Primary Pandemic Business Resource Links: wsbdc.org/protect-your-business/

Recent updates

7/28/2021 Beginning Aug. 4th the SBA will now allow certain businesses with PPP loans of $150,000 or less to apply directly through a new SBA portal for the forgiveness of their loan.

6/29/2021 Washington State Small Business flexFund now available: smallbusinessflexfund.org

  • Low interest working capital loans for business with fewer than 50 employees, less than $3 million annual revenue who have experienced direct economic hardship due to COVID-19.

SBA Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant program closes August 20. Learn what to prepare and access application link at sba.gov/

3/1/2021 IRS provides guidance for employers claiming the Employee Retention Credit for 2020, including eligibility rules for PPP borrowers irs.gov

Governor Guidance

8/18/2021 Governor announces educator vaccination requirement and statewide indoor mask mandate for everyone in indoor settings including restaurants, grocery stores, malls and public facing offices regardless of vaccination status effective Monday, August 23. See today’s article at www.governor.wa.gov

See governor.wa.gov/  for current guidance.

See sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loans for current information.

4/16/2021 Targeted EIDL Advance reevaluation request:

Effective immediately, applicants can send a request for reevaluation of a Targeted EIDL Advance application that was declined to the following email address: TargetedAdvanceReevaluation@sba.gov.

Applicants should follow these instructions when requesting a reevaluation:

  • Send an email to TargetedAdvanceReevaluation@sba.gov
  • Use the subject line “Reevaluation Request for [insert your 10-digit application number]
  • In the body of the email, include identifying information for the application such as application number, business name, business address, business owner name(s) and phone number

Important: Include an explanation and any documentation that addresses the reason for the decline, if available. SBA will contact applicants if additional documentation is required to complete the review

3/8/2021 Note new information under ‘Targeted EIDL Advance sba.gov‘. New mapping tool and (FAQs sba.gov). This is for qualified applicants who applied last year and are located in a low income community who received less than $10.000. SBA will email instructions to those who applied last year and may qualify. All communications from SBA will be sent from an official government email with an @sba.gov.

1/8/2021 EIDL update

  • The EIDL Loan Program has been reauthorized through 12-31-2021 or until funds are no longer available. Interest rates are 3.75% for for-profit businesses and 2.75% for non-profit businesses for a 30 year term. Payments are deferred until 12 months and there is no prepayment penalty.
  • Apply here – https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. Print each application page and verify for accuracy before moving to the next page. Validate your deposit institution’s routing number and your account number.

If your COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan was declined, you can request reconsideration within six months of the date of the decline letter. Include your application number and information required to overcome the reason for decline. You can send this information via email to pdcrecons@sba.gov or mail to the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas, 76155.

More information at sba.gov/document/support-faq-covid-19-economic-injury-disaster-loan-eidl

IEDL Applications
  • The SBA is processing applications that have been stuck in the queue. Checking to see if your business credit report has been pulled is the best way to know if it is being processed. (7/1/2020)
  • Please note local SBA offices cannot check or access your EIDL application status. Please contact our SBA Office of Disaster Assistance directly at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • Those who applied for SBA EIDL before March 27 and had an application number that began with a “2”, contact your regional SBA. https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/wa/seattle
Excerpts from Washington SBDC CARES ACT webinar

Lender for the EIDL is the SBA not the banks.

Available for most for-profit businesses including self-employed and independent contractors. Exclusions are Farms, Gambling, Religious, Some Charitable and Cannabis entities. Owners of rental properties are eligible for lost rents.

Amount up to $2 million, Term is either 15 or 30 years, Interest rate is 3.75% for for-profit and 2/75% for non-profit. Payments will start a year after the date of the approval of the loan.

Collateral – Unsecured up to $25K, Available collateral will be requested for over $25K. Lack of collateral will not by itself disqualify applicants. Real Estate is not being taken for collateral.

Payment Deferral Period is 1 year. The EIDL is not a forgiveness loan.

No cost to apply. Processing time can be 3-5 weeks although some who qualify easily are quicker.

Loan availability is January 31st, 2020 to December 31st, 2020. Increase in loan amounts can be applied for later if the initial loan amount does not cover all of the Economic Injury.

Loan Usage is for operational expenses only such as payroll, general expenses, accounts payable, lines of credit, bridge loans, returns of customer deposits, etc. The EIDL cannot be used to pay down long-term debt. Businesses that have enough cash to weather the crisis will not be eligible.

Loan Crossover or Stacking – It looks like business owners can apply for the EIDL and the PPP but the funds cannot be used to cover the same purposes.

Information and documents that might be needed – Financial reports (P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement, A/P and A/R) from January 31, 2019 to January 31, 2020. 2019 and/or previous year’s tax returns may also be requested/used.

Credit Scores are not a dis-qualifier for the applicants as long as negative credit information can be reasonably explained. Ability to repay the loan is a key qualifier and will involve analysis of the borrower’s ability to repay.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan – Advance. This is a feature included at the end of the EIDL application. It gives you the chance to obtain a $10,000 advance with no strings attached. This loan is instantly forgivable which makes it a grant. It does require completion of the EIDL loan. Funds are to be deposited into the bank account that you provide within 3-5 business days.

State resources

Federal Resources

Washington State

Mental health resources at coronavirus.wa.gov. One resource here is Washington Listens, a support line (1-833-681-0211) to talk about stress due to COVID-19.

StartUp Washington startup.choosewashingtonstate.com with resources, assistance and grant information when available

AWB PPE Connect reboundandrecovery.org has resources and connection with Washington businesses for PPE

Washington SBDC Bellingham sbdc.wwu.edu recorded webinars includes PPP, eCommerce Grants, FAQs and more

Federal

5/19/2020 Federal Resources for Small Businesses covid-sb.org affected by COVID-19 is a centralized platform with information obtained from multiple federal agency resources in an organized format with searchable functionality.

Federal Resources for U.S. Small Business http://covid-sb.org/

America’s SBDC Covid-19 Resources sites.google.com

The following was compiled by America’s SBDC

PREPARING TO REOPEN

Though your business may be closed, now is the time to start preparing for your next chapter.  We recommend you develop a well thought out plan for when you can open again. While not all businesses are brick and mortar, many of these tips can be applied to your business.

People across the country are rooting for the small business community, making this an opportunity for you to solidify existing customer relationships and to welcome new customers. 

  • PLAN

Use your time now to develop a plan for your reopening the first 3 months.  Consider what you have learned during this time that will benefit you and your business in the future. Define goals and create a to-do list of items with target deadlines.

Develop and refine your disaster plan. Unfortunately as we’ve learned through this experience, disasters can happen to anyone and it’s a matter of “when” not “if” one will occur. Use this time to prepare for the next potential business interruption.

  • EMPLOYEES

A successful relaunch and recovery of your business will depend on your ability  to retain talent. Make employee engagement a priority.

  • Many small businesses treat their employees like family.  Thank them for hanging in there and acknowledge the financial and mental stress the pandemic has caused them.
  • Consider your reopening hours. Come up with a plan that is fluid for what schedules might look like under several different operating models.
  • Continue to stay in close communication with your team and share your plan with them when ready. Sharing your reopening plan reminds your team that they are a key factor in the success of your business.
  • Employees with disabilities that put them at high risk for complications of COVID-19 may request telework as a reasonable accommodation to reduce their chances of infection during a pandemic. Employers should make workplaces as safe as possible for workers.
  • Develop leave policies that promote workers staying at home when they are sick, when household members are sick, or when required by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine themselves or a member of their household.
  • Develop a policy for informing workers if they have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 at their workplace and requiring them to quarantine for the required amount of time, being sure to protect the privacy of workers’ health status and health information.
  • Consider staggered work shifts and expanding hours to reduce the number of individuals working together at the same time and spread out the contact with members of the public.
  • Maintain 6 feet physical distancing for staff, customers, and vendors.
  • Face-to-face staff meetings should be limited and respect physical distancing.
  • Increase electronic workplace communications (texts, emails, instant messaging, phone calls) with staff to reduce frequent face-to-face contact.
  • Adjust break/meal times to limit contact between employees.
  • Use posters to remind staff, vendors, and customers regarding hand hygiene and physical distancing.
  • Ensure that employees have access to hand soap, cloth face coverings, gloves,  tissues, paper towels, and a designated trash bin to dispose of used items.
  • Provide resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene such as tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces.
  • Ventilate workspace with open windows and doors to the extent possible.
  • Disinfect phones, shared tools, scanning devices, and other shared items regularly.
  • Discourage shared use of desks, offices, or phones.
  • VENDORS

Hopefully you have been communicating with your vendors throughout all of this. Remember your vendors are an important part of the team.

  • Review your current inventory as compared to what you project your sales may be when you reopen (see cash flow below).
  • Initially cash flow will be tight, so talk with vendors now about payment options.  Many of your vendors may be willing to consider 30, 45 or even 60 day payment options on any new orders.  Remember they want you to succeed as well – you are their customer!
  • Make sure you have a safe process to receive supplies and other deliveries.
  • CUSTOMERS

It most likely will take more than a “We Are Open” sign to get customers back in the door.

  • Customers may still be hesitant to be out in public.  Start off with the basics such as making sure your establishment is fresh, clean and organized.
  • Re-engineer the physical space of your business to facilitate physical distancing among employees and between customers.  Evaluate ways that protect employee and customer safety that make each comfortable interacting.
  • Depending on your business make sure, for example, that inventory is stocked, menus are updated, and you and your employees are ready to provide outstanding service.
  • Show you appreciate your customers through welcome back promotions, offering new services, and remembering to always thank them for their business.
  • CASH FLOW

Prepare a projected income statement.  Remember this is a projection but this exercise will help you be better

  • Statements should be broken down by months.
  • Include projected sales and all expenses.
  • Develop several scenarios that reflect what it may look like when you are back in business. prepared for fluctuations in cash flow.

Businesses that are best prepared to reopen, with a well thought out plan, will undoubtedly be the most successful! 

Primary Employer-Worker websites

Washington L & I safety-health Coronavirus lni.wa.gov

Employment Security Department esd.wa.gov

U.S. Department of Labor dol.gov homepage ‘News’ has latest Guidance for Workers and Employers under Families First Coronavirus Response act other federal announcements for employers

U.S. Department of Labor COVID-19 and the American Workplace

DOL outlines small-business exemption from cornoavirus paid leave law brief from hrdive.com

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention cdc.gov business guidance

OSHA.gov Coronavirus

Webinars

Family First WWU SBDC Webinar

Zoom Recording

Families-First-Act-SBDCPresentation

Employer guidance regarding protecting employees

Washington Department of Health doh.wa.gov

Families First Coronavirus Response Act dol.gov

Re-opening articles

Coronavirus and legal considerations

The National Law Review database of articles focused on various aspects of the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • In this video from Bracewell LLC, managing partner Robert Nichols, an attorney who handles OSHA issues, explains why employers must include contractors and contractors’ workers in health and safety measures, in addition to their own employees and customers.

smallbizhelpwa.com is an information and resource hub powered by the National Development Council and Washington Economic Development Association.

SBA.gov Coronavirus Relief Options portal for PPP, EIDL, SBA Express Bridge Loans and SBA Debt Relief

SBA Coronavirus Disaster relief guide covers programs available. The new COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN APPLICATION Advance began March 30.

SBA Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus sba.gov

SBA announcements press releases

IRS.gov Coronavirus Tax Relief for Business

Washington State Department of Commerce startup.choosewashingtonstate.com 

Coronavirus.wa.gov/business-workers note FAQs section

Washington state business resources for COVD-19 business.wa.gov

COVID 19 resource list for impacted Washington businesses and workers Governor.wa.gov

WWU SBDC Bellingham sbdc.wwu.edu

KingCounty.gov Preparedness for Business

America’s SBDC COVID-19 Small Business Resources americassbdc.org

Washington Retail Association Note: Retailer COVID-19 Retailer Resource Guide, Retail Services ‘Retro‘ can help reduce workers’ compensation and ‘Rise Up‘ offers online training on the fundamentals of retail, now being offered to members at no additional cost.

Alerts

12/8/2020 Fake emails from Sba-attorneys [mailto:info[@]Sba-attorneys.com] are circulating. This is a scam.

Tips & Resources

Government links should always have .gov in the primary url.

Fraud impersonating SBA alerts:  https://www.sba.gov/document/report–sba-programs-scams-fraud-alerts

  • Be cautious of webpages claiming to be the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Look for sba.gov (NOT sba.com) in the primary url.
  • An SBA logo on an email or webpage does not guarantee the information is accurate or from the SBA.If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the SBA, suspect fraud.
  • There is no cost to apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan and SBA will never ask you to provide a credit card.
  • Do not release any private information (social security number, date of birth, etc.) or banking information in response to an unsolicited caller, letter, email, or text.
  • If you are in the process of applying for an SBA loan and receive email correspondence asking for PII, ensure that the referenced application number is consistent with your application number.
  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors in an email and be wary of clicking on any links or attachments.
  • Visit the Small Business Cybersecurity site to learn more about small Business Cybersecurity tips, common threats, training, and best practices. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage-your-business/small-business-cybersecurity
  • Visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Infrastructure site for small business resources. https://w.gov/publication/stopthinkconnect-small-business-resources
  • Trust your instincts! If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.

If you have already responded to a phishing email, take ID theft precautions immediately. Visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/ for more information.

In addition, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Group (CISA) and the Regional Infrastructure Security Group (RISG) are also sharing information to warn the public of potential scams. More information is at https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2020/03/06/defending-against-covid-19-cyber-scams

Washington State

Washington State Coronavirus scams coronavirus.wa.gov

 Washington State

WA state small business guide chapter on ‘closing your business.wa.gov  The guide gives a comprehensive list of who must be contacted depending on the industry.  

SBA

 Close or Sell Your Business sba.gov includes information on bankruptcy and liquidation.

IRS

Closing Your Business Checklist irs.gov with links to various forms that might need to be completed.

One minute video from the IRS irsvideos.gov with an overview of what must be done.

The page also has information to help business owners who are declaring bankruptcy, selling their business and terminating retirement plans. For easy access, they can reach the page at IRS.gov/closingabiz.

How to close a sole proprietorship: fact sheet and e-poster, (Spanish version)

How to close a partnership: fact sheet and e-poster, (Spanish version)

How to close a corporation: fact sheet and e-poster, (Spanish version)

Non Governmental Resources

QuickBooks Guide How to close a business: A 10-step guide for small business owners quickbooks.intuit.com

6/19/2020 SBA’s Lender Match is an additional resource for pandemic-affected small businesses who have not applied for or received an approved PPP loan to connect with lenders.  This is an online tool for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), Farm Credit System lenders, Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  Read announcement here: SBA.gov newsroom

Washington SBDC Financial tools

Financial Management eLearning

Funding your Business Resource Page

SBA LINC is a tool that connects borrowers with SBA Approved Lenders

Federal

Non-disaster SBA Loans: https://www.sba.gov/partners/lenders/7a-loan-program/types-7a-loans

Washington state

Private*

SBA Microlenders and Community Advantage Lenders

Business Impact Northwest https://businessimpactnw.org/

Craft3 https://www.craft3.org/

SNAP https://www.snapwa.org/services-we-provide/lending-services/

Mercy Corps Northwest https://www.mercycorpsnw.org/business/loans/seattle-2/

Webinars

Business Survival Strategies

The information below is provided for your consideration and should be evaluated carefully. As local, state and federal agencies continue to roll out new assistance programs, your best course of action may change.

Business Survival Strategies handout pdf

Webinar slide deck 4/17/2020 Business Survival and Cash Flow Forecasting 4.17.20

  • EXPENSE REDUCTION STRATEGIES

    • Staffing reductions
      • Current relief options may provide funds to keep employees.  Check with esd.wa.gov and an SBDC advisor for options. If necessary, assess your minimum staffing needs and make appropriate reductions in personnel and or hours worked.
    • Cash controls
      • Eliminate any expenses not essential to business survival
      • Stop buying inventory unless you can sell it with quick turnaround
    • Leases
      • Contact your landlord immediately to discuss reduced rent or rent abatement, in which suspend payments now that are added to the end of your lease. Any changes would need to be documented in a lease amendment. Dealing with your Landlord? Blog from retailowner.com
    • Loans
      • Talk with anyone you are borrowing from about the possibility of a loan deferral or contract extension. A deferral will have a balloon payment at the end. An extension will extend the term of the loan.
      • Look at your debt load and see if it is possible to restructure your debt to decrease payments.
    • Vendor contracts/payments
      • Talk with suppliers immediately about whether you can delay payments or other ways you might be able to reduce costs.
    • Utility costs
      • Some utility companies are offering COVID-19-related fee reductions. Go to their website or call to find out what relief is available.
    • Taxes
      • Seek emergency relief from both state and federal government

    NOTE: In reducing staff hours and/or furloughing employees, employers must take the lead with WA state Employment Security Division in assisting employees with benefits. There are several options available for unemployment. See the flyer in this link:

    Employment Security Department information for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19

  • Cash Infusion Strategies

    • Traditional or disaster loans

    Realistically assess whether your business can take on additional debt.

    • Traditional SBA loans, express loans, lines of credit, etc.
    • Alternative lenders, i.e. Craft3, Mercy Corp, Business Impact NW, Evergreen Business Capital, WAFD, etc.
    • Personal loans (proceed with caution)
    • Same day loans (proceed with extreme caution!)
    • Business interruption/continuity insurance
      • Contact your insurance broker to see what your policy provides
    • Accounts receivable
      • Collect any/all outstanding accounts receivable, but try to preserve important customer/client relationships for future business
    • Inventory control
      • Take a full inventory and secure it as much as possible. Any perishable inventory that can’t be sold could be donated and listed as a charitable contribution for taxes.
    • New markets
      • Determine if your business can move any product or services online, or if this current environment offers any opportunities for new revenue streams.

    The goal is to improve the company’s overall cash outflow to preserve cash in the bank and extend the company’s ability to survive.

  • Communication is key

    • Talk to your employees
      • Do they know and are they following new health and safety guidelines? Are any of them able/willing to reduce hours voluntarily? How can they use technology to increase productivity, especially in this new environment?
    • Talk to your customers
      • Their needs have changed, what can you do to meet those needs? Look for new opportunities, markets and solutions. How can use you technology, including social media and other digital platforms, to engage and attract customers.
    • Talk to your lenders and landlord
      • Be realistic about the current situation. Can you defer, extend or lower payments in exchange for a longer loan or lease term or balloon payment later?
    • Talk to industry colleagues
      • What are they doing that seems to be helping in the current situation? Crowd-sourcing solutions may be helpful.

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Contact Washington SBDC

washington@wsbdc.org

(833) 492-7232