COVID-19 has severely impacted the way that everyone goes about their lives. Most are forced to stay at home, yourself likely included.
This means that many businesses are currently closed or working at a significantly reduced capacity. Unsurprisingly, this is resulting in losses across the board as businesses struggle to keep up with their expenses while having their income handicapped.
In particular, small businesses tend to be hit the hardest. Small businesses have less flexibility to handle a disaster like a pandemic, so their losses tend to be more impactful.
Business insurance may cover coronavirus losses, but this is not guaranteed relief and you may not even have a policy. If this is the case, then you’ll still want to know what resources are available to you during your time of need.
We’ll point out a few helpful resources you can turn to below.
The first thing you should look into is disaster loans.
As part of the emergency relief plan that was recently passed in the US, small businesses are now able to apply for special loans from the government.
Disaster loans are low-interest loans that are intended to help small businesses cover the costs of operation while income stagnates. As many people are staying home, fewer customers are visiting stores and freely spending money on non-essentials.
Loans are always an effective tool for covering costs, but high-interest rates can make them unappealing. This is where a disaster loan is particularly useful because it won’t cripple your financial future.
Where most business loans are typically 8-10% annually, a disaster loan is more than half of that rate. Your average disaster loan will cost just 4% a year or less, which easily amounts to thousands in savings depending on how much you borrow.
Better yet, these disaster loans are not viewed as income. This means that you won’t need to report the loan as income on next year’s taxes. Even if you have to repay it, the flexibility of having cash from a disaster loan is an undeniable perk.
While you might not be thrilled about the idea of taking on debt, you may not have a good alternative. The low-interest rates available on disaster loans make them fair and beneficial.
You could also consider accepting donations through a GoFundMe campaign. GoFundMe is a platform that allows people to use social media for fundraising.
You can create a fundraiser known as a campaign to raise money for a cause. This can be started by you as a business owner, but it can also be started by someone else for you.
Due to the income deficit that many businesses are facing, GoFundMe is an interesting alternative for raising money to keep your small business afloat during the pandemic.
While many companies and individuals are struggling financially because of the pandemic, many are not suffering and have extra funds to use. You might not expect anyone to help, but you’d be shocked by how supportive the public can be.
A positive outcome of the COVID-19 outbreak is that it’s helping us come together as humans. Especially if you offer a product or service that your customers appreciate or love, they may go above and beyond to ensure that you stay afloat.
Finally, look into GoFundMe’s small business relief fund. You can also apply for a loan through GoFundMe, which is structured similarly to a disaster loan.
Facebook and Verizon Grants
Another useful resource is grants provided by notable companies like Facebook and Verizon.
Facebook recently started an initiative known as the Small Business Grants Program specifically to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. In areas that Facebook operates, companies can apply for a grant through Facebook.
If offered a grant from Facebook, the opportunity would boost revenue and develop an online income stream during the pandemic. This is another way to help cover costs and grow your business while you have less flexibility.
Verizon is another corporation offering grants to help small businesses. Through its Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund, Verizon is offering grants of upwards of $10,000 to businesses in dire need.
Grants are an attractive option because they are free money. Unlike a loan, you don’t need to repay a grant. It’s like grandma giving you a nice check to help you get through the next few months.
Legal and Financial Advice
Finally, you should seek out free legal and financial advice found online. While it isn’t direct financial support, these are great tools for helping you better understand your situation and how to proceed.
Resources like SixFifty and LegalShield are offering free advice about how the virus impacts small businesses. You can take advantage of them by looking at their online articles and webpages.
SixFifty offers tools to help you address employment problems. This helps you communicate, manage your employees, create surveys, and develop automated policies.
LegalShield is nice for helping you understand the legal impact of coronavirus. You can learn about the legal ramifications of the virus and what you can do to deal with them.
These two tools aren’t the only free sources of advice to be found. Many other professionals are offering their services at a significant discount or for free to help those in need during COVID-19.
Look online to see what you can find. Many businesses are offering their help at little to no cost to you and it just might be something that helps you out.
If you’re a small business, then you’ve likely been strongly affected by COVID-19. Income has surely dropped, but your expenses remain. This puts you in a tricky financial situation without a clear solution.
Fortunately, many resources are available to businesses in need. A few that you should look for include disaster loans, GoFundMe donations, grants through Facebook and Verizon, and free advice for legal and financial matters.
As devastating as this pandemic is, your business should survive if you’re willing to accept help and know where to look. Seek the help of the many resources available online to put yourself in the best shape possible!