Recent updates

5/31/2020 Safe Start governor.wa.gov

5/22/2020 SBA Loan Forgiveness Policies – see PPP tab below

Association of Washington Business (AWB) Rebound and Recovery Washington reboundandrecovery.org

What you need to know for a Safe Start plans and guidance for reopening coronavirus.wa.gov – 5/22/2020 four additional counties approved for phase 2: Spokane, Adams, Grays Harbor, Lewis

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

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.

SBA press releases and media advisories sba.gov

IRS News Releases irs.gov

Washington Employment Security expanded CARES Act benefits for qualified self employed available

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

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

Safe Start plans and guidance for reopening coronavirus.wa.gov

5/12/2020

Gov. Jay Inslee’s office is continuing to issue guidance on which businesses are allowed to open, when and under what conditions as part of a four-phase Safe Start program, which each phase lasting a minimum of three weeks. Most of the state continues in phase one, where only essential businesses are allowed to operate. Under the Safe Start approach, counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks can apply for a variance to move to Phase 2 before other parts of the state. Counties currently approved for a variance are Spokane, Adams, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Wahkiakum, Skamania, Stevens, Columbia, Garfield, Lincoln, Ferry and Pend Oreille. Under Phase 2, nonessential travel and gatherings of fewer than five people are permitted. Businesses that may reopen include restaurants and retailers, nail salons,  real estate, office-based businesses and more.

For counties eligible for Phase 2, in-store retail operations and restaurant dining may resume with limitations, effective today. Here are Phase 2 restaurant requirements. Other guidance documents include Memo: Partially Resuming Limited In-Store Retail Operations and Phase 2 Limited In-Store Retail Operations COVID-19 Requirements. Certain manufacturing operations may also reopen, under the following guidance: Memo: Resuming Additional Manufacturing Operations and Phase 2 Manufacturing Facility COVID-19 Requirements.

Essential Business Guidance

Gov. Jay Inslee has released guidance on what the following businesses must do to prepare to reopen safely. (Many parts of the economy are already allowed to operate safely as essential businesses. For a list of essential businesses click here.)

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! 

5/22/2020 SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Policies home.treasury.gov pdf

5/22/2020 SBA PPP Loan Review Procedures and Borrower and Lender Responsibilities home.treasury.gov pdf

5/15/2020 Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application treasury.gov pdf

America’s SBDC google drive resources

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) page sba.gov (Self-employed and independent contractors can apply as of April 10th.)

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program – home.treasury.gov information with tools

4/14/2020 Interim final rule for the PPP with guidance for self employed home.treasury.gov pdf

4/14/2020 Paycheck Protection Program Loans FAQs home.treasury.gov

Lenders

Alternate Paycheck Protection Program Lenders

Kabbage

PayPal loanbuilder.com

Squareup.com

National SBA PPP Find a lender tool sba.gov (may not be all inclusive)

Resources

FAQs for Lenders and Borrowers for the Paycheck Protection Program-sba.gov

QuickBooks products resources regarding CARES Act – COVID-19 at firmofthefuture.com

U. S. Chamber Small Business Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide

IRS notice 20-32 pdf regarding no IRS tax deduction is allowed for a business expense paid with funds from a loan that is granted forgiveness (i.e., the PPP)

SBDC vs SBA Pandemic Help for Small Businesses Fact Sheet

Federal Trade Commission ftc.gov – Considerations for borrowers and lenders during the covid crises

AICPA.org SBA PPP resources has SBA Paycheck Protection Program resources for CPAs including recommendations for loan forgiveness under PPP and Forgiveness calculation resources

Webinar slide deck 5/1/2020 SBALoanUpdate_RecoveryReadiness050120

4/16/2020 SBA Announcement sba.gov

Lapse in Appropriations Notice: SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.

EIDL applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

5/4/2020 New Eligibility for IED Loan applications for eligible agricultural businesses sba.gov EIDL

On Monday, May 4 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) portal reopened for Agribusinesses who were excluded in the first round.

Please note, if you recently visited this site, your cookies may prevent you from seeing the update. Try refreshing or opening the link in a different browser. The EIDL portal is optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer and the new Microsoft Edge browser.

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

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan EIDL

EIDL advance loan application with advance. Qualifying applicants may receive up to a $10,000 advance prior to approval of total loan request. A portion may be forgivable. The initial advance application has been simplified since March 30th.

EIDL Information and link to application sba.gov

Electronic SBA application EIDL Loan Portal sba.gov

SBA EIDL application alternative sba.gov – All needed forms with Box upload option. Only use this if SBA electronic application is disabled. This is a good place to download all forms needed.

Washington SBDC SBA Disaster loan program webinar

New material coming

Who is eligible?
  • Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations
    • Business must be a small business defined by SBA 500 or fewer employees
    • Businesses directly affected by the disaster
    • Businesses that offer services directly related to the businesses in the declaration
    • Other businesses indirectly related the industry that are likely to be harmed by losses in their community
    • Must be physically located in a declared county and suffered working capital losses due to the disaster.
      • Home based is considered a physical location
    • SBA must determine that the business is able to repay the loan
    • Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA
Loan funds use
    • Working capital loan can pay overhead expenses, payroll, accounts payable, other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
Things to consider
Application Tips
  • Electronic Application is easier, faster and more accurate
  • Google Chrome Browser not recommended
  • Fill out form
    • Save your application number given after clicking submit
    • Information including address must match your tax returns. If moved, submit change of address to IRS.
  • Check ‘Economic Injury’ Loan as what you are applying for
  • Projected losses are determined by SBA
  • Contact information must match your federal tax returns
    • If tax returns reference other businesses you own, submit those returns also
  • Save at every prompt. Website may go down due to heavy volume
  • Be sure all information is completed prior to submission. Missing information results in delays
  • SBA paper forms https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms
  • Electronic funds deposit will be faster than mailing
  • Applicant can choose not to accept all or part of EIDL funds
  • Freedom of Information Act information sba.gov

Excepts from SBDC webinar 4/3/2020

When the CARES Act became law on Friday, March 27, 2020, significant new initiatives were authorized to help small businesses impacted by COVID19.  The SBA, the SBDC and other federal agencies are diligently working to finalize the program guidelines required to rollout these programs.  The information below is current as of the morning of Friday, April 3, 2020.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – The focus of this tool is to provide for operating cost assistance during the time period of the Disaster Declaration. The web portal to apply for this loan can be accessed here – https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. SBA Customer Service can be called at ________________. Customer service calls will be categorized as Tier 1 or Tier 2. If Tier 2 is needed up front, press #2 to get customer care person and ask to move to tier 2.

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.

Primary Employer-Worker websites

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.
National

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

See COVID-19 Employer Worker resource tab for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Private agencies for information only (Washington SBDC does not endorse)

Intuit Small Business Releif Initiative GoFundMe pages

The Red Backpack Fund globalliving.org (for women entrepreneurs) – Up to $5,000 grants available. Next round of applications opens up May 4th

Hello Alice covid19businesscenter.com with the support of Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, Ebay, and others is offering $10,000 emergency grants.

Check your local area:
The following are a few examples of local relief. Check with your local municipalities and economic development agencies.
Seattle and Bellevue area

South Lake Union (SLU) Relief Fund Businesses & non-profits located in SLU or have a majority client base in SLU. Will start accepting applications on Monday April 20.

Amazon Neighborhood Relief Fund

Seattle Public Utilities

Facebook Small Business Grants Program offers King County for-profit companies $2,500 cash, plus $1500 in optional ads credits to businesses with 2-50 employees. Must be in business at least one year and experienced challenges due to Coronavirus. Open April 22- May 8.

Pierce County

Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program – piercecountywa.gov  No interest loans for businesses with 20 or fewer employees, $1,000 per employee up to $20,000

Grays Harbor

Coastal Communities Community COVID Emergency Loan – graysharbor.org low interest up to $25,000

Spokane

Business Resilience Loan Program loans between $10 and $50,000

Fraud impersonating SBA 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.
  • Emails from SBA or other legitimate government agencies will always end in .gov
  • 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.

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

 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.  

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

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.

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

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/

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.

The Washington Small Business Development Center, hosted by Washington State University, is an accredited member of America's SBDC. Funded in part throurgh a coppperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, institutions of higher education, economic development organizations and other public and private funding partners.