What Business Owners Now Know About Their PPP Loan Forgiveness

paycheck-protection-program-loan-forgiveness-tom-martin-coaching

On Friday, May 15, 2020, the SBA released new details on loan forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan borrowers. Also included in the release was access to the application that PPP borrowers will use to apply for loan forgiveness and detailed instructions on how PPP loan borrowers should fill out the application.

This SBA application form and instructions are designed to simplify the process from borrowers and to minimize compliance burdens. However, there are gaps. And the SBA plans to issue regulations and guidance soon to provide further help to borrowers as they fill out their applications, and to give lenders guidance on their responsibilities.

Concerns…

The forgiveness application form does help address some administrative items such as providing additional clarity around “costs incurred but not paid” during the covered period, which is aligned with a recommendation by the AICPA. However, major issues remain. In particular, small businesses need flexibility on when the 8-week period should start or need to have the covered period extended to more than 8 weeks.

It’s clear the application form and instructions provided yesterday are not enough. Some of the most pressing issues are not addressed and in other areas it appears new questions have arisen.

Erik Asgeirsson, President, and CEO of CPA.com, the AICPA’s business and technology arm.

Ultimately this is an important starting point for PPP loan borrowers to know what to expect moving forward.

A Good Start…

The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:

  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles.
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness.
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30.
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined.

I recommend business owners review the application and the instructions to ensure they understand the criteria for PPP loan forgiveness. Any areas of concern or questions should be addressed with their CPAs, bankers, and financial advisors prior to completing the application.

Additional information, tools, and resources can be found using the following links:

SBA Media Release

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator

SBA Information and Resources

Additional Information and Resources

The Latest Information and Resources Business Owners Need to Know During COVID-19

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The business community is reeling right now thanks to COVID-19. And while initiatives are being implemented to provide some relief, small business owners are facing unprecedented challenges.  

But the rollout of so many programs on both a federal and state level is complex and complicated. And local business owners are telling me they don’t know where to turn for up-to-date information and resources they can act on right now.

In an effort to help, I have created a COVID-19 quick reference guide for business owners. Download this interactive list of information and resources business owners can use to successfully operate their business during the coronavirus crises.

download-covid19-business-owners-quick-reference-guide

Note! Information will be updated as actionable information becomes available, so check back often.

***5:00 PM April 1, 2020*** Georgia Govenor Brian Kemp just issued statewide Shelter-in-Place order that will go into effect on April 3rd.

***Update on Friday, April 3rd*** The Georgia statewide shelter-in-place, which goes into effect today, April 3rd at 6 pm through 11:59 pm on Monday, April 13, 2020. The order mandates that residents stay home except to engage in essential services, perform necessary travel, or if they are part of the workforce for critical infrastructure. Read the Shelter in Place Handout from the Governor’s Office, which provides more details about the order.

Business Owners COVID-19 Assistance Overview

The CARES Act: Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security is a $2 trillion stimulus package that includes significant relief money for small businesses.

To be eligible, a small business must be substantially affected by COVID-19, experiencing a decrease in revenue, staffing challenges or supply-chain disruptions, for example. The business must also employ less than 500 employees.

The CARES Act provisions include:

  • Emergency grants of $10 billion that will provide up to $10,000 per small business to cover immediate operating costs.
  • Forgivable loans of $350 billion that will be allocated to the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10million per business for ongoing payroll and operations costs.
  • Existing loan relief of $17 billion to cover six months of payments on existing SBA loans for small businesses that already have them.
  • Expanded unemployment insurance for workers who can’t be rehired or find other work. It also extends jobless benefits to previously ineligible groups of workers, like gig workers and freelancers.

What do business owners need to know about qualifying?

Businesses must maintain a similar number of employees as they did prior to the crisis in order to be eligible for full loan forgiveness. A reduction in loan forgiveness will be applied to those businesses that do not meet this requirement.

What can small business owners do right now?

  • Reach out to your bank to verify they can process SBA loans. Tell them you plan to apply for the EIDL or the PPP loan and inquiry how to get ready to apply. They should also be able to share how quickly the grant or loan will be available.
  • If you do not have a relationship with a banker, or yours will not process SBA loans, you should find one.
  • Start gathering all pertinent documents. The required documents will vary based on the lender, but it’s a good idea to begin gathering:
    • Payroll records for the calendar year 2019 plus the first quarter of 2020, including 1099 payouts to contractors vital to the operation of your business
    • Bank statements
    • Articles of incorporation
    • Lease agreement or deed for the place of business 
    • Business certificate or license
    • Individual and business tax returns and any financial documents that reflect your financial situation
  • Not all the necessary loan application paperwork has been finalized with the banks as of today, but is expected by Friday, April 3rd.

What to do if your business doesn’t qualify?

Businesses that do not meet the requirements for the CARES grant or forgivable loan relief may still apply for a loan via the SBA Express Bridge Loan Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. These loans will need to be repaid but could help to fill the financial gap until the coronavirus crisis is over.

You need to stay informed, here’s how:

The Small Business Administration has put together a special coronavirus page detailing existing loan information. You will also find guidance for businesses and employers along with links to local assistance. As more information is released there will be updates to this link, including details about the stimulus loans and grants.

More Business Owners COVID-19 related posts and articles can be found here.

Remember… You Are Beloved!

sunrise-forest-you-are-beloved

The term “Beloved” means to be greatly loved. 

No one can love us like God. For He is Love as scripture describes.

God is love. 

1 John 4:16 NIV

God spoke the world into existence with love. Jesus is the greatest expression of God’s love for us. For those who believe and accept Him as their Savior, embraces the truth that His great love can live in us.

You, me, we… are His beloved children, undeserving of God’s love yet chosen to receive it.

So, in the midst of everything going on in the world today... the unknown, the uncertainty, and in the midst of any anxious thoughts, worries or fears, remember this…

You Are Beloved!

Hold on to this truth and be transformed by God’s Word as it declares that we are beloved, purposed, and cherished children of the one true God.

A Few Verses to Meditate On…

We love because he first loved us. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” – John 15:9

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18-19

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”John 10:10b

May God’s peace and protection be upon you and your family! ~ Tom

Trusting God during trials and in challenging times is not easy. And I don’t want to come across as having all the answers because there have been times when trusting God has been a struggle for me. But over the years I talked about those struggles along with some of the life lessons I’ve learned, and you can find those posts here.

Information and Resources to Help Small Business Owners Navigate COVID-19

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In an effort to support business owners, here is the latest news about COVID-19 as it pertains to small business and I’ve included an updated list of resources. So, how does the US Small Business Association (SBA) define a small business…

A Small Business Is Defined As:

Depending on your industry, a small business could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. They’re privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have less revenue than larger businesses.

For those of you in Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp announced yesterday that Georgia has received an official statewide disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This declaration will provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to impacted small businesses in all 159 counties in Georgia.

This opens the door for small businesses and nonprofits in Georgia to now apply for economic injury disaster recovery loans.  The loan can be up to $2 million per business to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

The application is now live, and Georgia small business owners can go directly to the SBA for assistance and to access the application.

Not in Georgia… no worries, use this link for information and the application for every state that has received the disaster declaration from the SBA.

Required Documents for SBA for EIDL loans: 

  1. Profit and Loss and Cash Flow Statements for 2019 and 2020 on annual basis and year to date basis.
  2. Tax returns from the past 3 years, both personal and business 

Loans are available for small business and non-profit organizations. While terms will be established on a case-by-case basis, many will have a thirty-year repayment term with first payments not due for up to twelve months. Businesses should expect to provide a tax transcript, financial statements, and a profit and loss statement. Interest rates will range from 2.75% to 3.75%.

In addition to the above, I suggest you reach out to your lending institution to see if relief programs are being offered during this time: delaying payments; interest only payments.  

To learn more about the EIDL program:


sba-small-business-roundtable-covid19

Join Small Business Roundtable with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and CEOs of the leading small business organizations. They will discuss the needs of small business owners during the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Friday, March 20th, 2020 at 2:30 pm ET

Click Here to RSVP

****This Just In****

(1:15PM March 20th) At this time, due to some last minute scheduling issues, we are working to reschedule this webinar for another day and time. Our goal is to have something next week. Timing might be better as we expect to know more about the next round of legislation.


empty-office-space-working-from-home-small-business

This is something every business owner should ask their staff who are working from home, before moving into the meeting agenda of the call. Discover what it is here


Learn How to Manage a Manage a Work-From-Home

  • TODAY – March 20: Learn from nationally recognized experts on How to Manage a Work-From-Home Workforce Teleconference with a FREE webinar. This resource is open to any business in the region and is hosted by Council for Quality Growth in partnership with Forsyth County Chamber. Register here.
  • Next Week: Georgia Commute Options is hosting a Telework Webinar Series to share information about managing objectives and deliverables while teleworking, collaborating through technology, supporting good working habits and more.

IRS Tax Relief information

The IRS has established a special section of the agency’s website focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by this coronavirus. Their page will be updated as new information is available.  

Guidance for Businesses and Employers with Regard to COVID-19

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 15 Days to Slow the Spread

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:


Well that’s it for now… 

But please leave a comment with any information and resources that you’ve found useful as you’ve navigated the COVID-19. And don’t forget to support the local small businesses in your area any way you can.

Is Everyone Working From Home?

man-at-desk-on-computer-working-from-home-tom-martin-coaching

Say goodbye to business as usual, most if not all your staff could be working from home as a result of Covid-19.

Do you think your company is ready?

With more people than ever working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, business owners’ leadership skills will be put to the test.

Maybe the better question is… are you ready?

Be mindful of what it is because what you say will set the tone and they will follow your lead when they are talking with customers, clients, and colleagues. 

With that being the case and so much at stake, it’s time to get personal!

Simply ask, “how are you doing?”

Listen, ask questions, be aware of concerns, worries, or fears. And you will have multiple people on the call, give everyone the opportunity to answer that question.

Communicate You Care

The very fact you asked shows you care and it reinforces the relationship you have with them and the team.

Remember, for many of them this is new to them. They are worried about how all this will work which adds to all the other concerns they have about how the coronavirus outbreak will impact their family and life.

I guaranty that everyone will be far more receptive to everything you have to say after you’ve inquired about how they are doing.

Ok, now your turn…

  • What are your thoughts, recommendations, and suggestions.
  • What are some of the things you plan to do in your business?
  • What will you say to your employees as your company navigates the all the unknown surrounding Covid-19 and its impact in the marketplace?

Leave a comment below so we can learn together and lead well in our community…

Here are 5 Things Business Owners can be doing which will have a positive impact on their employees, with their customers, and in their community! Lead Well…

What To Do When You Do Not Know What To Do

Three Practical Things You Can Do Today

what-to-do-when-you-do-not-know-what-to-do-tom-martin-coaching

Out of the blue, I received a call from someone in the financial services industry that I had that referred clients over the years. Her business expertise was in an area beyond the scope of work I did with my clients. And while we had collaborated on clients, we had never talked about her business beyond the services she provided to business owners.

The voicemail indicated she wanted to run something by me. But when we spoke, I quickly realized she was at the crossroads with a business decision and she didn’t know what to do.

Many times the coaching conversations I have with business owners concern decisions they had made at a point in their life when they didn’t know what to do.

Seeking advice or counsel is the wise thing to do

But either by design or default or because of ego or pride, entrepreneurs and business owners tend to go it alone. Sometimes the results are good and often not as good as they had sought objective feedback or utilized someone as a sounding board.

And while I won’t go into the details of the call, here is a decision-making model I used to help her get a better idea of what to do when she truly didn’t know what to do.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Charles Swindoll

 

Be Inquisitiveresearch potential solutions

tom-martin-coaching-be-inquisitive

• Search the internet – articles, books, blogs, podcasts, videos

• Ask friends, family, neighbors, or business associates if they know someone you should talk to who is familiar with the decision you are contemplating

 

 

Be Openseek counsel

tom-martin-coaching-be-open-to-counsel• Being inquisitive is getting ideas about potential solutions.

• Getting counsel is tapping into the wisdom of someone who has perspective about the decision you have to make.

• And if you can’t find someone with first-hand knowledge of the situation, review your notes from all the conversations you had with people you trust (mentors, advisors, friends, spouse) to see where there is a consensus. And when there is, move on to the next step. Just make sure the people you’re talking to will not only tell you what they think but also what you need to hear.

 

Be Stillponder, meditate, or pray

tom-martin-coaching-be-still• Evaluate everything you learned from being inquisitive and review the advice shared by counsel.

• Compare the advice shared by counsel.

• Stay still until you know what to do. Remember, no one knows for you…only you know for you!

 

A few final thoughts about moving forward after you make a decision about what to do:

KNOW THIS

Waiting to make a perfect decision means you’ll never make any decision! – Tom Martin

DO THIS

Forget about the ultimate outcome. Just focus on taking one step in the direction of the thing you decided to do.  – Tom Martin

REMEMBER THIS

Clarity comes when you move toward your destination and correct along the way.  – Michael Hyatt

Do You Know A Georgia Small Business Rock Star?

Nominations are open for the 2019 Georgia Small Business ROCK STARS! Nominate yourself or another great Georgia small business who you think is deserving of ROCK STAR status for this year.

nominate-small-business-rockstar-tom-martin-coaching

What’s New This Year?

There are new categories so please be sure to check the one that best describes your business. They also now peer-to-peer judging which includes the current 2018 ROCK STARS who will also be judging the finalists.

Criteria:

  • All types of Georgia small businesses can apply. Nominate your own company or another great Georgia small business.
  • You must employ under 100 (total Georgia employment).
  • You must be a Georgia-based, for-profit company.
  • If you have been assisted by your local or state economic development resources (see application for details), you will receive BONUS points.

Winners are expected to: 

  • Attend the awards luncheon.
  • Take part in producing a short video about your business on location at your company.
  • Provide a high-res product or service photo(s) to be included in promotional materials, size 1200px or higher.

Awards Luncheon: 

  • March 18, 2019, in Atlanta – Location TBD

About the Program:

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) team up every year to recognize the outstanding, unique and impactful small businesses in the state of Georgia.

This unique endeavor for Georgia is a huge success only because of the small businesses that impact Georgia every day…the risks, the innovation, the outreach, the reasons why…all of these qualities abound in Georgia and we want to recognize them.

APPLY NOW

Deadline: September 15, 2018

See the complete list of all the 2018 nominees and where their business is located in Georgia. And you can view all the previous Georgia Small Business Rock Stars here

Does Your Business Standout and Get Noticed Online?

Today 3 out of 4 shoppers search online when they want to find a business, and 7 out of 10 made a purchase from a business they found using a search engine.

Businesses with optimized Google Business listings have a much better chance of getting a customer’s attention when they are searching online.

Google research suggests that customers are 50% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with a complete listing. 

 

Does this sound like you…

  • Claiming your Google Business Listing has been something you’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it.
  • You’ve claimed your Google Busines Listing but it’s not fully optimized with photos, business services listed, or branding messages.
  • You’re so busy, you honestly don’t have the time to do it. And the thought of giving up family time to watch a set of YouTube tutorials on how to do it properly is unappealing.

Six Books You Need to Add to Your Reading List

reading-list-six-books-for-spring-tom-martin-coaching

“Tell me about a book you read recently and really liked?” 

I love asking this question!

The setting doesn’t matter, business or social. If the opportunity presents itself, I will ask the question. And when I get an enthusiastic recommendation that triggers my interest, I make a note and add it to my reading list.

In the course of my work with coaching and consulting clients, I’m often asked for book recommendations. Many times, the recommendations are based on specific questions they have asked me. While other times, the recommendations serve as a resource that clients can use as they navigate seasons of growth, transition, or when facing challenges. So, books like Start With Why, Strength Finders 2.0, Good to Great, or The Energy Bus are favorites to recommend. 

I’m not sure what books you may already have on your radar, but these six books merit consideration for your reading list this Spring. 

Living Full Out

Radio Show Guest Appearance

I had a great time appearing with Nancy Solari on her nationally syndicated radio show, Living Full Out!tom-martin-coaching-living-full-out-radio

 

My Living Full Out episode, When You Believe You Can Overcome Limitations as You Live Full Out, originally aired on February 10th. Nancy and I discussed overcoming adversity and finding hope in the most challenging of circumstances. Plus we talked about the life lessons I’ve learned from battling merkel cell cancer three times and how this was a catalyst for me to leave the automotive industry and become a certified executive coach.

You can listen to the Living Full Out show using the Spreaker Audio player below. And you will find my two segments with Nancy starting at the 15-minute mark of the show. 

            

I share my story to share the life lessons I’ve learned along the way and even offer hope. You are not alone, and feel free to reach out with questions. You can learn more about my cancer journey on my blog and also in the Huffington Post feature, Voices of Strength – Stories of Survival  

Guest Appearance on Podcast for Business

Creating Raving Fans of Your Business

Recently I had the privilege of being a guest on the Podcast for Business show. The podcast is all about business conversations over coffee where the discussions focus on the journey of business ownership.

Tom-Martin-Podcast-for-Business-Guest

Podcast for Business is hosted by Diane Campbell who owns Gratitude Goodies, a specialty gift basket company. Being a business owner herself, Diane’s understanding of business and perspective as a business owner lends itself to compelling conversations with other small business owners.

Actually, Diane’s mission at Gratitude Goodies of helping corporations express their appreciation to customers in meaning and memorable ways set the stage for our conversation about how business owners can create raving fans of their businesses. You can listen to my episode of Podcast for Business using the audio player below.