Small Business Support Site

From Survive to Thrive: Resources and Tips to Emerge Strong from the Crisis

These are difficult times for small businesses. We’re all helping each other out to survive through the tough times. This page is a summary of resources and ideas for your small business to navigate the challenges.

Being a small business owner was always a lonely job. Being separated from our customers and employees has made it even lonelier. This page is my way of supporting you through the tough times and setting you up for success when good times return. Hang tough, because they will return.

I wish you peace, confidence, and hope. I wish you well.

“Everyone has an innate capacity to bounce back from setbacks, reconnect with their passion for work, do their best and thrive no matter how dire external circumstances may seem.”

Rani Bora

Want to get the best pricing you can on a business loan? Learn what bankers are looking for from an ex-banker. Check out my course on Business Loan Basics.

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Government Support

The government has taken extraordinary measures to support small businesses like yours. These benefits are summarized below.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a part of the CARES Act. The video above explains all the essential information. The PPP provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. The funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

To Learn more:

“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.”

Gever Tulley

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Loan Advance

The EIDL provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Part of the funding comes as a loan advance of up to $10,000 made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. Click here to see a page with more details.

“Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.”

Sam Walton

Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve has created two lending facilities to help small and medium-sized businesses. The minimum loan size is $1 million so these loans are much larger than the PPP and EIDL loans. You apply for these loans through a bank or credit union. For more info, go to the Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program Page.

SBA Debt Relief

  • The SBA will pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
  • The SBA will also pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.

SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program

The EBL Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. This can then be repaid with proceeds from an EIDL loan (see above for the EIDL program). To learn more, go to the SBA Express Bridge Loans page.

Tax Relief

The CARES Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) included many ways to reduce your taxes. The most authoritative source for more information is the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief page.

Managing your cash flow during a crisis

“A Knock Down Does Not Have To Be A Knock Out.”

Kyle Vidrine

Conquering Cash Flow: The Complete Guide to Small Business Cash Flow Management

This free eBook is the complete guide to managing your cash. If you’re looking for one resource that tells you how to manage cash in the good times and bad, this is it. It includes sections on:

  • Surviving a cash crunch
  • Ways to speed up cash inflows
  • Ways to slow down the outflow of cash
  • Where to find funding

Get the free guide.

“Change what you can, manage what you can’t.”

Raymond McCauley

Cash Flow Projection Template

More people come to my website from internet searches to learn how to do a cash flow projection than anything topic. Read that article and get the free cash flow projection template. I also created a YouTube video on how to create a cash flow projection if you like videos better.

Business Loans Basics

Looking for tips and tricks for business loans. I’ve been in banking most of my career and in my Business Loans Basics course you’ll learn:

  • How to get the lowest rates you can
  • How leverage (i.e. borrowing) magnify your returns – and risk
  • When a loan is right for your business
  • The right types of loans for your business
  • Explanation of common business lending words
  • Documents you’ll sign and what to pay attention to

You also get access to worksheets, templates, and guides to improve your chances of getting the right loan at the right price. You get the following:

  • 7 Ways to Get the Best Loan Pricing You Can. This has tips on how to lower your interest rate.
  • Key Metrics Worksheet: Enter five numbers in a worksheet to calculate a couple of key metrics that estimate if you’ll have enough cash over the next year.
  • Cash Trends Worksheet: Identify trends in your cash flows and how loans can help smooth out your cash flows.
  • Lending Term Glossary: Translate “banker-speak” into words normal people use.
  • Checklist of Documents to Prepare: What to have ready for a faster loan application process.

This two-hour course is an incredible value at less than $20. Take the course.

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”

Charles Swindoll

Increase Your Cash By Decreasing Your Cash Conversion Cycle

Your business is a constant cycle of cash being invested and then received back, hopefully with a profit. This cycle is called the cash conversion cycle. Knowing how it works allows you to have less cash lost to the cycle. Most importantly, you’ll have cash available when you need it.

I’ll show you how the cycle works and why it causes cash to go down for a while when you reach for growth. Your cash conversion cycle may need to be supplemented with other cash sources that I’ll explain. Understanding the cash conversion cycle allows you to avoid cash crunches and capture opportunities.

Read the article or watch the YouTube video.

How to Think Clearly and Reduce Your Anxiety

“You can’t lose confidence in yourself, or you’ve lost already. When you get knocked down, you’ve got to keep getting back up.”

Tim Tebow

Avoiding Business Decision-Making Errors

The study of behavioral finance has shown we all consistently fall for business decision-making errors. Our emotions and snap judgments influence our business decision-making process more than we know. In fact, we are more likely to resort to a snap judgment when faced with a complex business decision because the analytical part of our mind can become overwhelmed.

Times of crisis also limit our ability to think clearly, leaving us prone to decision-making errors. During this crisis, we can be prone to the error of extrapolation. We are bombarded with negative news about today and project a bleak tomorrow. This can leave you unprepared to capture opportunities when the economy picks up again.

The availability bias and recency bias can make us feel more prone to failure and problems than may be true. Ironically, I used the example of news reports on diseases when I wrote the decision-making article in June 2019. Thinking errors from these decision making-mistakes are further entrenched through the confirmation bias, which leaves you blind to facts and opportunities.

For more details on this, read the article or watch the YouTube video.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

People to Talk To

The most powerful way to avoid decision-making errors and achieving clarity is by talking with others.

  • Find ways to stay connected with your employees and customers even when you can’t meet face to face. Make a special effort to email them, call, or video chat. We’re all so isolated right now that you’ll both benefit from the talk.
  • Consult your trusted advisors.
    • Your banker is a wealth of information about loan programs. Talk with them about your options. Some banks and credit unions are setting up special programs just for their customers. The worst thing you can do if you can’t make loan payments is to not talk with your bank. Work with them to see if you can get your loan modified to better match your cash flow during the crisis.
    • CPAs and investment advisors: I was being interviewed by a journalist a couple of months ago and she remarked how financial advisors were so good at clearly and calmly talking about complex financial issues. She found them much easier to interview than experts in other professions. She said there must be something in the training or customer service experience of financial advisors that allowed them to excel at these tricky conversations.
    • Reset your business plan with ACE. Whatever plan you had at the start of the year is now worthless. Create a new plan for your new normal with ACE. ACE is a planning process tailored to small businesses.

“On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.”

Gregory S. Williams