To Edwin L. Lee, Graficad Creation, Inc is not only a business –  it is his lifework.

“I founded Graficad in 1999 with just two workers. After 21 years, I now have almost 40 employees and an ample portfolio of clients who grew together with me.

Graficad welcomed the year 2020 with excitement and a very positive outlook. January and February were surprisingly busy. We had big corporate accounts and sales was steadily coming in. Sobrang layo sa isip ko na biglang magbabago ang lahat sa isang iglap lamang,” Edwin related.

Like most business owners, Edwin was caught off guard by the sudden declaration of community lockdowns. For a business that had never experience a slow down, suddenly ceasing operations was entirely new to him.

Sa simula akala ko ilang linggo lang. Sabi ko mukhang kakayanin naman. Binayaran ko pa ng buo ang sweldo nila ng Marso,” he added.

After March it was apparent that the situation was not going to change very soon and decisions had to be made. As the lockdown stretched into months, Edwin decided to implement a rotating skeletal work schedule.

“By rotating their work schedule, all of them will still have a salary. Kahit maliit lang, basta lahat meron,” he explained.

According to Edwin he also entertained the thought of closing down permanently but in the end decided against it.

Marami sa mga tao ko parang pamilya ko na. Their loyalty to me and to the business is the reason why I will do anything to be able to survive,” he claimed.

Business was reduced to a few small projects and receivables remained uncollected up to now. But as the economy slowly opened, business started coming in for Graficad.

The months of November and December have always been the busiest months for Graficad. This is why Edwin applied for a Bayanihan CARES loan.

“I learned about the program through the evening news on television. I immediately checked the website of SB Corp to learn more about it.  I immediately applied when the online application site was opened. I tried to manage my expectations knowing many will apply but I was pleasantly surprised when my loan was approved,” Edwin related.

The  additional capital will help Edwin regain the lost momentum of his business and better prepare him  and his people for the challenges ahead.

“ Kapag nalampasan namin ito, wala na kaming hindi kakayanin,” Edwin concluded.