Right now the world is taking precautionary steps in order to control the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, this is causing business to slow down or entirely stop for some people. We can overcome this!
There will always be emergency situations in life. Floods, fires, illnesses, and tornadoes are just a few of the things that will arise at times and cause your small business to suffer losses. If you plan ahead properly, your business will be able to overcome these bumps in the road.
What if you are unprepared? What if the disaster continues beyond what you have prepared for?
The good news is that there are still ways to keep your business afloat during times of distress! Below I will list out the resources available to you. Don't worry, we will all get through this together.
This is an excellent resource ALL the time, not just during emergencies! They offer expert business mentoring programs to small business owners, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters. You can get FREE mentoring via live webinars and online workshops. They also offer courses on demand which will allow you to learn at your own pace on a variety of small business topics.
They also provide several free resources to help your business to prepare for natural disasters. There is a webinar available called "Disaster Preparedness and Continuity for Your Business". You can access the webinar once you are a member of S.C.O.R.E., which is free!
Visit https://www.score.org to find many valuable resources.
Small Business Administration - SBA
This is another wonderful resource for small businesses at any time. They offer Small Business Counseling, SBA Loans, Home & Business Disaster Loans, and more! There are many business topics to browse on their website.
As of March 12, 2020 the SBA Administrator issued a statement in response to the President's address to the nation. The statement says that the SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
Follow the link to the "Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program":
Access to Capitol:
7(a) program offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000 and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the U.S. States and its territories. The uses of proceeds include: working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; lease-hold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business.
Express loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than 7 years with an option to revolve. There is a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial of a completed application. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan. Community Advantage loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
504 loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention. The eligible use of proceeds is limited to the acquisition or eligible refinance of fixed assets.
Microloan program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets. Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery & equipment, and fixtures (does not include real estate). The maximum loan amount is $50,000 with the average loan size of $14,000. SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business. For more information on loans or how to connect with a lender, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans.
How to get access to lending partners? SBA has developed Lender Match, a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders within 48 hours.
The IRS also has some disaster relief available to small business owners. There is talk of pushing back tax filing deadlines, but at the time I am writing this, those haven't been approved yet.
"Taxpayers and businesses will have until July 15, 2020 to file and pay their taxes this year. The change was announced on Tuesday afternoon by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, following President Donald Trump's declaration of a national state of emergency in the United States as a result of efforts to combat the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic and minimize economic disruption. Last week, the president announced he would ask the Treasury Department and IRS to extend the deadline.
Taxpayers and small businesses that traditionally face an April 15 tax deadline will be allowed more time to file, and also they can wait to pay their taxes due, until the new deadline of July 15, 2020, with no penalties or interest charges. All individual U.S. taxpayers qualify for this extension and do not have to file any special paperwork or extension requests, as the deadline will be automatically extended....Taxpayers owing taxes can defer payment of up to $1 million in taxes until July 15, and corporate filers can defer tax payments of up to $10 million. We're waiting to hear if there will be an extension for quarterly estimated payments normally due on April 15." (from cpapracticeadvisor.com)
Visit https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/disaster-assistance-and-emergency-relief-for-individuals-and-businesses for more useful information and access to aid during disasters.
There are a few other resources available in times of disaster. I have included them here as well:
Remember, the best thing to do right now is not panic! We can continue to thrive, even in times like these. We all just need to keep our heads, pray for a quick resolution to this, and help each other out by shopping local!