paycheck Protection Program.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan through the Small Business Association so as a credit union we were able to help process those applications and get the funding into the hands of our small business members,” said Chelsey Wilson, marketing and events manager for Achieva.
One of those businesses that received a loan is Bon Appetit in Dunedin.
Thomas Riedl is the manager. When the restaurant was forced to close last March, not only did he have a wife and newborn baby depending on him at home, but he had another 200 employees relying on him at work.
“It was uncertain times for me but I was trying to put on a good front for the rest of the team,” said Reidl. “If there is any way the owners can make it happen they are going to make it happen.”
However, behind the scenes, owner Peter Kreuziger was facing the reality, after more than four decades in Dunedin, they may have served their last meal.
“I went to the bank that we had been doing business with for 45 years and it seemed they couldn’t even remember my name, there was no help, no assistance,” said Kreuziger.
That’s when Kreuziger was introduced to Achieva Credit Union and the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Our business lending team literally worked around the clock to learn everything about it, our team worked to roll out the application process and service our small business partners as quickly as possible,” said Wilson.
Kreuziger said the PPP Loan and Achieva kept Bon Appetit open and the staff employed.
“This was heaven-sent, to put it mildly,” said Kreuziger.
“That was a huge relief when we found out we are going to be able to reopen,” said Reidl.
“Achieva employees live and work in the communities they serve so these are our neighbors that we are helping,” said Wilson.
Achieva is also working with Bon Appetit, like many other businesses, on filing a second application that would protect them from having to pay back the loans.
As a special thank you, Bon Appetit named the most popular salad on the menu after Achieva.
“It's definitely a point of pride to come in and see the Achieva Salad on the menu and it’s everyone’s new favorite lunch at Achieva for sure,” said Wilson.
For more information, visit www.achievacu.com.