What Small Business Owners Need to Know During the COVID-19 Pandemic

What Small Business Owners Need to Know During the COVID-19 Pandemic


The rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the world has changed everything we know about operating businesses, large corporations and small startups alike. As the economies of several countries have essentially shut down, you as a business owner must prepare for a tumultuous period ahead. Ensure that you and your business will emerge on the other side of this pandemic by gaining a thorough understanding of the CARES Act and securing your 401(k).

What to Know About the CARES Act

Weeks ago, on March 27th, the U.S. federal government passed the CARES Act, or the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. This bill is intended to help businesses and individuals endure the economic insecurity caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This package amounts to $2 trillion and is the largest bill to have ever been passed in the country. Within the relief package is $350 billion specifically meant for assisting small businesses negatively impacted by the crisis. Below are some basic elements of the bill:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Perhaps one of the most pressing issues you’re facing at the moment is retaining your employees. To help you to avoid having to lay off your workers, the PPP offers a special emergency loan (sourced now by an expanded network of lenders) that will be forgiven under the condition that it is used to maintain payroll, mortgage, rent, and utilities through the month of June. Eligible businesses include:
    • Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees
    • 501(c)(3) non-profits with fewer than 500 employees
    • Veteran organizations
    • Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 between February 15-June 30, 2020.
  • Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Low-interest loans are available up to $2 million to help businesses re-stabilize during the sudden, massive loss of revenue. This existing assistance program has been expanded to accommodate more small businesses, including those that are smaller than $200,000. Eligible businesses include:
    • Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees
    • Non-profits
    • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), tribal businesses, and cooperatives with less than 500 employees

The federal government is also relaxing standards on taxation of small businesses in the following ways:

  • Taxpayers are now being allowed three additional months to file and pay taxes. Instead of the annual April 15thdeadline, businesses (and individuals) can now file taxes as late as July 15, 2020.
  • Businesses are eligible to receive a refundable 50% tax credit wages paid between March 13-December 31, 2020. Wages can be up to $10,000 per employee.

Businesses that are eligible for this aid include those whose operations were either partially or totally suspended due to COVID-19 and/or whose gross receipts were reduced by more than 50% compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

How You Can Protect Yourself and Your Business

Your 401(k) is essential to the assurance of stability in your future. Many business owners, especially those who have not yet had the opportunity to establish a solid 401(k) plan, have been hesitant to continue investing in such a plan due to the economic insecurity caused by the coronavirus. Although it may seem like the safer option, avoiding the development of a reliable 401(k) plan can put you and your employees at even greater risk.

There are numerous options available at affordable prices for the security of small businesses. Get in touch with an administrator today to get your plan started and protect your business’ future.

How to Make Sure Your Small Business is Actually Productive

How to Make Sure Your Small Business is Actually Productive

Productivity is the secret sauce of many a successful business. No matter how great your business idea is, if the workplace is not actually productive, your company will not be making much money. Productivity for business means making as much money as per labor spent. If your employees work 9 hour days with little to show for it, then you are not making much money. So here are several essential tips for making your startup or small business more productive:

Assign Leaders

If you assign a team of people to handle a particular task or a project, make sure the team has a leader. When it comes to groups, a hierarchy is important to assign responsibility. The team leader will ensure that everyone does what they are supposed to on time. Without leadership, there will more room for members to be lazy, get into lengthy disputes, and overall be less productive. So, make sure there’s someone responsible for the project or task at hand.

Invest in Communications Software

A lot of time in offices is wasted on employees not communicating properly. Long chain emails, memos that go nowhere, and talking loudly in cubicles are all signs of lack of productivity. Companies should ensure that employees can communicate easily and quickly. So, do invest in communications software. Some, like Skype, won’t cost much money and will make communication much more accessible.

Do a Business Review

It won’t be possible for you to know how productive your small business is without doing a comprehensive review, like Global Resources Reviews. So, don’t hesitate to hire management consultants to review practices at your small business. The professionals will be able to tell you what you are doing right and what you are not doing right. A review from an outsider’s perspective would be highly beneficial to ensuring productivity as well as efficiency.

Ban Spur of the Moment Meetings

Most businesspeople are familiar with those spur of the moment, “5-minute” meetings. Such meetings do nothing but take up valuable time. It’s best to ban these meetings. Do not let employees hold meetings that have no clear purposes. If a team needs to discuss things over, it can be done via Skype or email. Let them hold meetings only when it is absolutely necessary. Discourage all other meetings that only waste time.

Have Clear Agendas for Lengthy Projects

If a project can last for months, then employees that handle the project must approach it with a clear agenda. Big tasks must be broken down into smaller ones, and there should be a team member leading various aspects of the projects. Without a clear agenda, the management of the project will be a mess, and deadlines will definitely be missed. So, make sure projects have a clearly thought out timetable so everything gets done on time.

Allow Employees to Take Breathers

Too much work can hinder productivity rather than make things better. So, if you have employees who are overburdened with work, it can take a toll on their individual productivity levels. So, do allow employees to take a breather and think clearly to be more productive afterwards.

The above tips should allow your small businesses to be more efficient and productive in the long run, and ultimately, more profitable as well.