Navigating the Pandemic

Navigating the Pandemic:

Two Things You Can Do to Salvage and Prepare

To Re-Open Your Business

Health institutions and federally issued guidelines and state mandated restrictions have hundreds of millions of people taking refuge from the coronavirus outbreak while small and large businesses throughout the world are more than a little concerned about their post-pandemic futures.

“Stay at home” restrictions place additional obstacles between more desperate consumers and the businesses that produce or broker and sell their products. Unless you own an essential business, like healthcare providers, supermarkets and pharmacies, then your business may have quickly ground to a halt and suffered a massive reduction in personnel.

Non-essential businesses are basically anything beyond restaurants that can sell their meals on the sidewalk to distance-enforced queue-lines and drive up windows or home delivery are being forced to temporarily close their doors to customers].

Although open, even essential businesses are doing whatever they can to continue to produce and deliver, while addressing real production, supply and personnel issues.

Brick and mortar commercial buildings and restaurants are more or less vacant except for their security, IT and maintenance staff. Call centers are left unmanned and the unemployment rates are now reaching unimaginable levels.

Federal governments are doing their part to financially support both its citizens and the businesses that supply them in order to keep its citizens fed and sheltered, while it also works to prepare and salvage what it can of their economy. Many countries are attempting to rally and utilize their coffers as best they can.

The race to mitigate, fully treat and finally eliminate this pandemic is on and there are hopeful signs that these extreme efforts are having an impact.

So, where will this leave small and large businesses?

There are a number of things that businesses can do to protect their businesses and prepare for what can be called a business “re-opening” once the country gains actual control over the spread of infection, “flattens the curve” and begins to re-open the economy and citizens are allowed back into the workforce. But the key factor will be how a business can even hope to have employee readiness once they reopen their doors?

The Federal Government has dedicated $350 billion to make small business loans as part of the $2 trillion coronavirus support package it passed in March. The effort, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, is intended to encourage banks to lend to companies that agree to keep workers on the payroll. Most — and in some cases, all — of a loan would be forgiven if the borrower retained its workers and didn’t cut their wages. The government would repay lenders for the forgiven portions of the loans.

Companies with 500 or fewer employees can apply, on a first-come-first-serve basis, and banks will give them the short-term funding they need to keep workers on the books and cover expenses as coronavirus quarantines dramatically slow, or entirely stop, their cash flow.

FIRST: If necessary, immediately review and consider taking advantage of the available funding resources (below) to keep your business alive and your employees payroll covered.

Keep your business alive and take care of your “work at home” AND furloughed workforce.

Apply for and receive the available funds to small and big businesses from the government. The following links are provided from the Small Business Administration and the Federal Reserve to address significant issues concerning the business’s financial needs as well as their employees whether furloughed or sent to work from home.

Here are links to the Federal Government and Federal Reserve Bank business resources: 

The Paycheck Protection Program (click to apply)

This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (click to apply)

This $10,000 loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

Note: This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application.

 The Small Business Administration’s Express Bridge Loans (click to apply)

The Express Bridge Loan program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

The Small Business Administration’s Debt Relief (click to apply)

The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of SBA's debt relief efforts, For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.

  • The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
  • The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. 

Additionally, businesses can get $500 to $5.5 million to fund your business. Contact your current bank for additional information.

Loans guaranteed by the SBA range from small to large and can be used for most business purposes, including long-term fixed assets and operating capital.

Note: Some loan programs set restrictions on how you can use the funds, so check with an SBA-approved lender when requesting a loan. Your lender can match you with the right loan for your business needs.

SECOND: Get into communication with your existing customers. They are part of your business “family.” Treat them that way and find out how they are doing and what you can do to help them – Now!

The entire world is undergoing a worrisome, distressing time. Find clever, but honest and sincere ways to communicate with your existing customers and clients. Use print articles that will reach them, ads, social media promotions and text or email channels.

What you do to help and reassure your existing customer or client base, will say more about you and your business than anything else you could possibly do at this time.

  • And make sure your customers know how you are caring for your work at home or furloughed employees.
  • Offer value added services or discounts that you can now or in the near future provide them to ensure that they get up and running quickly also.

Copyright © 2020, Consumer Market Solutions.


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