I own a small business and I need help.

I own a small business and I need help getting relief, finding support and navigating this pandemic.

Step 1: Find out what government relief you are eligible for.

If you haven’t already, understand and take advantage of local and federal government relief made available to small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a comprehensive list of resources including loans and debt relief that can help your business survive and even thrive in this environment.  

  • Paycheck Protection Program – This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program.
  • EIDL Loan Advance – This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans – Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • SBA Debt Relief – The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Step 2: Apply immediately and follow the steps to maximize your chance of getting relief.

Much of the aid being offered is only available if your business applies for it, and the sooner you apply, the sooner your business will see the benefits – many of these programs are first come, first served, and funding ends when funds are gone. If your business is struggling or just looking for support, this can help you move to the next level. 

Step 3: Look into private support.

Expand your search for assistance beyond what the government is offering.  Many private and nonprofit companies are offering grants and relief funds.  Consider reaching out to customers and local business leaders to see how they can help – you might be surprised by the generosity of others. 

  • Contact your lenders and vendors to see if you can negotiate better terms during the pandemic.
  • Send an email blast out to your customers asking them to financially support you during this time with donations, online gift card purchases, or prepurchases.
  • Consider peer lending or microloans. Sites like LendingClub.com and Prosper.com allow you to borrow money directly from other people over the internet (without collateral) at rates that are typically lower than credit cards. Just note, the process may not be fast.
  • Tap family and friends for donations and/or loans. If you opt for loans, be sure to agree on the repayment terms beforehand, in writing, so there is no misunderstanding down the road.
  • Use crowdfunding sources such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or Facebook Fundraiser

Step 4: Get creative – Consider changing your business model to fit into the new normal.

Have the needs of your client base fundamentally changed because of the coronavirus? Don’t be afraid to step outside the box and look for innovative ways to serve your existing market, or even serve different markets that were not previously targeted by your business. 

Step 5: Reassess your disaster plan and prepare for the future.

One thing this pandemic has revealed is that you never know when the next unexpected event can put your business in peril. Regardless of how severely your business has been impacted, let this serve as a warning on what could happen. Take an in-depth look at your disaster plan and adjust as needed. 

© 2021 Financial Finesse, Inc.

All content is for informational purposes only and should never be considered, conveyed, or shared as legal, tax, investment, or financial advice under any circumstance.