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It’s a scary and unsettling time.  It’s understandable that you are going to panic. In the coming weeks, we are going to use the time we have to help our members get better at running their practices and that starts right here.  This page will serve as a resource page for products and services available to our clients to help see them through this very difficult time.

Package Highlights

Coronavirus Stimulus Package

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $377 billion to help small businesses.  This is the third aid package from Congress and is meant to keep businesses and individuals afloat during an unprecedented freeze on the majority of American life.

The main features for small businesses are emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. There are also changes to rules for expenses and deductions meant to make it easier for companies to keep employees on the payroll and stay open in the near-term.

FAQ

Q.  What Are the two loans I can apply for?

A.  Economic Disaster Injury Loan (the EIDL grant application is completed as a part of this loan application.  And the Paycheck Protection Program

Q.  Can I apply for both?

A.  Yes, you can.  However, you cannot use the money to pay for the same cost centers.

Q.  Do I have to repay the $10,000 grant?

A.  No, this grant will not need to be paid even if the application is denied.

Q.  How do I apply for the EIDL Loan/Grant?

A.  SBA EIDL Loan/Grant Application

Q. What if I already have an SBA 7(a) loan?

A. COVID-19 legislation requires the SBA to pay the principal, interest and any associated fees that are owed on the covered loans for a six-month period starting on the next payment due.  Loans that are already on deferment will receive six months of payment by the SBA beginning with the first payment after the deferral period.  Loans made up until six months after enactment will also receive a full 6 months of loan payments by the SBA.

Q.  I have independent contractors that I pay.  Do I count their income as part of my payroll or do they count it?

A. This is currently being debated.  It is possible that the corporation paying the 1099’s can count them toward payroll.

 

AM I ELIGIBLE?

You are eligible if you are:

  • A small business with fewer than 500 employees

  • A small business that otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard

  • A 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees

  • An individual who operates as a sole proprietor

  • An individual who operates as an independent contractor

  • An individual who is self-employed who regularly carries on any trade or business

  • A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard

  • A 501(c)(19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard

    In addition, some special rules may make you eligible:

  • If you are in the accommodation and food services sector (NAICS 72), the 500-employee rule is applied on a per physical location basis

  • If you are operating as a franchise or receive financial assistance from an approved Small Business Investment Company the normal affiliation rules do not apply

    REMEMBER: The 500-employee threshold includes all employees: full-time, part-time, and any other status.

HOW MUCH CAN I BORROW?

This information pertains to the Paycheck Protection Program, not the EIDL. Loans can be up to 2.5 x the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million.

  1. For Employers: The sum of payments of any compensation with respect to employees that is a:• salary, wage, commission, or similar compensation;
    • payment of cash tip or equivalent;
    • payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave
    • allowance for dismissal or separation
    • payment required for the provisions of group health care benefits, 
    including insurance premiums
    • payment of any retirement benefit
    • payment of state or local tax assessed on the compensation 
    of the employee
  2. For Sole Proprietors, Independent Contractors, and Self-Employed Individuals: The sum of payments of any compensation to or income of a sole proprietor or independent contractor that is a wage, commission, income, net earnings from self-employment, or similar compensation and that is in an amount that is not more than $100,000 in one year, as pro-rated for the covered period.

EXCLUDED Payroll Cost:

  1. Compensation of an individual employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000, as prorated for the period February 15, to June 30, 2020
  2. Payroll taxes, railroad retirement taxes, and income taxes
  3. Any compensation of an employee whose principal place of residence is outside of the United States
  4. Qualified sick leave wages for which a credit is allowed under section 7001 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Public Law 116– 5 127); or qualified family leave wages for which a credit is allowed under section 7003 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
WILL THIS LOAN BE FORGIVEN?
A borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness for the Paycheck Protection Program Loan equal to the amount the borrower spent on the following items during the 8-week period beginning on the date of the origination of the loan:
  • Payroll costs
    What counts as payroll costs? Payroll costs include:
    • Salary, wages, commissions, or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee)
    • Employee benefits including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payments required for the provisions of group health care benefits including insurance premiums; and payment of any retirement benefit
    • State and local taxes assessed on compensation
    • For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
  • Interest on the mortgage obligation incurred in the ordinary course of business
  • Rent on a leasing agreement
  • Payments on utilities (electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet)
  • For borrowers with tipped employees, additional wages paid to those employees
  • Loan forgiveness cannot exceed the principal. 

How could forgiveness be reduced?

You will owe money when your loan is due if you use the loan amount for anything other than payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities payments over the 8 weeks after getting the loan. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.

You will also owe money if you do not maintain your staff and payroll.

Number of Staff: Your loan forgiveness will be reduced if you decrease your full-time employee headcount.

Level of Payroll: Your loan forgiveness will also be reduced if you decrease salaries and wages by more than 25% for any employee that made less than $100,000 annualized in 2019.

Re-Hiring: You have until June 30, 2020 to restore your full-time employment and salary levels for any changes made between February 15, 2020 and April 26, 2020.

 

UPDATES TO THE PPP PROGRAM INCLUDING LOAN FORGIVENESS

Terms & Guidelines Revised by the US Department of the Treasury.

Old:   Annual Percentage Rate 4.0%
Old:   Annual Percentage Rate 0.5% (3/31/20)
New:   Annual Percentage Rate 1.0%

Old:     Term: 10 Years
New:   Term: 2 Years

Old:     Deferral Period 6-12 months
New:   Deferral Period: 6 months

Old:     Forgiveness: Proceeds used on mortgage, rent, utilities & payroll are forgivable.
New:   Forgiveness: You will owe money when your loan is due if you use the loan amount for anything other than payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities payments over the 8 weeks after getting the loan. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. You will also owe money if you do not maintain your staff and payroll.

LOAN FORGIVENESS

The SBA has released a new version of the PPP Loan Forgiveness application.  It can be found here.

 

Forgivable loans: The Paycheck Protection Program. $349 billion has been allocated for the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10 million per business. Any portion of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books or pay for rent, mortgage, and existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June.

These loans will only be delivered through SBA’s approved lending partners. All current SBA 7(a) lenders are eligible lenders for PPP. SBA has a free referral service tool called Lender Match to help find a lender near you.

The Paycheck Protection Loan Program, at a price tag of $349 billion, covers the period February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020 and greatly expands SBA loan eligibility.  The loan program will allow businesses suffering due to the coronavirus outbreak to borrow money for a variety of qualified costs related to employee compensation and benefits, including (i) payroll costs, (ii) continuation of health care benefits, (iii) employee compensation (of those making less than $100K), (iv) mortgage interest obligations, (v) rent, (vi) utilities and (vii) interest on debt incurred before the covered period.

This application will be made through approved lenders.  Do not confuse this with applying for a Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan. That application is available online and can be confusing.

Emergency grants: The bill provides $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 to provide emergency funds for small businesses to cover immediate operating costs.  The money is given when you apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) regardless of the status of the application.  The SBA will not require this money to be repaid.  However, if the loan is approved, this money will be deducted from the approved loan amount.

Relief for existing loans: There is $17 billion to cover six months of payments for small businesses already using SBA loans. (7a loans)

There is some confusion as to whether by applying for the PPP you are unable to receive grants or loans from other sources.  If you receive an EIDL Loan you can’t receive over $350,000 in additional credit from other sources, nor can you apply for the PPP and the EIDL Loan and use them for the same cost centers.

Always Welcome Information

Grants

Loans might be necessary but grants are even better.

FACEBOOK SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS

We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.  Click here for more information

HELLO ALICE SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS

This collective movement, powered by Hello Alice in partnership with Verizon, is bringing together small business owners, enterprise partners, entrepreneur organizations, policymakers, and individual consumers who are committed to lifting up small business.  Click here for more information.

VERIZON SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY GRANTS

An investment of $2.5 million from Verizon is making it possible for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to begin offering critical relief and resiliency-building support to small businesses facing immediate financial threat because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will go to make grants of up to $10,000, especially to entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Verizon will highlight and bolster these efforts through their inaugural “Pay It Forward Live” online concert series.

Click here for more information

SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF INITIATIVE

The Small Business Relief Initiative was started by GoFundMe to help small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower their communities to rally behind them. GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to provide small business owners with the financial support and resources needed to continue running their businesses during and after the coronavirus crisis.

As part of the Small Business Relief Initiative, GoFundMe, Yelp, and Intuit QuickBooks have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund. GoFundMe.org, the company’s charitable and advocacy arm, started the Small Business Relief Fund to benefit small businesses. Supporters can donate to the Small Business Relief Fund and GoFundMe.org will provide grants to small businesses across the United States, starting with the hardest hit areas. The Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. More partners will be announced in relation to this initiative at a later date.

CARES ACT PROVIDER RELIEF FUND

UPDATE: The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal exit disclaimer iconis now open. Providers who have been allocated a payment from the initial $30 billion general distribution must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 30 days of payment.

The fund is providing support to healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 27, 2020, the President signed the bipartisan CARES Act that provides $100 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. This funding will be used to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.

Recognizing the importance of delivering funds in a fast and transparent manner, $30 billion is being distributed immediately – with payments arriving via direct deposit beginning April 10, 2020 – to eligible providers throughout the American healthcare system.

These are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid.

Should I Apply?

Don’t hesitate.  You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Plan B

Loans

Aim for low or even zero-interest loans with generous payback terms whenever possible.

KIVA

Kiva is a non-profit that expands access to capital for entrepreneurs around the world.

Click here for more information.

ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER (EIDL) LOANS

This type of loan is now available as part of the government’s response to the coronavirus. Keep in mind, even though you’re applying through the SBA, the lender is the government–not a bank–so it will likely take longer to approve than a traditional loan.

At this point, all states and territories are disaster zones. To qualify for this emergency loan, you have to show “substantial economic injury,” which means you’re unable to meet obligations or pay your regular expenses, and you’re unable to obtain credit for more than $350,000 elsewhere. Up to $2 million in assistance is available, but the exact amount will be based on how much your business has been affected.

Click Here to Apply

Read the Fine Print

Understand the details of the loan.  Involving an attorney or accountant now may save you money in the long run.

TRADITIONAL SBA LOANS

If you have an existing SBA loan, the SBA is encouraging lenders to work with you on payments, so you’ll want to contact your lender.

What to Do Before You Apply for a Loan

  • File your taxes now, particularly if 2019 was a strong year, and prepare a personal financial statement.
  • Put together three years of business and personal tax returns. If 2019 tax returns are not available yet, lenders will want to see your year-end 2019 financials and the personal financial statement, if you own more than 20 percent of the company. Be sure to put together your monthly operating expenses from March through September of 2019. This data will be an important part of your loan application.
  • Provide forecasts and budgets for 2020–ideally a best-case, an expected-case, and a worst-case scenario for your company.
  • Prepare a debt schedule.

Finally, if you’re considering a loan, keep in mind the emergency loan offers lower rates and longer payback periods, but historically it’s a slower and more complex process. Alternatively, the standard SBA loan may get you to the finish line faster, but rates will likely not be as low.

The application for these loans are scheduled to be available on the following dates:

  • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.

  • Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.

 

SBA EXPRESS BRIDGE LOANS

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan

Terms

  • Up to $25,000
  • Fast turnaround
  • Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via SBA’s Lender Match Tool or by connecting with your local SBA District Office.

What Else?

Three Things You Can Do Right Now

i

secure Liquidity

One of the key challenges for small businesses is access to cash. Overhead costs like rent, payroll, and utilities when added to the reduction in income leave very little liquid cash to owners, in times like these.  Analyze your accounts payable.    Make a list of overhead expenses that can be reduced, eliminated or deferred (for example, discuss a reduction or elimination or your rent with your landlord for the next few months).  The sooner you take steps to improve your cash flow, the better.

"

Ensure access to capital

Explore every avenue.  A contingency plan, whether or not you use it is just prudent in these uncertain times.  The options available to small business owners are plentiful.  That doesn’t mean you should wait to explore your options.  Consider securing a home equity line of credit, line of credit from a local bank, an SBA loan. As well as other opportunities that exist on this page.

engage with policy makers

You have a voice, now’s the time to use it. This can be done individually and it can be done in partnership with other entrepreneurs; the mediums for engagement are endless. Social media, letters, email, phone calls are all effective ways to engage. The method is less important than the message, and the message is this: small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and economy; we need relief in the midst of this crisis.

Your Accountant & Your Attorney

This is not the time to go it alone.  If you already have a good accountant and a good attorney, take advantage of what they know and what they’re about to learn.  If you don’t have a good accountant and/or attorney, then now might be a good time to find professionals who you can trust to better guide you during these trying times. One or both can further the discuss the items listed here. 

Employer Tax Credits

Tax Deferments

Government Cash Payments

Employment Law

Other Services

Here are a few things you might need during the next few months that you probably hadn’t even thought about needing.  Some are free and right now, free is a good thing. The information about telehealth is constantly evolving and should be reviewed often.  There are legal and insurance issues that should be understood prior to providing any service remotely.

INC MAGAZINES BUSINESS SURVIVAL GUIDE

Note: This post was updated at 9:23 a.m. EDT on April 20 and will be continually updated as additional resources become available.

Here’s a brief guide to business continuity to help you steer your company through today’s uncharted territory. You’ll find tips and advice on planning for a range of operational contingencies, including people, facilities, vendors, and systems, such as technology. You’ll also find guidance on issues especially critical to entrepreneurs, such as cash flow, leadership, self-care, and even inspiration.

Click here for more information.

 

Telehealth Information

Follow this link to the American Audiology of Audiology.  They’ve provided a great deal of information regarding setting up and providing telehealth services.  The information is updated often.

Click here for more information.

 

Videoconferencing
  • Dialpad, a communications platform, is offering businesses its cloud-based phone system, Dialpad Talk Pro, and its videoconferencing tool, UberConference Business, at no charge for two months. 

  • Adobe is offering Adobe Connect, a web conferencing platform, for free to businesses and individuals through July 1, for meetings of up to 25 participants.
  • Cisco, the multinational tech giant whose Webex product hosts videoconferencing, online meetings, screen share, and webinars, is offering free 90-day licenses with unlimited usage.
  • Jamm, a voice and video collaboration tool for remote teams, is offering its service free to any team for four months.
Cybersecurity
Your Mental Wellbeing
  • Headspace is offering a variety of guided meditations and exercises(including new ones) for free to all businesses and their employees.
  • Fitness startup ClassPass has launched livestream classes for studios, with all proceeds going back to studios through June 1. The fitness startup is encouraging members to donate to their favorite studios, and it plans to match those donations up to $1 million. ClassPass also offers free access to 2,000 on-demand workouts.

  • Unmind, a workplace mental health platform, has started a free and open #GreatUnminds channel on Slack, where you can make connections, learn tips, and share advice on mental well-being in the workplace.
  • Les Mills, whose fitness brand started in 1968 in New Zealand, is offering more than 100 of his virtual fitness classes for free until the coronavirus crisis is over.
  • If yoga is more your speed, DoYogaWithMe is offering two months of free access to its premium content.
Infection Control

The following is a link to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Covid-19 Infection Control page.  

Click here for more information.

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