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

business-owners-covid19-information-resources

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!

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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.

Is Everyone Working From Home?

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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…