Meet Replace: a Minnesota-based artistic design company that transforms brands.
From early in his career, Jeff Johnson (who founded Replace in 1999), wanted to work with the “good guys” – those who have a “triple bottom line” vision of the world: financial, social, and long-term ecological. Johnson makes it a point to seek out clients that are effecting positive change and are socially motivated.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Johnson found himself in a position similar to other entrepreneurs during that time – Replace needed support, and fast. That’s where a 21st Century Bank Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) business loan comes in.
After operating many years debt-free, Johnson was caught off guard when COVID-19 struck. “All business across all sectors — medical, restaurant, entrepreneur — went flat,” Johnson recalls. “We had just invested money on payroll, equipment, and expansion… and then nothing.”
For years, Johnson banked with a corporate “big box” bank, and initially he tried getting a PPP loan with them, calling hundreds of times with no response.
Johnson sent out an “SOS” on social media. Ben Levitz of Studio on Fire, a printing and packaging studio in St. Paul, encouraged Johnson to reach out to 21st Century Bank. Since Johnson already went through the process with another bank, he had all the paperwork ready for applying and securing a PPP Loan with us.
Replace’s PPP loan helped the company keep its one full-time staff member employed, in addition to giving the company the cushion it needed to find additional sources of revenue, make deals, and change its billing structure.