Help your business succeed by leveraging all available government resources.
As you’re probably well aware, the government stimulus package (CARES Act) was signed into law on Friday 3/27.
This $2+ trillion legislation contains a substantial amount of funding for small businesses—but you have to act quickly and know how to leverage the assistance being offered. Too many businesses are overwhelmed by the amount of information they’re seeing about this funding. We don’t want you to be one of them. Ensure that your business knows exactly how to maximize government assistance.
Step 1: Assign one person to spearhead applying for government assistance.
This step is critical for execution and accountability. If you’re familiar with EOS, look to your Accountability Chart to see who should be responsible for spearheading government assistance. It’s likely someone in your finance department—CFO, VP of Finance, or controller—or maybe in compliance. This person will be the government assistance (GA) lead. If needed, assign an additional project manager to make sure the proper actions are taken. Applying for government assistance should be the GA lead’s TOP priority right now.
Step 2: Determine eligibility and acquire documentation.
The GA lead needs to determine what programs your business is eligible for and what paperwork and information you need to apply. Completing these steps may require coordination with employees, banks, accountants, etc. All team members should be instructed to comply with requests from the GA lead quickly and thoroughly. The GA lead should set targets to be completed ASAP. Time is of the essence.
Here are a few programs you should be considering:
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Distribution of these funds will be handled by individual banks, not the government. See if your bank is an SBA-approved lender here. Next, call your bank and ask them what you need to do. Your bank may not have a policy in place yet (they are still waiting on government guidance as of publication of this post), but you want to put yourself in line to receive one of these loans. Then fill out this application.
Prepare the following documentation in case you need it:
—2019 Payroll — including the last 12 months of payroll
—2019 Employees — 1099s for 2019 employees and independent contractors that would otherwise be an employee of your business. (Note: Do NOT include 1099s for services)
—Healthcare costs — all health insurance premiums paid by the business owner under a group health plan.
—Retirement — your company retirement plan funding paid for by the company.
$10K advance through the SBA Disaster Loan program.
Note that this amount will be subtracted from any amount you receive through the Paycheck Protection Program. You may also be applying for larger amounts through the Disaster Loan program, but the $10K advance is deposited into your account within 3 days.
SBA 7(a) Loans.
Finally, the standard SBA loans may have relaxed requirements and are something to consider right now.
Additional details on these programs and other provisions of the CARES Act appear at the end of this post.
Step 3: Do it right the first time.
Hastily completed applications with missing or incorrect information will only delay the process of getting funds into your company’s hands. Before final submission, have at least one detail-oriented person review the GA lead’s work. Make sure all information is accurate, all fields have been completed, and all supporting documentation is attached. Be sure that applications are submitted well in advance of any deadlines.
Step 4: Don’t be the bottleneck.
If you’re the business owner, it’s vital that you do everything in your power to streamline the GA lead’s work. Don’t assign them other projects with immediate deadlines. Reinforce that applying for government assistance is their top priority. Provide any information or introductions they need in a timely manner. To the extent possible, pull additional resources or team members in to help them if needed. The sooner you receive the funding, the more quickly you’ll be able to return to the (somewhat) normal course of business.
Step 5: Ask for help if you need it.
If these steps don’t seem feasible to you for any reason, please reach out to us for support. We are on a mission to make sure you get as much government assistance as you possibly can. Our EOS Implementers are currently going through this exact process with our own companies, and we can walk you through it or offer additional help as needed. Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In summary: Government assistance is available. Go out and get it!
Founder & President
Crews Consulting Group
Information provided courtesy of Gregory Csikos, CPA*
SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans
The federal Small Business Administration will guarantee loans to small businesses to make payroll and other expenses from February 15th to June 30th. No personal guarantee or collateral will be required for the loan, an amount equal to 2.5 times last year’s monthly payroll can be borrowed, and the annual interest rate will be no higher than 4%. The loans may be forgiven if the business uses the money for payroll (including, seemingly, S-corporation shareholder wages, partnership profit, and Schedule C profit), rent, mortgage interest, and utilities.
The loans will be issued by banks and credit unions, not by the Small Business Administration directly. You should contact the small business loan officer at your preferred financial institution for more information on the application process.
An article describing some of the details of the program can be found here.
Employee Retention Credit for Employers
The CARES Act created a refundable payroll tax credit of 50% of eligible wages (importantly, up to $10,000 per employee) paid between 3/12/2020 and 1/1/2021 by employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of government orders limiting commerce, or employers who have experienced a greater than 50% reduction in quarterly receipts, measured on a year-over-year basis.
The credit is not available to employers receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans (see above).
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The federal Small Business Administration is providing low-interest economic injury disaster loans to small businesses. Below are the links to that program and the application process:
Please note that you would likely receive more funding under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program than the Paycheck Protection Program, although you can apply for both. Moreover, the Paycheck Protection Program loan is forgivable, while the Economic Injury Disaster loan must be repaid.
However, borrowers can receive a $10,000 emergency cash grant advance under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program that can be forgiven if it is spent on payroll, mortgage or lease payments, and similar urgent costs.
CARES Act Rebate
The CARES Act rebate will likely affect many employees and may affect some business owners as well, depending on your personal tax liability for 2018/2019.
Many taxpayers will soon receive a payment from the IRS which is at most $1,200 per adult plus $500 for each dependent child. The payments are reduced or eliminated for those with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) above $75,000 for a single filer (or a married filer filing separately) or $150,000 for a married couple filing jointly. Taxpayers that are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return aren’t eligible.
The information used to calculate the rebate will be based upon your 2019 federal tax return, if already filed, or your 2018 federal tax return. You can calculate how much you should receive using this calculator.
The payments will be made by direct deposit within the next month if your bank information was present on a federal tax return filed since January 1, 2018, which would likely be the case if you received a refund on your 2017, 2018, or 2019 federal tax returns. If that information is not available, then the payment will be made by check to the address on your most recent tax return and should arrive by the summer.
This rebate is not taxable income and does not need to be repaid.
For Employees–Unemployment Insurance
If layoffs are your only option, the CARES Act does, fortunately, beef up unemployment benefits considerably.
If your employer stops paying you or reduces your hours, you are generally eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Moreover, the recently-passed CARES Act enhanced unemployment benefits by adding an additional $600 per week to the weekly benefit. The CARES Act also expanded eligibility to those with limited work histories and part-time employees.
You’re also now eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if you are sick with COVID-19, need to take care of a family member that is sick with COVID-19 or home from school, if you’re quarantined, if you’re unable to get to work because of a quarantine, or if your workplace is shut down. Please note that quitting your job, even for fear of your safety, may make you ineligible for benefits. You are also ineligible if you can telework (work from home), although you may be eligible if you are teleworking on reduced hours and reduced pay.
Employees should apply for those benefits as soon as possible. Unemployment insurance applications are processed by each state individually.
*All representations and interpretations of the CARES Act and other government assistance are made to the best of this individual’s knowledge. As more information is released, the details of these provisions may change.
For more help navigating the coronavirus outbreak, visit our resource and information center.
Skimmed it? Here’s the recap:
–There’s a lot of government assistance available, but you have to go out and get it
–Assign one person to be your government assistance (GA) lead
–Determine eligibility and acquire documentation
–Do the applications right the first time
–If you’re the business owner, don’t be the bottleneck
–Ask for help if you need it (contact us at email@example.com)