Disaster Relief For NC Gym

Pinkston receives check from the SBA. Photo: fayobserver.com

A Fayetteville, North Carolina climbing gym received an early Christmas present in the form a $325,000 disaster relief check.

The Climbing Place, which is owned by Michael Pinkston is the oldest dedicated climbing facility in the state and since opening in 1995 they thought they had been through everything. But On Oct. 8, more than two feet of water rushed into Pinkston’s business as Hurricane Mathew blew through the eastern seaboard.

Water flooded into the 18,000 square foot climbing gym and soaked all the padding and damaged electrical wiring in the offices. After an enormous effort by staff and volunteers, the gym dried out the padding and re-opened for business on Oct 20th.

Shortly after the hurricane, Pinkston learned about a program through the SBA that could help with disaster relief funding.

Pinkston also learned about the North Carolina Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, a nonprofit that gives businesses loans for the time period between when a federal disaster aid application has been completed to when the business receives the federal funding.

Pinkston said the $15,000 loan he received from the nonprofit greatly helped him while he waited for the SBA funding to come through which it did in the form of that $325,000 check from the SBA.

Pinkston said he hopes to finish cleaning up in the next two and half months with the help of the loan. He said the business will remain open while renovations are completed.

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