Do you know the best steps your small business can take now that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is in Kansas? This resource guide will help you plan to keep your team and your business safe.
Tip: Talk to your lender now about loan modifications available due to the Coronavirus (many banks are making no-cost modifications available but you typically must specifically ask. (Ex: Interest-only payments for a few months, months of payments pushed off to end of the loan, etc.) Your Lender does not want to see you go out of business, talk to them now!
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The legislation covers an array of programs, including direct payments to Americans, an aggressive expansion of unemployment insurance, billions of dollars in aid to large and small businesses, and a new wave of significant funding for the health care industry.
SBA Disaster Loan Program
Tip: Print out the required forms and collect required info before you start filling out the application on-line (put your answers on the paper form first and then start filling out on-line, also save as you go as this is a large volume of traffic and the site may glitch.
Tip #2: For those seeking the forgivable "$10,000 Advance" that submitted an application prior to March 30th, you will need to go back in and submit again to ensure you receive it.
Due to the overwhelming number of applicants, the SBA website may go offline from time to time. When the website is up and running, businesses are encouraged to visit https://covid19relief.sba.gov/ to apply.
When the website is offline, you can still apply via https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Home/OfflineApply by uploading filled out forms through a link (if it is still working), emailing filled out forms to or mailing physical copies to:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Rd.
Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243
Upcoming SBA Disaster Loan Training
SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program
This pilot program allows SBA Express Lenders authority to deliver expedited SBA-guaranteed financing on an emergency basis for disaster-related purposes to eligible small businesses, while the small businesses apply for and await long-term financing.
Kansas Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency (HIRE) Fund
Due to the overwhelming initial response, we regret to announce that all initial funds available through the HIRE Fund have been allocated at this time. However, the form remains open and it is recommended that hospitality businesses still complete the form so Kansas can collect information from hospitality businesses on the losses they are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Child Care Action Lab Grants
Child Care Action Lab Grants are $500 mini-grants to help child care providers in Kansas during the COVID-19 crisis.
Alternative Capital for Community Impact (serving Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth counties)
AltCap is offering a Fast Track Loan (formerly our Fast Start Loan) up to $20,000 to help meet the immediate capital needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July 15th
Treasury and IRS Issue Guidance on Deferring Tax Payments Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
An employer/business owner may use Shared Work in lieu of a temporary, total layoff of employees. It allows for a partial workweek and partial unemployment benefits for employees.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
Employers with fewer than 50 employees may claim an exemption from the emergency paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and the exemption applies specifically to leave taken for reasons of child care and school closures related to COVID-19, according to a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance.
Under the FMLA, covered employers must provide employees job-protected, unpaid leave for specified family and medical reasons.
Q: How should I keep customers informed of changes in my business operations?
A: Many of the SBDC team have received personal emails from several companies stating their policy on keeping things continually disinfected, following CDC/WHO suggestions on employees staying home if ill, keeping physical contact with other employees and customers to a minimum. Be sure to share these types of efforts that are related to your customers to help ease any anxieties they might have.
Q: My business is experiencing a slowdown. Should I be conserving cash at this time?
A: Yes, you should be looking at ways to conserve cash when possible. This starts with a good understanding of your margins, and your short and long term revenue-generating products or services. You should have a working cash flow to be able to assess your cash needs. Contact your local SBDC office for assistance.
Q: Is this a good time to approach my bank?
A: Yes, When possible try to have a discussion with your bank prior to running into major cash issues. It’s usually easier to request lines of credit and such before you’re desperate for them. Remember that your Bank should be treated as a partner, your success is their success. If you’re having trouble keeping up with existing debt obligations don’t wait to reach out for guidance. They may be willing to negotiate short term accommodations to ease your cash burden. Note: Beware of quick and easy online lenders. These terms can be very expensive and do more harm than good.
Q: How do I find a balance between spending money to keep things going and knowing when to pull back?
A: A good understanding of the numbers and cycles in your business will assist with this. Choosing to invest in products or services that have a longer selling cycle may tie up needed cash reserves. Sometimes there is no great choice here but try to balance your immediate needs without completely hampering long term plans. You’ll have to assess the risk of spending and not spending and how it affects the business.
Q: Should I be looking into diversifying my market right now?
A: Most likely no. It’s always good to be open to new markets and not have all your eggs in one basket. However, if you are experiencing a sharp and drastic downturn this option could be expensive and take too long to have an immediate impact. Approach this with caution and be true to the core parts of your business. It’s what you do best.
Q: Is it important to have a budget and understand my break-even point?
A: YES! If you have an active budget it’s much easier to track changes to spending and revenue estimates. As you make these changes your break-even point will change. This will give you the ability to have updated goals and have a better understanding of what it’s going to take to remain cash positive.
Q: How important are inventory management practices?
A: Extremely. It’s very common for companies to have money tied up in unproductive inventory. A good understanding of your inventory turns and the age of your inventory will help you find those items that just need to be liquidated and turned into cash. If you’re going to do any discounting to boost sales this is the place to look. Put that old inventory to work and turn it into cash.
Q: Should I require my employees to work remotely?
A: Public health officials are strongly encouraging employers to allow telework to the extent possible. Of course, this is not possible for many workers.
We’ve gathered these resources from our trusted partners to help you make decisions for the health of your team and business.