Score a Knock-out During Corona
The fight against COVID-19 and the resulting government-mandated shutdowns have put many small businesses on the ropes. A recent survey of 5,800 small companies published by the National Academy of Sciences revealed devastating results. In just the first month of lockdowns last spring, the workforce of small establishments was reduced 39%. Yelp reports more than 97,000 permanent business closures as of July.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted in March, kept a few doors open, but that money is running out, and talks of additional federal funds are stalled by the upcoming election.
Like so many small business owners, you may think you’re down, but you are not out for the count. You have options. Loan approval rates at credit unions and alternative lenders are significantly higher than at big banks. Most state Economic Development Agencies provide websites outlining relief programs. The SBA’s Lender Match site will match your company with community development institutions and microlenders. Many service companies, such as Intuit QuickBooks and BooksTime, regularly publish tips and guidelines for safely operating your enterprise during the pandemic. BooksTime’s blog, for example, contains several recent posts about pandemic relief loans, details about the CARES Act, and other Coronavirus-directed topics. Timely information is just one way BooksTime is in your corner as a small business owner.
Scrutinizing every cost is a savvy strategy for hard-hit businesses, says Danielle Kost in Working Knowledge published by Harvard Business School. Reliable accounting and bookkeeping are crucial components for surviving the Corona Crisis. Whether your company runs a DIY bookkeeping operation using QuickBooks or you outsource to a bookkeeping firm like BooksTime, managing finances, accounts, payroll, and inventory is essential to keeping your suppliers and customers happy.
Reducing costs does not have to mean reducing quality. A number of companies offer discounts and promotional programs to assist you with indispensable bookkeeping, accounting, and tax preparation services. With the aid of BooksTime bookkeeping services and QuickBooks, prudent financial management can mean the difference between throwing in the towel and scoring a knock-out in these challenging times.
Government Assistance Keeps You in the Ring
The federal government leaped into the ring early in the crisis with loan and grant programs to give small businesses a fighting chance. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program offers economic relief to small companies and non-profit organizations currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. SBA Express Bridge Loans enables small firms that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. And the SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small companies during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as access to free business counseling. Visit for details. If you’re not satisfied with SBA options, and you need bridging loans explained to you, consider checking out propertfinancepartners.com. They have a good explanation of bridging loans.
The CARES Act has come to the aid of punch-drunk businesses with tax relief options. For example, Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes for eligible employers. Another example is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which gives all American companies with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave for health reasons. More information about tax relief can be found at the IRS’s site Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center).
Accurate and timely records are crucial to successfully qualifying for these and other government programs. Bookkeeping services such as BooksTime, partnered with QuickBooks, turn contenders into winners in every round.
The battle against COVID-19 has put every aspect of your operations at risk, including business interruptions, supply chain issues, and liability concerns. If you are well prepared, you will be grateful your insurance provider is in your corner.
Business interruption insurance provides coverage for income you would have earned had your enterprise been operating normally. While Coronavirus shutdowns do not necessarily qualify as a business interruption, if the virus contaminates physical objects, such as HVAC systems or assembly lines, a claim may be warranted.
Disruptions in the supply chain can deliver a low blow to a fragile enterprise. Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) insurance reimburses lost profits and extra expenses resulting from an interruption of business at the premises of a third-party customer or supplier.
An allegation from an employee or customer becoming sick due to a business’s negligence can floor you if you are already struggling. Both General Liability Insurance and Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance may keep your company off the ropes.
To control potential losses, you should review your policies to identify gaps in coverage, review contingency plans, identify critical equipment and third-party relationships, and track all losses and expenses that could result in a claim. Bookkeeping is vital in providing the data for successful insurance claims so you can avoid taking it on the chin. A bookkeeping service like BooksTime will collect, process, and report the crucial data you need for accurate claims in a software platform like QuickBooks or Xero.
Discounts and Freebies Beat COVID to the Punch
To help your small company roll with the punches, many businesses are offering discounts and freebies during the pandemic. To help you open digital doors when physical doors are closed, several website hosting companies offer free or limited-trial packages to enable you to create an internet presence, including GoDaddy, LightSpeed, and BigCommerce. If you want to offer your customers contactless transactions, companies such as FlyBuy, TouchBistro, and Bringg feature 90-day free introductory services. Other free and discounted services include free email for Shopify stores, free eCommerce helpdesk with live chat from eDesk, and reduced-price or free tools for customer relationship management with HubSpot.
To keep the coronavirus from boxing your small company into a corner, BooksTime offers one month of free bookkeeping to all small businesses affected by the pandemic and six months of free cash flow planning and forecasting for clients on a monthly bookkeeping plan. Powered by QuickBooks, BooksTime services can help you beat COVID-19 to the punch and score a unanimous victory despite the odds.