With many of us pushing 3 weeks deep into some state of quarantine, it’s safe to say that none of us have ever seen anything quite like this in our lifetime. Even with pockets of our industry finding some sense of financial solace in being deemed “essential” by the powers that be during this pandemic crisis, it’s an uncertain moment in history and we’re being forced to think fast in hopes of landing on our collective feet. Consumed by worries about our loved ones and mounting thoughts of economic dread, it can be easy to get swept up in feelings of hopelessness. However, we’re here to remind you that there is always hope. At Master-Minded, we’re no strangers to the hustle and we’re largely in the same boat as all of you, doing what we can to serve our community while keeping our own lights on. Today, we’re sharing with you 3 government programs that can help you to keep your ship afloat in this often-frightening pandemic along with a strategy that can help you make sure you’re using your dollars the most wisely.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
This loan comes straight from the Small Business Association’s website and is designed to offer relief through low interest loans granted to small businesses trying to weather emergencies and disasters. And, yes, COVID-19 definitely rates as a disaster. Will this money fall right into your lap? Not likely, but even a Money Tree requires that you climb out on a limb and start picking or, at the very least, give it a good shake. According to the site, you can use these low interest loans “to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.” So, if you’re worried about keeping the lights on, this loan can literally help you with that. Currently, small business interest rates are set at 3.75% with non-profits at the lower rate of 2.75%.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Don’t have time to wait on that Economic Injury Disaster Loan? Fear not; you can actually request an advance on it that will put $10,000 in your company’s coffers within 3 to 5 business days. The Emergency Economic Injury Grant is fairly simple to fill out in comparison to the larger Economic Injury Disaster Loan from which it is derived. As long as you have less than 500 employees, you’re pretty much golden. While $10K may not be an awful lot, it’s definitely not an amount you want to just leave on the table. This is free money after all, and you’d be surprised how far $10,000 can stretch in times of crisis. There is a bit of confusion surrounding this $10K advance, since it is called a grant and not a loan but is pulled from a loan. Reports from financial experts that have frequented seminars put on by the Small Business Association swear that this $10K is actually a grant and does not have to be repaid.
Payroll Guarantee Loan
The final program on our list is a Payroll Guarantee Loan that, unlike the other 2 solutions listed here, requires a bank visit. This federally supported program offers some big benefits including forgiving up to 8 weeks of your small business’s payroll, not to mention rent and utilities. Sound too good to be true? It’s all a part of the COVID-19 relief package the federal government passed. While your bank may still be waiting to get their forms in order, it may be a good idea to give them a call today and set up an appointment to review your options with the Payroll Guarantee Loan.
You’re Still Responsible for Your Inventory
With these loans and grants serving to cover the costs of payroll, debts, bills, rent and utilities, what’s really left? One word: inventory. That seems to be the one thing that this federal aid package doesn’t cover. It only makes sense then that your money should be going toward keeping your inventory fresh. We’ve spoken firsthand to small businesses inside and outside our industry who have made it clear that rent is their top priority, or payroll or any number of things that you can actually have covered for weeks at a time by these federal programs. The federal stipulations are clear: their money can only be used for what they’ve designated and that does not include inventory. So, if you want to use these programs in the savviest, most immediately beneficial manner, you’ll let those grant dollars cover everything else and designate your own cash to make sure your inventory remains stocked. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a fully functional business that has absolutely nothing to sell.
When you leave your essential business for the day and return home to the people you love, the worry doesn’t go away. In fact, our jobs may be the only thing giving us reprieve from the anxiety of a situation that we can’t control. But we’re in this together and we can’t succumb to hopelessness. Programs like those highlighted above prove we don’t have to stop moving and stagnate in fear over the things we can’t control. We can still do something about our situation and continue to move forward with the hope that we’ll make it through to the other side of this… with our loved ones at our side and our businesses intact.