Hi, Laela from DC with Laela’s Calligraphy Congratulations to all Top Pros for January 2020! Each wedding is special in my book and I strive to be very responsive. It is one of my better qualities. Send me a note on Instagram @laelascalligraphy #weddingcalligraphy
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On Friday, March 27 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law, creating a number of new programs to help small businesses with the impact of COVID-19. A full guide to the CARES act is attached at the bottom of this post.
Below is some helpful information from the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to determine if any of these programs are right for your business if you need:
Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees? The Paycheck Protection Program might be right for you.
A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now? You might want to look into an Emergency Economic Injury Grant.
Just some quality, free counseling to help you navigate this uncertain economic time? The resource partners can help.
Paycheck Protection Program Loans
The program will provide cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed
loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain
their payroll, the loans will be forgiven. PPP loans include forgiveness of up to eight weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year.
Who is eligible? Small businesses (with under 500 employees), individuals who operate a sole proprietorship or as an independent contractor, and eligible self-employed individuals can apply for PPP loans.
What are the loan term, interest rates, and fees? For any amounts not forgiven, the maximum term is 10 years, the maximum interest rate is 4 percent, zero loan fees, zero prepayment fee (SBA will establish application fees caps for lenders that charge).
How is the forgiveness amount calculated? Forgiveness on a covered loan is equal to the sum of the following payroll costs incurred during the covered eight week period compared to the previous year or time period, proportionate to maintaining employees and wages (excluding compensation over $100,000)
Where should I go to get a PPP loan from? All current SBA 7(a) lenders are eligible lenders for PPP. The Department of Treasury will also be in charge of authorizing new lenders, including nonbank lenders, to help meet the needs of small business owners.
Emergency Economic Injury Grant
These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) . To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on the payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments.
Who is eligible? Small businesses with less than 500 employees, sole proprietorships, with or without employees, independent contractors, cooperatives and employee-owned businesses.
Where should I go for more information? SBA resource partners are available to help guide you through the EIDL application process. You can find the nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center, or SCORE mentorship chapter at https://www.sba.gov/localassistance/find/ .
If you need a business counselor to help guide you through this uncertain time, you can turn to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center (WBC), or SCORE mentorship chapter. These resource partners, and the associations that represent them, will receive additional funds to expand their reach and better support, small business owners, with counseling and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.
To find a local resource partner, visit https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/ .
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We have your back. And one of the ways we’re showing it is by sharing the pro and customer behavior we’re seeing at a high level. Remember that your health and safety come first. Exercise caution, and always follow the latest CDC recommendations and comply with all laws and regulations applicable.
Just like you’re getting savvy in adapting, customers are as well. Our research team has been in touch with customers all over the country and here are some main learnings from what they’re hearing: when the world feels out of control, there's a lot of comfort in getting something done. Customers share the same safety concerns as pros and are still willing to make the adjustments needed to get their projects completed. Note: These findings are very early and from the week of 3/16. We’ll keep sharing with you as we learn more.
Quick takeaways for pros in categories allowing remote work:
Mention remote consultations are available on your profile and in your first message to customers.
For example, tell customers if you can give them a quote for the job (or even do the job!) with a phone call or a video call.
Use some of the findings below as ways you can explain the value of remote consultations to customers.
Remote consultations have the potential to satisfy some customer's needs.
“Oh, interesting! Why is [remote consultations not available now]?! It’s better than email. I can show someone the problem instead of describing it because I have no idea how to describe plumbing.” - Thumbtack customer
Remote consultations are particularly useful as we practice social distancing, and also a valuable service to customers under normal circumstances.
It can help the customer understand if they need to have someone over immediately, or it can wait. This brings peace of mind.
If the job can wait, it might be prudent to schedule the job when there is less of an emphasis on social distancing
You may be able to coach customers through some jobs. Some considerations for a remote consultation for this type of job:
Establish expectations with the customer upfront:
If you can coach a customer through the job, make sure the customer is comfortable paying for this service.
What’s the next step if the DIY job doesn’t go as planned?
Size and complexity of the job matters.
Does the customer have the right tools and parts?
How do these learnings compare with what you’re seeing in your day-to-day interactions with customers? What have you been hearing? How are you addressing their needs and concerns?
If you put some of these suggestions into practice, be sure to let us know how you made customized them for your business and what the results were.
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As communities take appropriate steps to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we want to share resources from the federal, state and local governments to help small businesses during these unprecedented times.
This list is a highlight of some of the programs that may be available and you should check with your governor and local officials for the latest information on assistance available in your community. Here’s the latest:
Paid Leave - Small businesses can now claim two new refundable payroll tax credits to reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing employee leave related to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find more information on details and eligibility from the IRS .
Small Business Administration Loans - The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in disaster loans and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Check the SBA website to see if your area has been declared eligible for disaster loan assistance.
Student Loans - All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest. Any borrower who has experienced a change in income can contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering their monthly payment. For more information visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus for details.
Federal Tax Deferments - The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the tax filings and payments for all federal income taxes (including self-employment tax) due on April 15, 2020, regardless of amount, will now be due on July 15, 2020. Taxpayers are not required to file any documentation to take advantage of this delay, and no interest or penalties will be assessed in connection with this extension. Some states like California and Iowa have also extended deadlines. You should check with a tax professional to determine the best course for your tax situation, and check with your state tax authority for any state-level extensions.
Health Insurance - Nine states have reopened enrollment for health insurance through their state marketplaces. If you live in California , Colorado , Connecticut , Maryland , Massachusetts , Nevada , New York , Rhode Island , and Washington and currently do not have health insurance, you may be able to purchase coverage during this period and may be eligible for subsidies to help with the cost of premiums.
California - The California State Treasurer has put together a list of state and local programs for small businesses in the state. In addition, the state is providing disaster loans of up to $1 million for small business borrowers as well as $500 to $10,000 loans for low-wealth entrepreneurs in declared disaster areas. The state’s Employment Development Department is also providing a work-sharing program for employers who need to reduce work hours, support teams for businesses planning closures or layoffs, and deadline extensions for filing payroll reports and taxes.
Florida - The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.
Illinois - The state is establishing the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term. In addition, the state is creating a Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program . This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital.
Iowa - Iowa has set up a Small Business Relief Program to provide financial assistance to small businesses and tax deferrals to Iowa businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to apply is March 31. A fund has also been created to support Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) with zero employees that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maine - The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) has created the COVID-19 Relief Business Direct Loan Program to provide FAME Direct Loans of up to $50,000 with special terms available to Maine-based businesses experiencing interruption or hardship due to COVID-19.
Maryland - Maryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.
Massachusetts - The Commonwealth has created a $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund that will provide up to $75,000 to businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are experiencing an economic injury from COVID-19. Loans are immediately available to eligible businesses with no payments due for the first six months.
Michigan - The Michigan Small Business Relief Program will provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. The funding is divided between $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce.
Minnesota - The state has established a Small Business Emergency Loan program to assist small businesses directly and adversely affected by COVID-19 and in impacted industries. Loans will be interest free and Range from $2,500 to $35,000.
New Mexico - The state Economic Development Department has created a program to assist businesses seeking emergency loans or lines of credit to deal with negative economic impacts from COVID-19. NMEDD can guarantee a portion of a loan or line of credit up to 80% of principal or $50,000. Loan proceeds are flexible and can be used for (and not limited to) the following: working capital, inventory and payroll.
Washington - Washington state has created a $5 million grant program for small businesses statewide using the Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF). The Department of Commerce is putting the finishing touches to the program’s guidelines and application.
Wisconsin - Wisconsin created the Small Business 20/20 Program to provide funds to Wisconsin-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to make grants to existing loan clients to mitigate short-term cash flow issues and protect jobs and public health in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Approved CDFIs and collaboratives will make program grants available to for-profit businesses that are current loan recipients in good standing as of 3/1/20 with the approved CDFI and/or its collaborating CDFIs. These businesses must have 20 or fewer full-time or part-time employees and greater than $0 but less than $2 million in annual revenues.
Atlanta - To ensure the viability of city businesses and to help sustain employment, Invest Atlanta has established a Business Continuity Loan Fund (BCLF) with $1.5 million of funding from the City of Atlanta. The fund will offer small businesses zero-interest loans to address a lack of working capital and cash flows as a result of reduced consumer demand, the ability to fulfill product or service orders and other economic conditions.
Birmingham AL - The City of Birmingham is allocating $1.2 million to the BhamStrong emergency relief loan fund , which is to help Birmingham businesses with 50 employees or fewer. Loans range from $10,000 to $25,000, and come with zero interest for 180 days. The deadline to apply for BhamStrong emergency relief loan for Birmingham small businesses impacted by COVID-19 is Friday, March 27 at 11:59 p.m.
Chicago - The City is establishing a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund , which will help to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans.
Denver - The city is rolling out a new small business grant program that addresses the most immediate needs of the business community. The program prioritizes those industries who are most impacted by the pandemic, such as the food industry, nail salons, barbershops, home childcare providers, and retail shops. By providing up to $7,500 in cash grants to those most vulnerable, this program is designed to assist eligible small businesses that may have had to temporarily close, have difficulty with paying their rent and utilities, or have had to lay off staff.
Hillsboro (OR) - The City has committed up to $500,000 in grants to help small businesses and entrepreneurs immediately offset some of the economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualified businesses are eligible to receive up to a $5,000 grant between March 23 and April 30, 2020. Priority will be given to those businesses that are a food and drink establishment, education or daycare facility, and businesses that are reliant on large gatherings of people, and to businesses that have 10 or fewer employees.
Los Angeles - The City of Los Angeles established a Small Business Emergency Microloan Program to provide the financing needed to strengthen small business enterprises. The loans can be used for reasonable and eligible working capital expenses.
New York City - The Department of Small Business Services says it will offer financial assistance to small businesses in the form of loans and grants. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months (an average of $6,000) to help retain employees. Eligible small businesses who would like to learn more about these programs should call 311 for assistance.
Philadelphia - The Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund offers grants or zero-interest loans to Philadelphia small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sacramento - The City of Sacramento has established a $1 million economic relief fund for businesses affected by COVID-19. The fund will provide zero-percent interest loans of up to $25,000 per business.
Salt Lake City - The city has an Emergency Loan Program that provides zero-interest loans up to $20,000 for small businesses. The program provides financial relief to small businesses that will most likely see a downturn in business due to an unforeseen emergency.The program is intended to help businesses keep their employees and stay afloat during a time of economic hardship. It is meant to bridge the gap for what may be a shortened financial hardship period.
San Diego - The City of San Diego has established a Small Business Relief Fund (SBRF) to provide grants and forgivable or low- to zero-interest-rate loans to eligible small businesses for working capital. The goal of the SBRF is to help businesses retain employees and sustain continuity of business operations impacted by federal, California, San Diego County and local emergency declarations regarding COVID-19. Approximately $6.1 million is available in the SBRF, which is being administered by the City of San Diego Economic Development Department.
San Francisco - The city has created a Small Business Resiliency Fund allowing small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 for employee salaries and rent. The city is also allowing businesses to defer taxes and fees in some circumstances.
Seattle - The city is committing approximately $1.5 million in one-time Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the Small Business Stabilization Fund , an emergency fund that provides working capital grants in amounts up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses. The business owner must have a low- or moderate-income, five employees or less, and a physical location in Seattle to quality.
Syracuse - The Syracuse Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) has created a dedicated $500,000 fund to provide zero-percent interest, 180-day emergency loans to small businesses in the city. Up to $25,000 loans per business, average loan size is anticipated to be around $10,000.
Washington DC - The DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Program will offer grants to small, local businesses, individual contractors, self-employed individuals, and nonprofits to meet their short-term financial needs. The grant can cover employee wages and benefits (including fringe benefits associated with employment, such as health insurance), accounts payable, fixed costs, inventory, rent, and utilities.
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As you navigate changes to your business from the COVID-19 situation, one resource to consider is your financial institution. Many banks and lenders are waiving fees, allowing borrowers to defer payments, and offering counseling during this time. Below are some resources from financial institutions on what they are doing for their customers.
Bank of America
Fifth Third Bank
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The city is committing approximately $1.5 million in one-time Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the Small Business Stabilization Fund , an emergency fund that provides working capital grants in amounts up to $10,000 to qualifying small businesses. The business owner must have a low- or moderate-income, five employees or less, and a physical location in Seattle to quality.
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The city is rolling out a new small business grant program that addresses the most immediate needs of the business community. The program prioritizes those industries who are most impacted by the pandemic, such as the food industry, nail salons, barbershops, home childcare providers, and retail shops. By providing up to $7,500 in cash grants to those most vulnerable, this program is designed to assist eligible small businesses that may have had to temporarily close, have difficulty with paying their rent and utilities, or have had to lay off staff.
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