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


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:


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.


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 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.

Why is it Hard to Prepare?

This is a guest post from Mark Miller the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.

I was standing in the back of the room listening to my introduction, hoping the person would say something I could comment on when I took the stage. The room was full – hundreds of people. They had come to hear me speak. They wondered what I would say. So, did I… I was not prepared.

Image Hard to Prepare

I hope this has never happened to you as a leader. Take my word for it; to stand and speak in front of a group, large or small, ill prepared is not my idea of fun. Now, I’m okay with making spontaneous remarks as needed – that’s VERY different than a keynote presentation, or workshop setting in which success really does hang in the balance if you’re not prepared.

The 5 “F’s” – Friends

          FAMILY                              FINANCES      


FITNESS                           FRIENDS 


Like family, Friends play a significant role and are a key factor in the 5 F’s, and there is no doubt what influence friends will have as I move into my Next 25. In two of my previous posts The Next 25 and part one of the 5 F’s – Family there are five elements to living my life differently now based on the life lessons learned.

Bob Balestri © istockphoto

 As I glance in my rear-view mirror covering my First 25 years since college, I see a guy who was blessed with great friends, some where the friendships go back over 3 decades. But I also see times where had I not been too proud to ask, advice would have been given which would have or could have influenced decisions and moved me in a different direction. Also see time when my conscious led me to seek advice, yet my ego led me to those whose advice mirrored what I wanted to hear and not what I needed to be told.

One glaring area was when I was at career crossroads and opened my company The Auto Source. While most assumed my motivation was to finally have my own business, something which had been a life-long ambition, had I solicited input from a few friends who already owned businesses I might have delayed or re-thought the real motivation for opening it at that time. Truth be told, after the company I ran was sold and the staff of 60+ people I had assembled was left with no say in our/my future, opening my company was my way of never letting that happen again. Even with a good business plan, faulty motivation and misguided mission will derail most businesses.

“your windshield is bigger than your rear-view mirror for a reason”

Jim Jurica © istockphoto

Moving forward into my Next 25, my focus will emphasize listening to and acting on the advice I’m given, solicited and unsolicited. Key friends have been assembled to form my circle of influence, or as Buckhead Churchcampus Pastor Jeff Henderson calls it, a personal advisory board. His thinking for his life is that if Coca Cola, Delta, and Home Depot think highly enough to utilize a board of advisers to influence and direct the course of their businesses, wouldn’t it be prudent and wise for an individual to do that as well. 

So in the midst of my transition into the Next 25 years since college, my circle of influence is in place and they have been given permission to speak into my life. They know my faults and weaknesses, my strengths and gifts, and have permission to speak into the times where and when they see faults and weaknesses manifesting themselves in my decision making process and when gifts are not being applied.

“Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.”

Proverbs 11:14

Ultimately, we all have a choice of who and what has influence in our lives; but for me, glances into my rear view mirror of what a lack of influence cost me combined with this Bible verse has set the course for my Next 25 Years.

I highly suggest listening to Jeff’s message, A Word From The Coach, on the power of a personal advisor board especially if you happen to be questioning your purpose in life and or what should you do with your life from this point forward. If you answered yes to either question or if something resonated from what you’ve read here at Leveraging Life, I can’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year than making the time to listen to the entire Game Plan so Your game plan will be in place for 2011!

Next up is Finances and the role it plays in the 5F’s.


trusting God period

If you are not doing so already, you might want to subscribe to Leveraging Life. (It’s free.) That way when I update you’ll be notified via email.


Catalyst Conference


On Friday I feature a website or a blog that for me has become a favorite. It maybe a favorite resource, a source of inspiration, or just some distraction I frequent. Give the Friday Favorite a look, read, or listen, and please share your favorites in the comment section; who knows maybe it will be the next Friday Favorite.

Since inception, over 90,000 leaders have made the annual trek to Atlanta to participate in the Catalyst Conference experience, and this October, once again over 12,000 leaders will gather to experience Catalyst up close.

While I know not everyone can take the time off from work to attend the conference, the Catalyst team generously makes a great deal of their content available for free to those with a visit to the Catalyst website podcast section. So if you lead an organization or aspire to a leadership position in any organization you need to be visiting Catalyst each month.

One quick scan of their podcast page lists includes the likes of Rick Warren, Tony Dungy, Seth Godin ,Malcom GladwellJohn Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Craig Groeschel, Erwin McManus, and many more.

For those who desire to lead effectively and leverage their gift of leadership I can think of no better resource available to address such a broad variety of topics like organizational leadership, personal leadership, integrity, character, relationships, and teamwork; all in the midst of such a fun and creative environment.

After you have a chance to check out some of the podcasts, leave your comments, leadership takeaways, and a recommendation of which podcasts really meant the most to you.


trusting God period!!

Programming Note: Be on the look out for part one of a series of posts called Life Lessons-where the focus revolves around how I’m leveraging my faith in the midst of cancer.

Did you know there is a way to receive Leveraging Life | Now updates via email? All you have to do is click here to subscribe. (It’s free)

Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast


Most Fridays you will find a something posted here which is a favorite of mine or something recommended by a contributor to the Leveraging Life community. It’s the type of site you go back to over and over because it’s become a resource, a place you find inspiration, or just someplace you enjoy what they serve up. Give the Friday Favorite a look, read, or listen, and I hope you’ll share a few of your favorites for the rest of us as well…and who knows maybe your favorite will show up as a future Friday Favorite.


The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast  (also can be download on iTunes)

Obviously I’m biased as Andy Stanley leads North Point Community Church and I attend North Point’s Buckhead Church Campus in Atlanta. Anyone who is part of  or is leading any type of organization regardless industry can benefit from the wisdom Andy shares each month on his podcast; “a conversation designed to help leaders grow further faster.” 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of content, just dive in where you have an interest in a topic. Or if you want my recommendation can start with: Listening, Learning, and Leading. You will find so much useful information that will be of value now and in the future.

  • What and who you listen to will determine what your do.
  • Leaders are attracted to environments where their opinions are heard.
  • Leaders who refuse to listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing important to say.
  • You’re probably not the smartest person in the organization you are just the leader. 

Those were a few of my takeaways from Andy’s most recent podcast, Listening-Learning-Leading, please share what you found noteworthy in the comment section below.


trusting God period!

Did you know there is a way to receive Leveraging Life | Now updates via email? All you have to do is click here to subscribe. (It’s free)