To Whom It May Concern,
I am Mike Kappel, CEO of Patriot Software in Canton, OH. I am calling on our government and lawmakers to step in and put their full weight behind SVB immediately in order to make tens of thousands of hardworking American businesses and their families whole again.
Patriot, as we call ourselves, is an accounting and payroll software platform that services over 55,000 American businesses in all 50 states – and their accountants. I founded Patriot in 1986 in the basement of a factory with no heat, no air-conditioning, and floors that would flood. Instead of customers, our only visitors consisted of rats, birds, flies, and snakes. More on my American Dream story, which is often broadcasted across ~300 US radio stations, is summarized at the end. But first to the problem:
TRUST: Our small business customers trust us and appreciate us as noted by our thousands of 4.8 out of 5.0 star ratings. We’ve earned their trust by serving them day-in and day-out with integrity.
Suddenly, all of that trust was shattered on March 10, 2023 when the 16th largest bank in the USA collapsed – out of the blue without any warning! Over $100 million of our 55,000 customers’ payroll and payroll tax dollars were gathered up and sitting in SVB that infamous Friday. Then, SVB’s systems were frozen without warning, and tens-of-thousand of our customers’ employees did not receive a paycheck for work that they had already performed.
Not only are our 55,000 business customers totally disillusioned, but I can’t even fathom the pain and distrust that their tens-of-thousands of employees must be feeling. These hard-working Americans trusted their employer, who trusted Patriot, who trusted Silicon Valley Bank – and now, it appears that all of these American dreams across the country were shattered in one day.
PATRIOT: But wait, there’s more. Patriot itself still has 100% of its operating funds locked up in SVB. Our accounts are well in excess of the $250,000 FDIC insured limit because you can’t run a ~200-person company like Patriot without having millions in the bank. Now that we have lost access to our own funds, we are not able to pay our own ~200 employees, and everybody knows what that means.
POINT FINGERS LATER: We can speculate why SVB failed and who is to blame. But none of that matters at this exact moment. You can find and punish whoever is to blame, later. What matters now is that all of us small business owners need our US Government to step in and put its full weight behind SVB immediately! And, I don’t mean days … I mean in hours. Failure to act NOW will spawn a cataclysmic ripple effect that will shatter an incredible number of real small businesses, their families, and it will spawn an irreversible lack of trust in our entire financial system. This wouldn’t be a bailout for the elites—this is to make whole thousands upon thousands of hard-working American businesses. Without immediate action by our Government leaders, the distrust this event is causing could very well turn this pending recession into the depression of 2023.
— Mike Kappel, CEO PatriotSoftware.com
OUR AMERICAN STORY (SUMMARIZED FROM HERE)
STARTUP: I started Patriot Software in the basement of a factory (original 1986 video, 3 minutes) with no heat, no air-conditioning, and floors that would flood. Instead of customers, our only visitors consisted of rats, birds, flies, and snakes. Blankets became our office walls. My partner and I ran out of money, maxed out our credit cards, and we borrowed from relatives. It was 4 years before our employees saw anything that resembled a real paycheck. It was a very rough startup, but we had the grit to survive.
GROWTH: Our fledgling startup eventually grew and spawned four additional companies – making five companies in total. Our first four startups were all successful, with two of them eventually growing into medium-sized businesses.
CASH: Our fifth startup in 2002 [Patriot Software] was substantially more difficult and costly than the prior four startups combined. Patriot was designed from the very beginning to help fellow American businesses be efficient and survive. I wanted this to happen because I know how incredibly difficult it is to start and run a small business. So we bootstrapped Patriot for ~13 years and self-funded millions of our own dollars to grow Patriot. But, it wasn’t enough.
We spent ~6 years trying to raise capital in Canton, OH. We sold/spun-off our other companies. We dealt with bankers, private equity firms, Family Offices, and we sold stock to over 100 high-net-worth individuals. Despite being in a flyover state, we made it happen!
SUCCESS: Now, 21 years after starting Patriot, we have set a standard of excellence in the accounting and payroll software industries. Our decades-long journey was filled with successes, tribulations, and failures. But by the grace of God, we have fulfilled our dream and now provide the nation’s most simple and affordable accounting and payroll platform.