We know these are stressful times and we appreciate your trust in our organization to provide services free of charge to small businesses and non-profits.
In an effort to provide valuable, helpful and timely assistance to our business community, the following information resources may prove helpful.
SCORE Business Hub information related to COVID-19: https://www.score.org/coronavirus . This describes available loan programs, planning assistance and upcoming free webinars.
The SBA website (www.sba.gov) identifies a number of funding option. There are two new loan programs. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) provides loans up to $2 million at an interest rate of 3.75% with a loan repayment of 30 years. This loan is an online application directly to the SBA.
The second loan program, Payroll Protection Program, will be administered through banks that are approved by the SBA to provide loans and can be 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million. This loan program does forgive a portion of the debt after a certain time frame. A summary of both loan programs can be found at: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
There is also an SBA debt relief program for in which the SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months and will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. For more information go to: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-debt-relief
Additionally, if you have employees, below are the links to the following resources:
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
- Centers for Disease Control Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fguidance-business-response.html
- State and local specific resources include the Florida Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 resource hub and the Lee County Economic Development COVID-19 Resources
Note: Time is of the essence – you don’t need to wait to connect with a SCORE mentor to get some of your questions answered. Get up to date info from SCORE’s Coronavirus Small Business Resources Hub or the April 9th recorded webinar Coronavirus and Your Small Business – Q&A with SCORE Mentors.
Steps You Can Take Now:
- Call your banker or other lenders and investors and explain your situation and ask for their guidance. They will be aware of other relevant programs.
- Remember that your bankers, lenders or other finance professionals are operating remotely with the same restrictions on social distancing, and office hour modifications and/or closures to the public. They may also be short-staffed as well.
- Make pro-active contact with your landlord and/or business resources for which you may owe regular payments. Don’t wait for them to call you. Explain your circumstances and make sure they know you will be able to honor your financial commitments once this crisis moderates to the point where you can resume the business.
- Many of them will be getting concessions from their lenders that may aid in their flexibility with you.
- Keep careful and detailed documentation of all of your direct business expenses and estimated revenue losses due to the effects of the COVID-19. You’ll need to make your best case when applying for loans and preparing statements of loss for insurance and tax purposes.
- Consolidate all of your important business documents including your recent past IRS tax filings.
- Contact your Accountant or CPA for information and guidance on any possible Business/Casualty Loss deductions on next year’s Federal returns. You may be able to deduct the loss or partial loss of personal and business use property on your federal income tax return.
- Check-out the Disaster Assistance Portal which can help you find disaster-related assistance that meets your personal needs. You can locate over 60 forms of assistance from 17 federal agencies. Go to http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ for more information.
- Contact your insurance professional. Review your insurance policy for any Business Interruption /Extra Expense coverage – although only about 30% of businesses are covered today. If you are covered, you’ll need to file a claim for consideration as a result of your loss of income and extra expenses through a mandated closure (or a diminished operating capacity) by a local, state or federal civil authority directive “force majeure”. Going forward, consider adding a virus, communicable disease, and bacteriological endorsement to your property policy.
Once you have taken the critical first steps, if you would like to meet with a SCORE mentor, please go to https://southwestflorida.score.org/content/find-mentor-57 and request a mentor. Over 35 local volunteer business experts and over 10,000 volunteers nationwide are ready to support you whether you are an emerging entrepreneur starting a business or an existing small businesses looking for assistance to solve your specific problems.
Thanks again for your confidence in the SCORE Association’s Southwest Florida Chapter.