Covid-19 is a highly contagious, respiratory virus that has taken the world by storm. Unfortunately, it has begun to drown small businesses to the point of near extinction, if things do not change soon. We have seen unprecedented public health and economic responses. If you are a small business owner, you are likely feeling the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While safeguarding our families and our own health is a top priority, small businesses are feeling the crush of a closed down country. Coping with the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic is incredibly hard at the moment. However, there are steps you can take as a small business owner to work towards rebuilding your empire once things begin to return to normal.
1. Get a small business loan
One of the best things the government has done for small businesses is to offer a small business loan to help you through these tough times. The U.S. Small Business Administration has been given the approval to lend low-interest federal disaster loans to your small business as it has been affected by Covid-19.
The goal of these loans is to provide relief for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills your small business cannot pay because of the Corona Virus and its impact. The interest rate has been set at 3.75% for most businesses and 2.75% for non-profit groups.
The good news is that these SBA loans come with long-term repayment plans to keep the payments within your budget. In some cases, you can have up to 30 years to repay the loan. Each loan has its terms set on a case-by-case basis.
If you are eligible for this SBA Loan, the following would apply:
- You may qualify for a loan of up to $10 million. The amount would be determined by 8 weeks of prior payroll averages, plus an additional 25% of that amount.
- Your loan payments will be deferred for six months.
- There is also a forgiveness clause. If you continue to maintain your workforce, a portion of the loan will be forgiven.
2. Find ways to still serve your community
Ingenuity never ceases to amaze the American people. During these times of fear, panic, and lack of certain medical supplies, some businesses have become geniuses on keeping their businesses alive. There’s everything from no contact pizza delivery, pillow makers now manufacturing face masks, breweries making hand sanitizer to curbside pick-up at places that have never offered that service before.
A few things that can keep your business afloat include the following:
- Send a personal message through your social media networks to keep your customers and followers apprised of your situation. Let them know what services you can still offer, and how your company or brand will be moving forward.
- Offer a new incentive or promotion. Even though your revenue might be stifled, you can still create new promotions to keep your customer base thinking about your company.
- Consider temporarily changing your product or brand to fit the needs that are out there.
3. Continue to Keep your Staff Safe
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to get your staff working remotely where possible. Many people have been doing this for weeks already, and it can be quite successful. Being flexible is a must for all small business owners.
Encourage and then demand extreme hygiene guidelines at all times. If you must work around people and come into contact with the public, this is the most important thing you can do. Be sure your staff is constantly sanitizing, washing and changing their clothes before they go back home. Everyone understands that this is no longer a time for handshakes, hugs and face touching.
Lastly, consult with these resources if you are struggling beyond anything you could have ever imagined:
There was almost no way to prepare for the impact that Covid-19 would have on the small businesses of our great country. No one knows for sure when the madness will let up, when the infection rate will slow down and when life will return to normal. The good news is that there is financial help for small businesses. There are also ways to get creative with your marketing and new areas to explore when it comes to delivering your brand or your product to your customers. It is important to always put the health and safety of your workers and customers first.