Written by: Brian Smith & Mary Smith
Buckle up business owners and employees, the financial roller coaster ride is only going to create more anxiety. Our firm has over 1,300 clients, and to date we have seen about 200 receive PPP funds and another 50+ receive EIDL funds. With an overwhelming amount of small businesses applying for funding, obtaining those funds will be like winning the lottery. Based on our last blog, the current approval rating is 2.5 percent and even with the added 500 billion just approved, that percentage will likely not change much.
Now more than ever small businesses need support from owners, employees, and their communities. Our team has compiled some of our favorite sources, as well as our own tips, for supporting small business. We have broken up this blog based on role, providing tips for small business owners, employees, and their community.
Owners need to slow down and methodically analyze their finances and how they are spending their money. If cash is available, you must prioritize and allocate those funds the best way you can. The longer this COVID-19 crisis continues, the more challenging the recovery will be. (As my son would say, “No duh.”)
Try to take advantage of any program that offers direct help. Unemployment may not offer the amount needed to pay your bills, but it will offer you an opportunity to move in the right direction. If you’re still bringing in a paycheck, consider your expenses and taking a pay cut to open up extra cash flow.
Divide your resources and allocate them appropriately. If you have the option to make smaller payments, partial payments, or even pause payments on bills or loans, do so. If your company can still provide services at a lower rate or can offer the ability to pay in increments, do so. Review unnecessary expenses, such as subscriptions, and cease them immediately. Analyze where and if there are areas where you can save money.
Last, have open communication with your employees about the status of your company. Take a page from Gravity CEO Dan Price’s book. He had open communication with his employees and all of them pitched in to help keep the business afloat and to avoid layoffs for the foreseeable future. If your employees care about the business they work for and their fellow employees, they may consider taking this necessary step too.
One of the best tips we have is if you work for a company that cannot afford pay you today due to COVID-19, consider taking the unemployment and still helping your employer. No, you cannot be paid by both entities, however it does ensure that you might have a job to come back to in the future. It also offers a tremendous amount of help to your employer. By donating your time as a volunteer, you keep the company you work for running while waiting for things to return to normal. Plus, it could give you a sense of purpose.
There are several credible articles detailing what individuals can do for their local small businesses, our favorites are below. Some of them are obvious, like buying gift cards or ordering food from a local restaurant, while others are quite creative, like skipping your refund or buying services in advance. Additionally, if you’re looking to help your community in a way that doesn’t cost money, consider sending a kind note of encouragement to your favorite businesses. It can be as simple as an email to make someone’s day.
The biggest thing we want you to remember is that you are not alone in this struggle. The more we can work together to overcome these unprecedented challenges, the sooner we can overcome the obstacles facing capitalism, individualism, and freedom. Bottom line: Small businesses need to stick together.
Socialism is not the answer and the lack of SBA funds will surely prove that our government cannot protect us from unforeseen financial disasters. The lack of SBA funds can only serve to give false hope and inspire us to come together in spite of our governments arrogant, self-serving managers trying to convince us otherwise. We can, and will, overcome. This is our time to shine and be a positive influence now and on future generations.