Member Profile #2- Michael Smith, Impact Bioenergy

Source: Michael Smith, May 1, 2020

CleanTech Alliance members are combating the coronavirus and adapting to its challenges every day.  

In an effort to inspire and connect our members in these difficult times, the CleanTech Alliance is publishing a series of profiles to highlight how are members are adjusting to this new normal. 

You can read our first profile on Eric Moe and UMC here. 

Our second profile is on Michael Smith and Impact Bioenergy. Michael works on Business Development and as a Lead Transaction Specialist for Impact Bioenergy. Impact Bioenergy develops and manufactures bioenergy products that allow communities and commercial food waste generators to lessen their environmental footprint and conserve local soil resources, while also reducing their waste disposal and energy costs. 

Q: What federal and/or state financial relief programs have you applied for, if any? 

A: Impact Bioenergy has applied for the Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration, as well as an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. We just received approval for the PPP loan but have not received assistance yet. We couldn’t apply for the Washington state $10,000 small business grant because King County has already reached its limit. 

Q: How have operations changed at your work? What does your new workday look like? 

A: We have scaled back our workforce at our manufacturing facility to continue building our current orders while practicing the new social distancing restrictions. We must meet and conduct business remotely over video, email, and conference calls. We are designated as an essential service because our operating digesters are living systems and need continued monitoring and servicing. 

Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you or your business due to COVID-19? 

A: Setting up our distribution, sales, and marketing for our biofertilizer product on Vashon Island. 

Q: Do you have any success stories or lessons learned from the health crisis? 

A: The importance of community resilience and having a local marketplace.  

Q: Do you have any other comments you want to share? 

A: The CleanTech Alliance has played a vital role in supporting new cleantech businesses like ours and we appreciate it. We feel so connected with the CleanTech Alliance community and are well represented in Olympia. Thank you! 

If you would like to tell your COVID-19 story and be featured in a future member profile, please email lindsay@cleantechalliance.org  

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