COVID-19 Survival Kit (Updated! Do these 3 Things Today to Save Your Business)
Friday, April 3, 2020 Update! Do these 3 things today for your business, our economy, your sanity ;) ….
If you have not done so already, please apply for the SBA’s Economic Injury & Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) and Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) ASAP. This is almost free money for you to use to keep your business running or get it back and running (at least minimally). If you have already laid off your team, you will be able to (re-)employ your team.
(1) Latest SBA EIDL Application:https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Check off the $10,000 initial advance (which will be expedited in 3-5 days) which need not be repaid. You may also qualify for a larger loan as well but it will take more time to process. No personal guarantee required for up to $200K. (See US Chamber of Commerce EIDL Summary)
(2) Paycheck Protection Program Application Now Available:https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf (See U.S. Treasury application information here and US Chamber of Commerce Summary)
You should qualify for 2.5 months of payroll, mortgage, and utilities. Contact your bank to make sure they are a participating in PPP and ready to take your application ASAP. (See a list of active banks here but this is not all inclusive).
Note: Businesses may receive both PPP loans and EIDLs, so long as both loans are not used for the same purpose or otherwise duplicative.
(3) Verizon has donated $2.5 million to the LISC Rapid Relief and Resilience Fund to provide up to $10,000 in grants to support small businesses, sole proprietors, and nonprofits. Funds can be used to pay rent and utilities, payroll, outstanding debt to vendors, and other immediate operational costs. The online application is very short and is due this Saturday, April 4th, 11:59 PM ET. The only document needed is your Federal ID/Tax Identification Number designation letter. Applications will be reviewed and then entered into a lottery. Email verizongrantsinfo@lisc.
(4) Alice $10,000 Emergency Business Funding In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and hundreds of entrepreneur networks and government agencies, Alice is launching their COVID-19 Business For All emergency grants program, designed to help you get through this crisis and grow your business. Apply today to receive $10,000 for your business; grants will be distributed on a rolling basis. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community.
Good luck and hang in there with us! ♥️
The LePrix Team (4.3.2020)
As we’ve seen in the last few weeks, the corona pandemic (COVID-19) crisis has hit us at all angles in our lives. We will not let this virus take us down. Now more than ever, it’s time to be laser-focused to see that our families, businesses and country get through this together - to overcome this invisible enemy and be healthy (physically and mentally), stronger, and even more amazing once this is over. We will recover - the goal here is to make sure your business is up and running at full speed when that time comes. We’ve been talking to many of our store partners, gathering ideas for you and also researching a myriad of resources that may be helpful.
Disclaimer: We are not financial or business advisors but we are simply sharing the information gathered, in case, it may be a helpful resource to you.
HEALTH & SAFETY FIRST
As they say, we must save lives so that we can save livelihoods.
There’s a lot of noise out there, but try to listen to qualified public health experts and fact check.
- Protect yourself and others. We all need to work together to flatten the curve and stop the spread. Some of you have already temporarily closed, some more will follow. These are tough decisions but will hopefully help us all get to normalcy faster. Follow the latest updates on the CDC’s website.
- Stay up to date with your state and local government, and understand any restrictions on your business and the impact of such. Get more info from the chamber of commerce in your state and from your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office. Also see funding resources below!
- If your store is still open, make sure you’re keeping you and your team safe with social distancing, limit contact (i.e., wear gloves if taking a credit card from customers) and make sure you have time to disinfect all surfaces in your store. Also, put a sign on your door, asking customers who are not feeling well, to kindly shop your store online or call to set up a virtual shopping experience via Facetime. Of course, discourage customers from touching items while browsing for your safety and theirs too.
Conserve your cash asap but keep your business running at a minimum if you can (i.e. online sales). You’ve worked too hard to give up now. The goal is to make sure your business is still here when this pandemic is over. Your customers need you and expect you to be up and running full speed when we recover. Try to cut your costs by 10%-20% at least. Here are some ideas that we have heard are working but every business is different so take what may work for you:
- Pour yourself a cup of coffee or wine and get focused
- Make a list of variable costs (i.e., marketing, travel) and think about pausing those costs
- Ask your credit card companies to push out payment dates. American Express agreed to delay our monthly payments interest fee.
- Ask your landlord to defer or discount rent for the next month or two
- Pause subscription services or get on a basic or free plan
- [Update 4.3.2020: Mailchimp gave us almost two months of credit - they get it and they care]. Doesn’t hurt to ask your email providers for a break!
- Lower commissions and pause bonuses
- Reduce employee hours or lay off temporarily so they can collect unemployment
- Try to avoid refunds if possible, give shopping credit instead
- Delay non-urgent projects such as repairs, renovations, website redesign
- Ask to defer or pause insurance and car loan payments
- Be strategic with inventory purchases. Focus on key pieces and best sellers that sell fast during times like these. Conserve cash where you can so you are in the best place possible to be up and running when the time comes.
- If you have to reduce your staff because of COVID-19, feel free to share this guide on how to collect unemployment benefits.
FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES
Federal Funding - U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is offering certain states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for each affected small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. Term of the loan is up to 30 years but depends on a case-by-case basis. We have heard that the turnaround time is approximately 30 days (2-3 weeks to decide and 7-10 days to disburse funds). Please note there is a pending bill which will not require a personal guarantee but please keep a tab on the status of this bill.
Questions? Find Your Local SBA Office: https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/
State Funding Sources
In addition to federal funding, see List of State by State Funding Relief here. Please refer to the websites for your state to get the latest updates.
Tax Filing Relief
Internal Revenue Services (Federal): The new income tax payment deadlines are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
State Taxes: Most states are also extending their tax deadlines. Make sure to check with your state and local tax authorities for your specific deadlines. Quick links:
- AICPA Chart for Local and State Tax Filing for Corona Virus;
- Links to State and Local Tax authorities
Private Funding Sources
Companies like Facebook and Google are offering cash grants, which are worth looking into. Please read their respective websites carefully.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program: Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. Apply for Facebook Business Grants
Kiva Small Business Loans: The nonprofit organization Kiva provides 0% interest loans to small businesses worldwide. They are expanding eligibility and the amount of loans provided during this crisis. Apply for Kiva Small Business Loans
Spanx Red BackpackGrant ($5000) for female founders: https://globalgiving.typeform.com/to/j1sf32
PayPal Small Business Grants: Coming soon… stay tuned…
If you are already online, it’s time to double the effort to expand your online business and get active on social media.
If your store is not online, set up a game plan to do so fast, but in the meantime sell on social media. Here are some online selling tips we’ve shared before that may still come in handy:
- Work on your ecommerce sales: Fortunately, we’ve got ecommerce as a tool to support your business. If you’re not already on top of your ecommerce sales, take time with your team to work on listing more items on your website, on LePrix, or other online channels. As your ecommerce partner, we will be increasing our efforts to push online sales for you. As your customers may be feeling more frugal these days, run sales if you can and please let us know so we can help promote. Email email@example.com if you need help with your LePrix store.
- Sell on Social Media & Take Phone Orders: Keep in touch with your customers on social media. We’re hearing several of our store partners sharing that they are having success with selling on Facebook Live and on Instagram with their followers. Social media is here to make social distancing a little easier and is also an additional shopping channel for your customers.
- Text or Facetime with your VIPs: Your loyal customers are probably going to go through major shopping withdrawal from visiting your store. Text them to let them know you’re thinking of them and offer to take them shopping in your store virtually on Facetime. This is a good time to focus on your loyal customers. Who wouldn’t want to see all your beautiful, pre-loved Chanels, Louis Vuittons, Gucci goodies and more.
- Consignment: As many of your customers will be working from home and slowing down on weekend activities, they’ll be thinking of home projects including cleaning out their closet. If you are, remind them you’re still taking consignment and hopefully you’re able to take Facetime appointments (rather than in-person) so they can show you their items. Of course, remind your consignors to clean their items before they consign. Here’s a list of cleaning agents from the CDC and recommendations on how to disinfect clothing you can share with your consignors and team. Let them know if you are able to offer no-contact door-to-store pick-ups (of course, practice social distancing) or accept shipping. We believe after we recover from COVID-19, there may be pent-up demand, so might as well be prepared.
- Easy Deliveries: Since your customers may not be able to go to you, think about offering shipping and/or no-contact store-to-door drop offs if they purchase. If you have not done so already, you may want to reassure your customers and provide details and additional transparency around how your business is operating and sanitizing.
We’re all in this together! If you are looking for a great resale group to join to find more resources relevant to our industry check out: The Association for Resale Professionals NARTS
The LePrix Team
#covid19 #ResaleStrong #stayhome #flattenthecurve #smallbusiness #entrepreneur #businessfunding #follow #businessloans