coronavirus

SBA Loan Programs: At press time funding for the SBA PPP loans and EIDL loans created because of the coronavirus have been exhausted. While small business owners wait to see when (or if) the funds get replenished, new companies became eligible to offer the loans. Keep this handy for future reference.

 

Fundbox

While you wait to see what happens with the PPP and EIDL loan programs, check out this guide to small business funding that highlights other funding resources you may be able to tap into now.

While you wait: Fundbox. The company can also help connect you with an SBA lender.

 

QuickBooks Capital

QuickBooks Capital was one of the first fintechs approved as a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender. As a direct lender, Intuit says, “QuickBooks Capital is able to simplify, automate and expedite the PPP application and funding process. QuickBooks Capital can assist applicants in determining eligibility and automating much of the application process. QuickBooks Capital can then facilitate the federal relief application process and, in coordination with the Small Business Association, disburse PPP funds, allowing quicker access to relief.”

 

Also approved to participate in the PPP.

PayPal: While you wait: PayPal.

Square: While you wait: Square.

 

Polls & Surveys

SBA Loan Status & Sentiment

The most recent Alignable.com Pulse Poll conducted last weekend indicates about 5% of business have been approved for CARES Act relief and 1% had already received the money.  Among the business owners surveyed (over 42,000) who had applied, around 68% were waiting to hear back.

Of those who hadn’t yet applied, almost 42% weren’t sure if they’d qualify for the loans and more than 18% weren’t sure they could trust that their loans will be forgiven.

 

Workforce Trends

Gusto’s report on workforce trends for March was eye-opening. Read more on CNBC .

Key Report Findings

  • Small businesses have been forced to implement multiple strategies beyond layoffs to reduce headcount costs in order to make it through the first shockwave of sheltering in place and stay-at-home orders. Gusto data shows a 50% increase in the number of employees experiencing a significant reduction in hours worked for March ’20 compared to the year prior, and a 25% increase in employees experiencing furloughs. Reduction in hours worked and furloughs both led to substantial decreases in earned wages for the month.
  • Nearly every small business category has experienced higher levels of layoffs in the month of March ‘20. The effects go beyond sectors that require foot traffic such as Food and Beverage. Businesses that are less dependent on foot traffic, including those in Manufacturing, Wholesale, Communications, and Education, all experienced headcount reductions of 3%.
  • Geographically, workforces in states with both big and small populations have experienced serious declines in a short-period of time. For example: Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, and New Mexico, which are among the least populous states, rank among the biggest percentage increases in layoffs in March ’20.

 

Disrupted Habits

Has working at home caused disruption in your normal routine? Advanced Dermatology recently surveyed people working from home due to the coronavirus to find out.

Key findings

  • 54% of those surveyed say they’re worried about potential weight gain while working remotely. Why?
  • They’re less physically active (44%)
  • Have easier access to food (37%)
  • Eating more to cope with anxiety (19%)
  • 20% admit they brush their teeth less than normal, while 33% say they’re showering and doing laundry less often.
  • 61% say they’re doing their hair less
  • Just 19% regularly wear makeup
  • 91% say they dress more casually working from home. But 50% say they dress up for video calls and 46% put on makeup on for video calls.

For more info, take a look at the full report.

 

Small Businesses are Worried

A new survey by Next Insurance reveals 89% of small businesses expect to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic—and 59% have already experienced losses.

Additional findings

  • Only 34% of small businesses believe they are adequately prepared for this crisis
  • 41% of small businesses have already started cutting expenses
  • 26% have already put their business completely on hold

Check out the full survey here.

 

Get Informed—Webinars

SAP Concur
When: Thursday, April 23 3 PM ET/ Noon PT
What: Financial Data Analysis
Who: Scott Duffy and Gene Marks will discuss how businesses can use their own financial data to help ride out the economic downturn. They will share how businesses can use the financial data that exists in their account systems today to:

  • Analyze spend
  • Develop strategies for cost savings
  • Optimize cash flow

There’ll also be a live Q&A so you can ask the questions that are most important to your business. Register now.

You can learn more and share your views.

Comply Right
When: Wednesday, April 22, 2 PM ET/11 AM PT
What: COVID-19 and the Workplace: How to Comply with Rapidly Changing Legislation
Who: Jaime Lizotte, HR & Tax Compliance Solutions Manager

Pursuit Lending
When: Wednesday, April 22, 2-2:30 PM ET  
What: Business Recovery: Digital Marketing Strategies to Try Now
Who: Erin Sendor, Digital Marketing Associate

Small Business Town Hall
When: Every Friday
What: CO— (from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and Inc. Magazine host the weekly Small Business Town Hall Series. Chamber experts guide viewers through the latest info for small businesses and respond directly to questions.
When: Every Wednesday
What: CO— hosts a “Workshop Wednesday” virtual event focusing on a single topic related to the coronavirus and its impact on small businesses.

 

Get Informed—Resources

 

Yahoo Small Business
COVID-19 Small Business Resource Center

Yahoo Small Business has created a COVID-19 Resource Center, a compilation of information to help the small business sector handle challenges resulting from the pandemic. The COVID-19 Small Business Resource Guide is updated daily with resources from government, non-profit and private companies to support small businesses during this crisis.

Gusto
COVID-19 Small Business Resource Hub

The COVID-19 resource hub from Gusto features state-by-state breakdowns of where to go and what to do. Their resource library is updated daily.

PayPal

The Education Hub from PayPal is a new resource for those impacted by COVID-19. It offers h helpful tips on how to navigate through these challenging times. The Hub also houses informative content around topics concerning today’s consumers, from staying safe online to quickly making digital payments to supporting causes they care about.

PayPal is waiving their fees at this time.

 

Help for Hispanic Entrepreneurs

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises just launched Nuestros Negocios (Our Businesses), a nationwide campaign under the umbrella of Telemundo’s award-winning corporate social responsibility platform “El Poder En Ti” (The Power in You). Launched in partnership with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the multiplatform campaign will tap into Telemundo’s network, local stations, digital and social platforms to spotlight small and medium-sized Hispanic-owned businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and promote their services to help them sustain their businesses through these challenging times. Hispanic-owned businesses are growing twice as fast as any other businesses in the country.

“One in every four small businesses in the U.S. is Hispanic-owned and 75% of new businesses in the U.S are created by Hispanics. During these challenging times, it is critical that we help them overcome this unprecedented crisis,” says Cesar Conde, Chairman, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises and NBCUniversal International Group.

“Nuestros Negocios” will offer:

Weekly #NuestrosNegocios Segments: The network, local stations, digital and social platforms will spotlight small and medium-sized Hispanic-owned businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and help them promote their services in order for them to remain in business.

Dedicated Online Resources : In partnership with USHCC, the network will provide resources and guidelines to businesses in the language of their choice, as well as tips on how to navigate the Small Business Debt Relief Program—the CARES Act.

All this information and resources to guide business owners and the overall Hispanic community through the latest government assistance loans, will live on the Telemundo.com/nuestrosnegocios website.

Bi-weekly Online/Social “Charlas”: Online social media forums with business experts such as businessman and television personality Marcus Lemonis from CNBC’s The Profit.  Playbacks of the forums will be made available across Telemundo’s platforms for continued access in both English and Spanish.

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Coronavirus Small Business Resources Hub

Hosted on CO—, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s digital platform for small businesses, the Coronavirus Small Business Resources Hub features step-by-step guides, infographics, advice, and resources to help small business owners access financial relief and navigate disruption.

The Chamber also is partnering with its network of more than 1,500 associations and local and state chambers of commerce across America to offer small business webinars and virtual Q&A sessions. Similarly, the Chamber is partnering with larger companies nationwide to offer webinars to those corporations’ small business suppliers and customers.

Pursuit Lending

Check out Pursuit’s Small Business Recovery Kit

Fiverr

Fiverr just launched a SMBhelp site that offers help, tips and best practices.

 

Programs

Get Online—for Free!

Yahoo Small Business is offering a free Get Online program to support small businesses navigating the coronavirus pandemic. The new program includes a free package of services providing small businesses with a digital presence, website, multiple emails, and expert advice to help them stay in contact with customers and remain flexible.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the small business sector is devastating,” says Kushagra Shrivastava, Managing Director of Yahoo Small Business. “We’re standing with small business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s our hope this initiative will enable a significant number of small businesses to move online and stay in touch with their customers without having to worry about the cost.”

The Business Maker Get Online package includes:

  • Domain name registration (com)
  • Professional, custom branded email with five addresses
  • Website builder package with design tools and templates to quickly publish a professional website
  • Business plan creator to help entrepreneurs and small business owners plan next steps and help with documentation needed for relief initiatives
  • A Localworks Scan to see how a business appears online in 70 directories to help SMBs make updates to keep customers up to speed with changes to services
  • 10 GB storage and unlimited bandwidth to avoid running out of digital space
  • Consultation time from a small business expert
  • Support representatives available 24/7

 

Save Small Business

The Save Small Business Initiative — a nationwide program to address small businesses’ immediate needs, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery was launched by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Save Small Business Initiative features a four-part campaign including financial aid, resources and guidance, advocacy, and polling, as well as a call to action for the larger business community and government to help small businesses

A recent poll conducted by the Chamber and MetLife found 54% of small businesses have closed at least temporarily or will close in the next two weeks. And 24% are two months or less away from permanently closing.

The Chamber is calling on business leaders and large corporations “to marshal available resources, talent, and unique capabilities to help small businesses in any way they can.”

The Chamber is also asking federal, state, and local governments to consider additional mechanisms to support small businesses, including accelerating payment schedules for small business vendors, suppliers, and other contractors.

The four-part campaign includes Advocacy, Resources (see Resources section above) and:

Supplemental Financial Assistance: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Vistaprint launched the Save Small Business Fund, which will provide $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities.

Research: As part of the campaign, the Chamber and its longstanding Small Business Index partner MetLife have transformed their quarterly survey into a new Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll. The online survey provides insights on the pace of recovery; which small businesses need the most support; and what type of relief is needed. Check out the results of the first poll.

 

Read This!

From Bank of America

 

From Poster Guard & HRdirect

How Does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Affect Employers?

 

From SCORE

8 Tips for Working from Home Effectively

 

From Loren Feldman, 21 Hats

5 small business owners talk about survival

 

There’s a lot of information about the SBA loan programs and your business entity on the CorpNet blog.

 

Advice

Tips for Small Business Owners— Where Do We Grow From Here? 
By Robert Herjavec, founder and CEO of Herjavec Group and a leading Shark on Shark Tank
Courtesy: UPS Store

Limit Your Panic Time: The problem with fear is that it paralyzes you. The last thing you should do in times of crisis is stop moving forward. No one can control the media or the pandemic, but we can all control our reaction to it. Limiting the time we allow ourselves to panic will keep us focused on what’s ahead.

Focus on the Critically Urgent: Ask yourself where you need to put your energy first and narrow the focus to only the critically urgent. Is it payroll? Is it rent? Those are the questions each entrepreneur should be asking.

Cash Preservation: Cash preservation must be a top priority. Check your cash reserves, ask yourself what bills you can defer and consider selling some assets. Figure out how much cash you have and how long you can last with that amount. Consider applying to the coronavirus stimulus package for assistance, as well.

Customers Remain a Top Priority

  • Although times are tough, now is not the time to raise prices. Customers have a very long memory and the way you treat people now is how they’re going to remember you when this is over. Take care of your existing customers because they’ll take care of you.
  • Just because people aren’t walking in your door or reaching out proactively doesn’t mean you won’t be on their radar when this is over. Make sure your customers don’t forget about you. Rather than reaching out to sell something, reach out to your customer base to connect. Reach out to five people every day just to say you’re there and ask how you can help. Encourage your employees who don’t normally have direct contact with customers to reach out as well. Voice is more important than email right now, so a few calls a day can go a long way.

Maintain a Routine: As Barbara Corcoran says, the difference between successful people and others is not that they don’t feel pain or feel sorry for themselves, it’s how long they allow themselves to live in that state. Develop a new work routine to maintain discipline. Find things that make your day a little more enjoyable like opening the blinds in your office or lighting your favorite candle. When you start your workday, make it feel like you’re physically leaving by saying bye to your family and moving to a different area in your home. Don’t hide away for eight hours but break your day down into smaller increments with two hours of work here and there paired with breaks.

“Greater Than Me”:  When you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, remember that this is greater than yourself. As a business owner, your number one responsibility during these times is survival and making decisions quickly. Be transparent with your employees. People crave certainty, so if you have to make hard decisions, make them sooner rather than later.

The UPS Store and Inc. Magazine recently released a podcast. Listen to Robert’s advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners as they fight for survival during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

From PayPal

Protect yourself from scams

  • In times of unrest and uncertainty, people will try to take advantage of these vulnerabilities, so it’s important to stay vigilant and protect yourself from phishing scams that attempt to secure your personal information by posing as a legitimate institution by phone, email or text message.
  • Look out for fake communications that convey a sense of urgency or ask you for your personal information. Call the company’s customer service line directly to discuss any notifications on your account.
  • Don’t open unknown attachments or click links that take you to a fake website – you can check for false links by hovering your mouse over the URL to ensure it will take you to the company’s legitimate website before you click.
  • You should also make sure to create passwords with a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and avoid using the same password for all of your online accounts.

Sending and receiving money with peace of mind

  • There are a number of ways to send and request money out there, and it’s important to identify trusted and reliable platforms that will get your money to the people important to you quickly and securely.
  • PayPal’s send and request money feature allows you to seamlessly send and request money between friends and family.
  • An account with PayPal is required to send and receive money, so if the recipient doesn’t have one, they can sign up for free.

Donate to relief efforts 

  • As the COVID-19 situation has escalated around the world, we have seen people from every corner of the globe step up to help out people in need in whatever way they can.
  • Keep an eye out for fundraisers run by dishonest parties claiming to be raising money for people in need, often presenting themselves as legitimate organizations raising money for charity.
  • If you’re looking for ways to support COVID-19 relief efforts, PayPal has launched a fundraising campaign featuring trusted organizations educating the public and assisting with recovery. You can help them make an even greater impact by donating in the PayPal app today.

Coronavirus stock photo by Alexander Kirch/Shutterstock