Owning a business is challenging even in the best of times. Add a global pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime, and it becomes much more overwhelming. Often, business owners try to compensate for shortcomings in their business by bringing in more and more revenue. For many people, however, business closures and quarantines have seemingly eliminated that option.

At the moment, you may be running around like your hair’s on fire, trying to find any possible way to bring in more money. You may feel like you are too busy trying to control the present to worry about the future. Take some comfort in the fact that you’re not alone in feeling this.

If you need to talk with someone, to brainstorm options about how you can shift from your previous income model to one that will work virtually or in an innovative manner considering current conditions, reach out to us and schedule a call to see how we can help.If revenue is not an issue, and you are ready to pivot, awesome—do it, and let us know how we can support. Here are 3 things that you can do as you pivot to create the most stability for you and your team.

Create or Update Your “Personal Resource Map”

To put it bluntly, you need to be ready for the worst case scenario, both personally and professionally. Setting up an estate plan is important for every individual, even if you don’t think you are rich enough to need one. If you own anything—from a laptop computer, to a guitar, to a house—something will need to be done with it after your death.

There’s also a possibility that you have assets that you have completely forgotten about, like that 401k from a job you had several years ago that you never rolled over. Currently there’s somewhere between 49 and 80 billion dollars in legal limbo that family members cannot claim due to a lack of preparation on the part of the deceased. You don’t want your assets to become trapped in gridlock instead of passed on to the people you love.

When you own a business, there is a whole set of other issues to consider. Putting your wishes into an estate plan, regarding things like a succession plan, will be enormously helpful to whoever is managing your affairs in the event of your death or incapacity.

If a whole estate plan feels too overwhelming right now, at least get an inventory of your assets and business in place, where everything is and how your loved ones/partners and team could access it, if you become ill or die.

Or, if you’d rather us help you with this, just give Satori Law Group a call.

Check Your Business Insurance Policy

Now is the time to call your insurance agent to see what provisions are in your policy to deal with the current dangers to your business’s survival. Many people have something called “interruption insurance”, which can help keep you going if your business is shut down or inhibited somehow by a disaster. Knowing what your policy says will help you prepare for what may happen in the event of an extended closure or drop in revenue.

Apply for Credit and Loans

You may feel resistant to raising your credit due to the risk of going into debt. First of all, you do not need to be afraid of credit—it’s merely a resource available to you. Not maximizing your credit is an unwise move. You’re just leaving money on the table instead when you could be lengthening a credit line to fall back on if you need to. Especially in an uncertain moment like this, it could even be called foolish to let this barrier stand in your way.

Right now, there are a number of opportunities offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you need capital, you can take out one of several different types of loans, depending on what type of business you run. You should look into applying for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loan for 2.5 your monthly payroll expenses with your existing bank, and the loan is forgivable if you can show evidence of payroll expenses, benefits, utilities, rents or mortgage payments.  Or you could apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) where you may be qualified up to 3-4 times your revenues.  You have options. Look into them sooner rather than later. Let us know if we can help.

And, as a business owner, be sure you are using your access to business credit, rather than maxing out your personal credit cards, which will hurt your credit score. Whereas business credit does not.

Stay Updated on Employment Laws – Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

FFCRA helps the United States combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Department’s Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.

  • The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) requires that certain employers provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who need to take leave from work for certain specified reasons related to COVID-19. These reasons may include the following:
    • the employee or someone the employee is caring for is subject to a government quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
    • the employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical attention; or,
    • the employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

 

  • The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) requires that certain employers provide up to 10 weeks of paid, and 2 weeks unpaid, emergency family and medical leave to eligible employees if the employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

Stay Updated on Any New Tax Laws

The federal government, as well as many state governments, has extended the income tax due date three months into the future. While this is only relevant to sole proprietorships, other changes to tax law, both for individuals and businesses, are currently being debated. Be sure to pay attention to the outcomes of these debates to plan for the future as much as you can.

Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are all going through this together, and we are ready to answer any questions you may have.