Help for Small Businesses During COVID-19

Businesses throughout North America are impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, including many construction companies and our own Butler Builders®. In partnership with BlueScope Buildings North America, Butler Manufacturing™ has compiled resources and recommendations to assist small business owners as they navigate these unprecedented times.

There are several ways the federal government, through the Small Business Administration, can help with the financial impact via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This program provides cash to impacted small businesses quickly, with less red tape than the SBA’s existing loan programs. It also incentivizes business owners to keep employees on the payroll by offering loan forgiveness.

The following is a summary of the resources available to small business owners through the CARES Act. You should work with your attorney, banker and financial adviser before you file any applications.

The Paycheck Protection Program

This is a loan program that offers small business owners an incentive to keep their workers on the payroll. Your company cannot have more than 500 employees. The SBA will forgive the loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage, interest or utilities. The maximum loan amount is $10 million.

The program is available through June 30, 2020. Several conditions apply so check with the SBA. The application has been posted on the Treasury Department’s CARES Act resource page. You can find it here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance

The program allows for an advance of up to $10,000 to help businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. The loan program offers working capital loans of up to $2 million that can help to overcome the loss of revenue. To apply, go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

SBA Debt Relief

If you have current, non-disaster related loans obtained through the SBA, the SBA will cover all loan payments on these loans, including principal, interest and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of March 27, 2020.

Now that you are in-the-know on the CARES Act, there are a few other things you need to take into consideration during this crisis. According to Forbes Magazine, the following recommendations can help fortify your business. A link to the full story can be found below in the “Sources” section.

Access to Funds

In addition to the help you can obtain through the CARES Act, it is a good idea to explore all your capital access options so you have all you need when you need it. Incidents like this pandemic can strain a small business’s capability to meet financial obligations.

Facility Cleaning

Check your supplier agreements and maintenance contracts. Can they meet increases in demand for an extended period of time? Work with them to find the best solution.

Insurance Coverage Issues

Many businesses have business interruption insurance. Contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand your coverage.

Customer Communication

It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations and what protective measures you’ve implemented. This will help ease their concerns and reinforce that they are working with a strong partner.

Employee Communication

As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the pandemic worsens and when it improves.

Apply for CARES Act Assistance at www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/

Information resources: answerdesk@sba.gov  or 1-800-827-5722


Sources:

Small Business Association – www.sba.gov

Forbes – https://www.forbes.com/sites/tonymarks/2020/03/30/cares-act-to-the-rescue-phase-3-coronavirus-bill-cares-about-small-and-midsize-businesses-franchisors-and-franchisees/#d65bb074bf92

The Washington Post – https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/30/heres-how-get-small-business-loan-under-349-billion-coronavirus-aid-bill/

Inc. – https://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/payroll-protection-program-frequently-asked-questions.html

U.S. Chamber of Commerce – www.uschamber.com/series/above-the-fold/how-access-stimulus-funding-your-small-business