Are you one of those whose businesses have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic? Perhaps by now, you already have all sorts of questions:
- Can I afford to pay the rent?
- How do I settle my debts?
- Should I close my business now?
- How do I cover wages?
Growing or even keeping a company these days is tough, but it is doable. If you’re in limbo, these three ideas could help:
1. Consolidate Your Debts
Now is an excellent time to consider debt consolidation. This way, you can focus on only one repayment each month and take advantage of a loan with a lower interest rate. You can also possibly extend the payment period, so monthly repayments are more affordable.
How does this work? You can approach a lender who will let you borrow enough amount to cover all your debts. For small businesses, they can look at a bank that offers an SBA loan called 7(a) loan. In this program, owners can take out as much as $5 million and pay it within 5 to 25 years.
2. Apply for Disaster Assistance Programs
Different states these days have already launched various programs to provide economic relief to companies, especially small businesses. Utah, for example, plans to pump $12 million to boost the state’s tourism. Last March and April, they also provided up to $12 million bridge loans to small-scale entrepreneurs.
If you miss out on that one, you can consider other disaster assistance programs through SBA loans and grants. The interest rates are around 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. Companies can borrow up to $2 million, which is payable for a maximum of 30 years.
You can then use the funds for the following:
- Pay off rent
- Buy or refinance equipment or machinery
- Increase your inventory
- Retain your employees
- Boost your cash flow
If your biggest concern is rent, you can apply for a grant called the Commercial Rental Assistance Program. It applies to small businesses that have lost at least 30% of their gross monthly revenue because of the pandemic. You can get more information about this from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).
As of July 2020, the state announced a $25 million grant to fund its program called Shop In Utah to stir the economy. In this plan, Utah is willing to incentivize businesses that can provide sales promos and discounts to their customers.
3. Slowly Reopen the Business
The only way to stay afloat is to revive your business. When you can, open your doors once again. Currently, Utah is allowing industries to operate by phases.
Note, though, that policies can change depending on the COVID climate in the state. Utah might decide to close its businesses if the cases rise. As a company, it’s something you need to prepare for.
Nevertheless, you can encourage Utahns to shop responsibly and cautiously by promoting CDC’s and Utah’s safety guidelines. These include:
- Observing social or physical distancing inside the business premises
- Wearing of masks by everyone at all times
- Providing hand-sanitizing stations
- Disinfecting the workplace regularly
- Improving ventilation
Thriving as an entrepreneur in this pandemic will be difficult, but it doesn’t mean you cannot have a clear plan. Begin with these ideas.