This is a partial, work-in-progress list of resources to help small businesses survive during the pandemic. If you have suggestions for additional resources or advice, please email me at adrian[dot]dahlin[at]gmail[dot]com.
The CARES Act passed by Congress in March included the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). PPP offers small businesses loans that turn into grants if they keep all employees on the payroll for eight weeks and spend at least 75% of the money on payroll with the rest spent on rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The program became available April 3 and was supposed to run through June 30. However, the appropriated funds ($349 billion) quickly ran out and applications are now being denied. Congress and the President are now discussing if and how to extend the benefit.
Here’s a helpful article about how to calculate your loan amount for if and when the government extends PPP. It includes scenarios for sole proprietors with or without employees and self-employed people.
Contact Your Federal and State Representatives
If you need help navigating government benefits and especially if you’d like to lobby for more support for small businesses, contact your elected officials! Here’s a helpful link to find contact info for all your elected state and federal representatives.
One of the reasons the PPP funding quickly ran out was the definition of “small businesses”. The law included hotels and restaurant chains that have less than 500 employees per location. If you don’t like the idea of a federal bailout going to huge chains, that would be a great thing to call your US senator about!
Embrace Virtual Marketing and Sales
Need to figure out how to reach customers remotely? Know you should be using social media and email more but aren’t sure how? I can help! Get in touch. Digital marketing is not just vanity or a nice-to-have; it’s essential to most businesses in 2020.
Here’s a great guide from a college classmate of mine for how to start selling your products online.
Use This Time as an Opportunity to Learn
Much of the change we’re seeing because of the pandemic shutdown would have come about anyway more slowly over the next few years – the growth of video meetings, for example. Take some time to reflect about how you can learn from all this. How do you need to adapt to succeed in a world that is increasingly virtual? How can you connect with your community while you’re remote?
As painful as it is, this will be a time of creative destruction. Some ways of doing business will diminish and new ones will emerge. How can you purge your work of ineffective traditional practices and embrace the new reality?
- Entrepreneurs may like these webinars provided by Valley Venture Mentors, a startup accelerator and mentorship program.