Visit our Relief Funding page to get help with applying for coronavirus relief loans and other financial support.
As the COVID-19 pandemic creates unprecedented situations, Guidant Financial is here to help you understand what’s happening, find resources available to assist your small business, and keep you up to date on everything you need to know about small business financing.
Current Small Business Owners
from David Nilssen, CEO of Guidant Financial:
The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is gaining tremendous excitement after being passed by the Senate. We expect it see it approved by the House very soon. The overarching goal of the PPP is to get dollars to small businesses to help them sustain operations and jobs for the time being. The intention of this program is to provide capital to small businesses quickly through a lighter underwriting experience.
Loans granted would be equal to 2.5 times the average monthly payroll for the prior 12 months, up to a maximum of $10 million. All or a portion of loan proceeds used to cover payroll, interest on debt, or rent or utilities may be forgiven. There are still many details left to be ironed out – and those details will determine which banks choose to participate as well as the complexity of applying.
Guidant has started prepackaging for people who’d like assistance and introductions to participating banks (when we learn which banks are participating). To be ready to take advantage of the PPP, the best thing you can do right now is to get your documents in order so you can act as soon as more clarity is given.
There are many other benefits under the CARES Act, like loan subsidies for existing SBA loans, distributions and loans from retirement plans, and even employment tax credits and/or deferrals.
We’re here to help you get through this crisis. We’ve just rolled out our system to help you to develop and store your loan application package – so you’ll be ready to apply rapidly as soon as the floodgates open.
Visit our Relief Funding page if you’d like more information on how to get started and take advantage of these benefits.
Expanded Access to SBA Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses
Right now, all 50 states and Washington, DC are eligible for COVID-19 disaster relief loans. Typically, SBA disaster assistance loans are only available within counties their Governor has identified as a disaster area, but revised criteria have made these loans available to small businesses nationwide. These criteria will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to COVID-19.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- May be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the coronavirus impact.
- Up to $2 million in assistance.
- 3.75% interest rate for small businesses. 2.75% interest rate for non-profits.
- Terms up to a maximum of 30 years – determined case-by-case.
Visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster for more information and valuable resources.
You can contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877—8339) or email [email protected]
Refinance Your Existing SBA Loan
You may have the option to refinance your existing SBA loan to ease your monthly debt burden. Applying for the SBA disaster relief loan will likely result in cash you need more quickly, so be sure to understand your options and prioritize in the way that makes the most sense for your business.
- Must show the refinance would reflect a minimum 10% reduction in monthly payments
- Go back to the original lender that has your loan
- If the bank still owns your loan, they can choose to defer payments for up to 6 months
- If the bank has sold your loan, they can only choose to defer payments up to 3 months
- You’ll need to provide a written statement of how you have been or will be impacted by COVID-19
Google My Business COVID-19 Changes
Your Google My Business (GMB) profile is a great tool for visibility and marketing even during the coronavirus pandemic. Like many other companies, Google is limiting workers in their offices, which is driving them to prioritize critical services. As Google My Business powers millions of Google Maps and Search listings, there are some significant changes to understand.
- You can mark your business as “temporarily closed” if you’ve had to temporarily shut your doors because of COVID-19. If you don’t see this option on your profile, contact Google My Business to request it.
- You can now to add “delivery available” or “take-out available” to your business name – this is usually against GMB guidelines.
- Google will be manually reviewing new listings, claims, and verifications for health-related businesses.
- While Google’s manual review for health-related businesses will delay reviews of other business types, they are prioritizing “reviews for open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions, and business attributes edits for other verified businesses.”
- New reviews, review replies, and questions and answers are currently disabled.
- The Q&A profile section has been removed from all listings.
- If your business has events listed, users will see this warning above your profile’s events section:
We’ll keep you informed of any further GMB changes caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Resources for Small Businesses
We’ll be regularly updating this list as more resources become available.
Government Resources for Small Businesses
- US Chamber of Commerce – Coronavirus Response Toolkit
- US Chamber of Commerce – Coronavirus Small Business Guide
- US Chamber of Commerce – Find Your Local Chamber of Commerce
- US Chamber of Commerce – Customizable Safety Steps Flyer For Your Business
- CDC – Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- SBA – Asistencia de Desastre de la SBA en Respuesta al Coronavirus
- SBA – Find Local SBA Assistance
- FEMA – Emergency Planning Exercises
- OSHA – Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- US Department of Labor – COVID-19 Topics and Resources
- SCORE – Small Business Mentoring and Education
- SCORE – Find a Local Chapter
Other Resources for Small Businesses
This initiative, spearheaded by Kabbage, lets small businesses offer online gift certificates as a means of continuing to generate revenue during the pandemic.
Facebook’s Small Business Grants Program is offering $100 million in cash grands and ad credits for small businesses.
Yelp is providing $25 million in relief for independent, local restaurants and nightlight businesses impacted by the coronavirus. The relief will take the form of waived advertising fees as well as free advertising, products, and services.
- National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – Webinar: Congressional and Legal Update for Small Businesses (03/20/2020)
- Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) – Resources for Restaurants and Workers
- RWCF – COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
- Eater’s Master List of Relief Funds for Restaurants, Bars, and Food Service
Assistance and Relief from Financial Institutions
The Current State of SBA Loan Lending
Guidant has a large network of lending partners which we’re in regular contact with. This open communication lets us help keep you informed of what we’re seeing as events change from day to day. We’re here to keep you updated – because your confidence is our priority.
Current Status: Most banks are still operating business as usual in preparation for the end of the coronavirus crisis. Since SBA loans generally take anywhere from 2 to 6+ months to fund (based on the project), lenders are focused on the long-term. Our lender network wants to continue to support small businesses through and after this tricky economic environment.
It’s possible to not only survive but thrive through tough times like an economic downturn or even recession. In times of extreme change, it can pay off to make your move – as long as you’re thoughtful, practical, and well-informed.
Here are some examples of industries that have proven, continued success even during recessions. Learn more about recession-proof businesses including more examples and franchise options.
As the population ages, the need for elderly care services, such as in-home care and assisted living, has surged, making this market prime for growth, even in downturns.
As Murphy’s law states, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Things will continue to break during recessions. Whether it’s plumbing services, home repair, or auto mechanics, these professional services are still mandatory during recessions.
Food and Beverage
Even if people don’t have much disposable income, they have to eat. Therefore, food and beverage businesses will continue to thrive during an economic downturn, especially if they have low-cost options.
As people have more down-time during work gaps, they may find themselves hosting more happy hours, which offers an opportunity for low-cost alcoholic beverages to thrive. While expensive cocktails may not do well, lower-cost alternatives such as beer, wine, and distilled alcoholic beverages tend to do well as people buy larger quantities of less-expensive products.
Top 20 Hot Business to Start Now
While your first instinct might be to freeze any plans you have to start your small business during something major like the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of upheaval can also create a time of great opportunity.
With the government expected to put more money into the SBA not just to support current businesses but also to help start new businesses and the fact that funding can take a few months to complete, why not spend some of your time working from home to work on starting your new business?
There will be life after the pandemic. Act now and make sure you’re living it as soon possible. While others are scrambling to return to normalcy, you can get a leg up on the competition.
We talked to Guidant’s expert financial consultants to get a pulse on the top 20 hot businesses to start now.
- Information Technology and Cyber Security
- Food Delivery
- Mailing and Shipping
- Medical and Emergency services
- Veterinary services
- Medical and Non-Medical Transportation
- RV Parks, Trailer Parks, Campgrounds
- Home “Fix and Flip”
- Trucking and Logistics
- eCommerce (instead of brick-and-mortar retail locations)
- Car Emissions Testing (in states where emissions testing is required)
- Cleaning and Janitorial
- Senior Care (non-medical care for stay-at-home seniors)
- Manufacturing (especially related to healthcare equipment including personal protective equipment for healthcare workers)
- Real Estate and Property Management
- Maintenance and Handyman services
- Graphics and Printing
- Pest Control
Ready to follow your dreams through the storm and into a new day? Start with our quick prequalification survey to see your financing options now.