When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, All Star Flooring owner Joe Nusraty was determined to keep his business afloat without impacting his staff. A Business Recovery Initiative (BRI) grant from Prince George’s County administered by FSC First helped him do just that.
All Star Flooring, a minority-owned commercial floor installation company, has been in business for 40 years and employs 15 people. Their talented team has worked on projects at sites across the Washington, D.C. region ranging from Ford’s Theater and the MGM National Harbor to churches, universities, hospitals, and multifamily housing complexes. Joe’s father Yonus Nusraty started the company, and after his father’s passing, his uncle Nesar Nusraty took over for a time. Joe has overseen operations for 22 years.
In mid-2020, COVID-19 significantly slowed down operations for All Star Flooring.
“Our customers weren’t awarding contracts at that time. I think that many people were holding off on planning and beginning new projects out of caution,” Joe recalls. “COVID-19 was still very new, and there was a lot of panic and uncertainty.”
Amidst the unpredictability of the pandemic, Joe received an email informing him of the availability of Business Recovery Initiative funds.
“With all the uncertainty of the time, I was just taking it one day at a time and hoping things would get better. That really caught my eye,” Joe says.
Joe, who had not worked with FSC First previously, applied for and was awarded a $10,000 grant and a $50,000 loan that was later converted to a grant.
Receiving timely answers to his questions about the application process helped it go smoothly and ease some of his concerns, Joe says.
“FSC First was very easy to work with and very helpful as I was applying for the grant,” Joe says. “Every time I had a question, someone was there to help. When you’re applying for a program like this, the paperwork can be complicated and that can be off-putting. The FSC First team made it easy to understand. That made a huge difference.”
With the help of the BRI grant, Joe was able to successfully maintain operations at All Star Flooring.
“The BRI grant helped us keep our doors open,” says Joe. “We were able to pay our employees their full salaries, and we didn’t have to let go of anyone. With all the unpredictability, we wanted to keep our employees safe without putting a financial burden on them. The grant also helped us pay our rent and utilities. It was a huge help.”
Joe enthusiastically recommends FSC First to any business looking for a leg up.
“They’re helping minority-owned businesses like ours out,” says Joe. “They have so many different programs. Working with them was always a pleasure. For anything I need in the future, they’re my first choice.”
Find the right FSC First program for you here.