How the Employee Retention Credit Helped an Illinois Daycare Stay in Business

When you think about the types of businesses COVID affected, daycares may not be the first on your list. However, after sitting down with Shannon Knight of Little Knights Daycare, we discovered that the impact was anything but minor. From unexpected closures to limited resources, Little Knights struggled to stay afloat amid constantly changing economic conditions.

Fortunately for Shannon, she was able to submit an Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claim and get back capital she can now use to recover her losses incurred during the pandemic. We had the opportunity to sit down with Shannon to learn more about her experience during COVID and how the ERC is going to help support her essential business.

Q: Tell us about your business.

Shannon: I own Little Knights Daycare in Godfrey, Illinois. We have been at this location for 10 years. I've been in business for almost 13. Our daycare has kids from six-weeks-old to 12-years-old in five different classrooms with 12 different staff members. 

Q: Why a daycare?

Shannon: I started this business because daycare was something that was needed in the area, and I wasn't super thrilled with what I saw in the area for my daughter.

Q: What happened during COVID?

Shannon: COVID shut our business down for 10 weeks. When we were able to reopen at the end of that 10 weeks, we had to take a limited number of children so we could not bring back all of the kids that we needed. It also started to cost us a lot more money. We needed masks for all the staff and the kids. We needed a lot more cleaning supplies that were hard to find. It was harder to find the things we needed and a lot more expensive.


Q: How did you hear about the ERC?

Shannon: I discovered the ERC when I was logging out of my bank’s app. A pop-up notification asked me a question and sent me on to Innovation Refunds’ (IR) website to look at what I might qualify for. I asked my accountant if they would help me, and they said they couldn't.


Q: What was your experience like working with IR?

Shannon: When I first looked at the website of everything I had to submit, I was super overwhelmed. But the refund specialists helped break it down into smaller pieces for me and helped me set goals and deadlines to get everything turned in. The overall process of working with IR was super easy. They were all very friendly and helpful and willing to accommodate me.

Q: How will the ERC help your business?

Shannon: The money from the ERC will help me give my staff a raise and will also help offset the costs that parents have to pay to come into the daycare. It eases my mind knowing that I will be able to stay open hopefully forever or at least another two years. 

Q: What’s next for Little Knights?

Shannon: I'm always looking for a way to expand my business and offer services to more people in the community. And with this money, I might be able to do that.

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