This past week makeharp3happen.com turned one year old. It has been both an incredibly rewarding and an incredibly frustrating year. While the lack of progress with Harp 3.0 has been frustrating, the correspondence I’ve had with readers of the site has been an awesome experience. My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is to focus on the positives in my life. So, I’ve been pondering lately how this site can help make a positive impact while also leading the charge to Make Harp 3 Happen. Then it hit me. If underwater homeowners could rally support for each other beyond just advocating for the expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, then maybe we can help each other make a positive difference in our lives. We can’t count on the government to pull us up from underwater, but if we all act as little lifeguards maybe we can still do something to get us back to the surface a little faster. But what exactly can we do for each other? And what does this all have to do with cookies?
Well, in the past few weeks while I’ve been thinking about this stuff I noticed one of my twitter followers who was often retweeting my posts. Her name is Andrea Greene and she is the founder of the Connecticut Cookie Company. I was intrigued so I sent her an email to ask about her situation. Here is her story. Andrea lost her corporate job a few years ago. That was a double whammy for her. Her home has also plummeted 50% of its original purchase value. She doesn’t qualify for HARP in its current form. Her loan modification requests have been denied as she is not considered a hardship case. Like millions of other Americans she is stuck waiting for HARP 3.0. After losing her job she decided it was time for a change. Baking cookies was of one of Andrea’s passions, so she founded the Connecticut Cookie Company. Unfortunately, Andrea and her husband are so far underwater she has not been able to completely commit to her cookie baking business. She also juggles consulting jobs to help pay the bills on her severely underwater home. I want to help change that. I want Andre to be so busy filling cookie orders that she no longer has to juggle other jobs and she can commit fully to growing the Connecticut Cookie Company into a successful business. So please, if you have the means go visit the Connecticut Cookie Company and buy some cookies. I’m going to do my part by buying some macaroons.
The housing crisis did not discriminate. People from all walks of life were affected. That includes many small business owners. If you are an underwater homeowner unable to use HARP and you also run small business I’d like to hear from you. Follow @makeharp3happen on twitter and then send me an email to marcus at makeharp3happen dot com. I might profile your business next.