We sincerely extend our apologies to any small businesses who have not had your PPP application for a loan/grant approved by the Small Business Administration because of insufficient available funds.
We are embarrassed by the actions of the Ocean Pines Board of Directors and their across-the-bay legal advisors in applying for and accepting $1.1 million through the PPP Program.
While obviously the Association was somehow allowed to apply and receive these monies through the stimulus program, that doesn’t mean that it should have been done.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do! Many private businesses throughout our county - particularly in the northern end - have been utterly devastated by the closure of all “non-essential” businesses and have no means of receiving any revenue during this national health crisis which may last well into the summer.
And even those businesses that have been allowed to remain open are having to operate with a reduced clientele and have had to think out of the box to find ways (and many have cleverly done so) to attract customers in order to stave off financial ruin.
We have been residents of Ocean Pines for over 43 years and are familiar with the yearly budget process, and how the Association receives its revenue. The source of that revenue remains the same and is unlikely to be seriously impaired.
The Association will continue to receive yearly assessments on its lots and revenue from its amenities (including fees for the use of its pools and golf courses, etc.) as it has done for decades.
The Association had already mailed out its annual assessments (we have already paid ours) before the impact of the health crisis. This is just a way to grab easy money before truly distressed private businesses could get their funding approved. In a short term, it is spelled “greed.”
If the Association couldn’t weather this “storm” with a “rainy-day” fund, shame on us. Ocean Pines has always wanted to be an integral part of the county, but by actions such as this, we are not showing that we care for the community and the businesses and citizens therein.
Dale and Charlotte Cathell