As a small business expert, Barry Moltz gets owners growing again by unlocking their long-forgotten potential. Barry is a nationally recognized speaker on small business and hosts the popular Small Business Radio Show. We chatted with Barry about the current state of government assistance for small businesses and how businesses can reimagine their customer experience to meet the needs of customers today.
I’m speaking to you today from a high-rise building in Chicago just off a vacant Michigan Avenue, which is crazy considering it's one of the busiest retail districts in the world. There are over 30 million small businesses in America and something like 95 percent of them were impacted in one way or another by the coronavirus. Upwards of 50 percent of them have had to close their businesses and while most hope to reopen without government assistance it will be hard for many of them to hold on for long.
According to the American Bankers Association, they reported $205 billion of the $350 billion in stimulus funds have been claimed. What I hear from my clients and read across the web, is once a business receives the notice that their application has been accepted it takes up to seven days for the funds to be deposited in their bank account. I think the real confusion has been for the independent contractors or sole proprietors, what number do they use when applying for the PPP loans. For those folks, they need to go to their Schedule C form and look at line 31, which is the amount they paid themselves, take that number and divide by 12 then multiply it by 2.5. That will give you the number you can apply for on your PPP loan application.
When it comes to applying for the PPP loans you should start by going to the bank you already have a relationship with. However, if you don’t have a bank or your bank is not responding, go to one of the fintech lenders like Kabbage, Lendio, or PayPal. But don’t give up, a lot of folks are frustrated right now, you deserve to get your fair share of the funds available. I do believe the funds are designed to be a grant as long as 75 percent of it goes towards payroll.
When we are able to start reopening our economy, I think it is critical that small business owners begin to reimagine their customer experience. People might not be getting out as often and certainly not in large groups for a while, so how can you ensure your customers are comfortable doing business with you. What personal protection equipment is your team using and how do you provide space for social distance. You also need to reimagine the products and services your business offers, what could you add or take away that provides the experience customers need today.