03 Apr 2020 By: Natalya Bucuy
“Never let a good crisis go to waste,”
Winston Churchill said those words more than 70 years ago. But there is no time like right now for them to ring so true.
With COVID-19 sweeping the globe. It’s hard to find a business that is not feeling the effects of the pandemic. A business owner can find plenty of advice for small business survival in the current situation.
One of the essential actions is to apply creativity and resourcefulness to business practices.
Jeff Davis from 12 Mavens, put together a forum for small business owners to discuss coronavirus relief and action plans.
During the presentation, guest speaker Bethany Barnes introduced available resources. She talked about state and federal loans and grants available to small businesses.
Federal and state governments put forward programs as part of the coronavirus relief stimulus plan. By helping small business owners, the government hoped to keep the economy afloat during the difficult time.
“We’re seeing that the government is responding very quickly on both state and federal level,” Barnes said. “They are fixing problems very quickly. They are being generous and are providing coronavirus relief efficiently.”
Key concepts of coronavirus relief programs by U.S. Small Business Administration.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low interest loans to businesses affected by the pandemic and looking for coronavirus relief.
- The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- The loans come with a repayment period of up to 30 years.
- The business seeking coronavirus relief must present evidence of being in business prior to January 1, 2020.
- Credit worthiness of small business owners with a credit score of over 640 serves as one of the determining eligibility factors.
- The SBA will consider credit scores below 640 if there is a valid reason present. In some cases, credit recovery might be necessary prior to application.
- Loans will require no payments for the first 12 months.
- The SBA will determine the details of the available funds, amounts, and eligibility on a case-to case basis.
Payroll Protection Plan and Partial Forgiveness Program
- The SBA will partially forgive portions of the loan. Business owner must demonstrate need and issue paid coronavirus leave for its employees.
- Upon application existing SBA loans might not require payments for interest, principal, and fees for six months with no future repayment required.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 might be available on a limited basis. This advance will provide coronavirus relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
For more information, visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19
Rapid Business Plans provides application assistance. For more information visit https://rapidbusinessplans.com/coronavirus-questionnaire.
For more details watch the full 12 Mavens forum session:
Creativity and innovation as actions for coronavirus relief.
During the forum, another guest speaker Dr. Todd Dewett spoke about resourcefulness and creativity during the time of uncertainty.
“When things change, how does it impact our ability to be creative?” Dr. Dewett asked. “We often get lost in everyday routine and lose our creativity.”
Adding resources does not necessarily mean additional productivity and efficiency, he said. Looking at things differently will. He presented a three-point action plan for small business owners to implement. Combining creativity, resourcefulness, and change of perspective will produce the most efficient coronavirus relief, he said.
1. Identify routines that get us lost and ensure efficiency that lacks creativity.
Therefore, choose to mix up the routines on purpose even after the quarantine. Off script brain produces new combinations of existing knowledge and fosters creativity, Dr. Dewett said.
Most importantly, spend time thinking. Reflect on what you’re feeling and what you’re doing. Consequences are bigger now, so it is essential to spend time reviewing and rethinking perspectives.
2. Get more people involved.
Confidence is important. However, people on the team are capable be more creative and offer a different perspective. Changing up set roles might produce different outcomes and more creative solutions.
“If you want to be resourceful the first step is to get out of your own brain,” Dr. Dewett said. “Don’t sit at the end of the table, sit on the side. Let someone else start the conversation. Seek input from others. Additionally, have second in command start meeting every once in a while.”
3. Question assumptions. Admit you don’t see yourself as others see you.
Therefore, understanding how others see you can be quite eyeopening. So, ask for opinions and ask for improvement feedback. Be humble and introduce moments of vulnerability. Connection comes through authenticity, Dr. Dewett advised.
Other resources for coronavirus relief.
HelpSquad is offering extended free live chat agents to nonprofits and businesses affected by COVID-19 for 60 days. Similarly, our sister companies LiveHelpNow and Insane Lab are also offering free services as part of the coronavirus relief program.
Resourcefulness and creativity will get small business through the crisis.
All businesses are dealing with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is forced to adapt to new guidelines and requirements to keep the world as healthy as possible. Thinking creatively. Changing up roles. Connecting through authenticity and vulnerability. Using available resources. Those are the strategies that will help small businesses pull through the crisis.