The COVID-19 global pandemic is affecting small businesses in many ways. Things are changing fast, and companies have to react and adapt quickly. Here are a few tips to help keep you productive during this downtime and start planning for the next few months.
Take Advantage of Resources
COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty and financial difficulties, but there are many resources available to you as a small business owner. Here are a few resources:
- Federal Small Business Stimulus Aid Programs
- The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act has given $8.3 billion in emergency funding to federal agencies. This act enabled the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer an SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. You. You can apply for it here.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes an SBA loan program, changes to unemployment benefits, and changes to business tax filing requirements. Learn more on the Small Business Administration's COVID-19 page.
- The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program provides a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll. The loans will be forgiven if all employees are held on the payroll for eight weeks, and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- Assistance from the SBA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has been working hard to help small businesses overcome this difficult time. The SBA offers several loans for small businesses like yours.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce created a guide that helps small business owners navigate the SBA loan application process. Additionally, you can also connect with your local Chamber of Commerce to see what programs are available to you. here
- Companies with social responsibility are also offering relief for small businesses.
- Google recently announced that they would be supporting small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers with $800+ million.
- Facebook is offering a Small Business Grants Program that is offering $100,000,000 in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.
- Amazon is offering a Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund. If your business is located in Seattle, you may be eligible for this grant. You must have fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue.
- Other Resources and Assistance
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are local offices sponsored by the SBA to help small businesses. SBDCs are offering webinars, different materials, and more. Find your local SBDC here.
- Tax Relief. Several changes in business tax regulations have been made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some changes include, eligible businesses can get employee retention tax credit, businesses, and self-employed individuals can delay their payroll tax payments. Learn more here.
Make a three-month financial plan
Many small businesses have been forced to shut down, putting a significant strain on their cash flow. To combat this, you should think about how you can control your spending for the next few months and create a solid three-month financial plan to help guide you through this tough economic situation.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- What costs are absolutely necessary?
- Where can you cut costs without making a significant negative impact?
- Where can you reallocate funds?
Upskill your staff
For the time being, you should hold off on hiring any new employees. Instead, put your efforts towards upskilling your current employees. Rather than hiring new staff, your current employees could take on new responsibilities and skills.
You and your team can take on a new skill by taking an online class or certification program. There are a variety of different online courses that can help you and your employees master some new skills. The best part is, this can be done from home.
Identify Areas of Improvement
If your business had to shut down temporarily due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, you might be left with a lot of free time. Take this as an opportunity to identify areas of improvement in your business so that you can come out of this stronger.
- Revisit your business plan.
- Build your online presence.
- Consider innovative, low-cost marketing strategies.
Prepare for the Future
Lastly, prepare ahead of time for the changes that will come from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are a few things to consider:
- What does your current business model look like? Can it withstand what's to come?
- How can you prepare for future emergencies?
- Can you use technology to offer new ways to connect with your customers?
Come Back Stronger Than Ever
With the right resources and strategy, your business can survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Beacon Funding is here with you.