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.

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.

Happy New Year

Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet!

tom-martin-business-coaching-best-year-yet

9 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Begin the New Year

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself before starting the New Year is to set aside some for reflection. Reflecting on where you’ve been and where you are going can help you set the stage for your best year ever. 

Take 20-30 minutes to reflect on these 8 questions:

1.  What are my top three memories of 2017?

2.  What are three memories I want to create in 2018?

3.  What area in my life worked best in 2017?

Why You Need to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing Today

When business owners start looking for ways to attract more customers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The internet, right? But before they start having conversations about SEO, SMO, and social media ads, they need to make sure they have fully optimized the free online marketing platforms available, like Google My Business.

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When digital platforms like Google My Business and Nextdoor are fully optimized phones start ringing, customers start showing up, and traffic increases on websites.

Sadly though, many small business owners fall under the misconception that a website, some search engine optimization and a few social media posts are all they need for business growth to occur.

Your website doesn’t need to be found by everyone; it just needs to be seen by the people who live in your community. You get this right, and the results can be significant.

4 out of 5 people use search engines to find information about your business.

Your potential customers are searching find local business information like business hours, location, phone number, online reviews, and more. Customer surveys reveal that businesses with detailed online profiles and complete business listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.

Why You Need To Do a Mid-Year Business Review

It’s halftime, how did you do? The end of June represents halftime for the personal goals and business objectives you set for the year. Much like in a football game, the scoreboard only tells part of the story at the end of the second quarter. So, before you kick-off the second half of the year, the wise thing to do is a mid-year business review.

Photo Small Business Owner Mid-Year Business Review

While the band is on the field at halftime, coaches and players are examining film and adjusting X’s and O’s to come up with a winning second-half game plan. Sadly though, many small business owners and sales professionals emerge from the July 4th holiday break with the same plan that has been in place since January. 

We Know We Should

The cars we drive, the planes we fly in, and the high-tech machines we use all need to be tuned and calibrated to ensure optimal performance. Intuitively we know our lives and our businesses have similar demands, yet we fail to schedule the time for this review. It is encouraging to see more and more of my small business owner clients incorporating a mid-year business review into their management philosophy.

Common Reasons Why We Don’t

And while more of my clients are open to this, there are two common scenarios where people resist doing a mid-year business review. 

Are You Using Nextdoor?

By now you have probably received an invitation to join Nextdoor. And if recent press is any indication, you have been using Nextdoor in your community for quite some time.

Image Nextdoor Sign Up Page

Nextdoor currently has over 125,000 neighborhoods registered in its network, which, according to Nextdoor co-founder Nirav Tolia, represents over 75% of the neighborhoods in US.

For those unfamiliar with Nextdoor, Charlie Rose recently interviewed Tolia and they discussed the history of Nextdoor and the value it offers to consumers and local business owners.

One of the biggest use cases for Nexdoor members early on was neighbors asking other neighbors for the best service provider in their area. In a New York Times article about why Nextdoor has caught on, Tolia describes why it works so well for local business owners…

Of the five million messages are exchanged each day on Nextdoor, Mr. Tolia said, “the network’s users send more than one million recommending services to one another. And around 80% of those posts are discussions about local service providers and businesses.

Nextdoor vs. Facebook