Asian-American small business owners document a horrible weekend after their bank collapsed


Sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham, co-founders of Asian flavor kit company Omsom, recently took to social media to document their experiences during the overnight collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

In their post on Instagram, the co-founders shared that they kept all their capital in SVB, which just a few days ago was one of the largest banks for startups in the country.

If that bank collapsed Friday after a run on deposits that Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) brought it under control and froze its assets.

Clients like the Pham sisters have since been plagued by insecurities, suddenly losing access to their company’s funds.

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The Omsom founders wrote about it how your team dealt with it the shocking news that their bank was about to collapse.

According to the Pham sisters, they heard about the problems plaguing the SVB on March 9 at the Expo West conference in Los Angeles. They found that they no longer had access to their funds when they tried to transfer their money from the bank early the next day. The FDIC seized the bank later that day.

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Terrified by the situation, they got to work, coordinating with their team, releasing updates and planning their next steps. As of Saturday morning, they were already planning alternative liquidity options, securing short-term loans and opening new bank accounts. They also began reaching out to their suppliers to work out longer payment terms.

In a moment of transparency, the co-founders placed their trust in their community by providing information in an open letter about the challenges facing the company at the time.

The founders then reassured their customers and followers that they are “doing everything we can to ensure Omsom gets through this”.

They received some positive news on Sunday when the FDIC released a statement saying all SVB depositors will be able to access their accounts on Monday, March 13.

In a comment published on Fast Company, Vanessa shared that their suppliers and vendors, after making their issues public, proactively reached out to them “to extend us new terms — like posts.”

Had the government not acted on the matter, they were ready to implement the plans they laid out on Friday.

Going forward, we have already opened several bank accounts and are putting together a plan of where to keep our funds, both in terms of banking partners and account types. The macro environment for startups has been tough. I think it’s very smart as a small business to always be aware of the macro and understand how this could affect your business in the short and long term. At the same time, I think it’s very important not to lose yourself in it. It can be so discouraging. Especially now, when we talk to other founders, everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Asian-American small business owners document a horrible weekend after their bank collapsed

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