If you own or operate a small business, you’ve probably been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Stay at home orders, decreased seating capacity, mask mandates, and other steps are all necessary measures to keep everyone safe right now. But they can also mean that small businesses like yours lose important sources of revenue.
Sadly, there is no end-all when it comes to financial help for small business owners. The effects of the pandemic and ways to get help vary widely depending on your region and the caseloads near you. So it may seem almost impossible to find help for your business.
But it isn’t impossible. There are ways to find financial help for small business owners if you look hard enough. But before you do that, you should understand more about the challenges small businesses are facing right now, and then you can know how better to find help.
This may be the most daunting issue facing small business owners right now. With sources of revenue lost and businesses struggling to pull in profits, bankruptcy is a real possibility for many small business owners.
And thinking about having to contact a bankruptcy law office can be terrifying. Bankruptcy can mean laying off workers, having to reorganize, struggling to get back on your feet, or even having to close your business altogether. And no one wants to have to do that.
Your employees and workers might be worried about bankruptcy, too. For workers or sole proprietorships, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be just as terrifying. It is obviously a big, valid concern right now, and one that will have you looking for financial help for small business owners.
When it comes to the worst possible outcomes, this ties with bankruptcy. A foreclosure on your building could force your business to close, or at the very least cost you a lot. It’s something that you never want to deal with, least of all in the middle of a pandemic.
So you’re probably thinking a lot about avoiding foreclosure, but it may seem hard to do if you are struggling to make ends meet. With financial help for small business owners, you may be able to do that, and you will know more about that soon.
One of the less obvious side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the lowering of credit scores. With financial struggles, many people have found it hard to pay back loans or other items, which has led to a worsening of their credit scores. And the same has been happening to small businesses.
A low credit score can be devastating. It makes it very hard to get loans or get approval from banks for a number of things. And if you are a small business owner struggling amidst the pandemic, a loan could be the thing that you need to keep you going. But with a low credit score, it will be nearly impossible to get one.
Of course, people will tell you to just repay things on time and your credit score will be fine. But that might not be a feasible option for you. Luckily, part of the financial help for small business owners that is available is help in raising your credit score.
Amidst all of the financial struggles that Covid-19 has brought, there is the obvious struggle of health. You want you and your employees to remain healthy while also being able to make enough money to keep your business afloat. Finding that balance can be difficult, but all too necessary.
Additionally, keeping your workers healthy can be expensive. Personal protective equipment isn’t cheap, and you might need a lot more than you think. So health may be yet another area that you need financial help for small business owners in.
But not keeping your employees healthy can cost even more. If someone gets sick, you may be forced to close down. Even a two week closure could have massive costs. Stack this with the normal concern for workplace accidents, illness, workers compensation attorneys, and other such issues, and you quickly have a lot to worry about.
It doesn’t all have to be worrying, though. Now that you know more about the struggles facing small business owners amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, you’re probably wondering how to find financial help for small business owners in all of these areas. So now it’s time to learn about that.
Programs at all levels
No matter what type of business you run, there are programs at the federal, state, and local level that are designed to give financial help for small business owners. Like the effects of this pandemic, many of these programs are specific to your region, so you will have to do some research to find ones that are right for you. But doing so can provide a big, needed boost to your business.
Many small business owners don’t get help for one reason: they don’t look for it. And it makes sense. Finding financial help for small business owners can seem daunting because you don’t know where to start. And asking for help may feel shameful because people don’t want to admit that their business isn’t doing great. And finally, some people are so afraid of getting denied that they don’t even apply.
But none of these reasons should hold you back from seeking help for your business. There is no shame in admitting that you need help. You are in the same boat as thousands of other small business owners right now. And being rejected may seem scary, but you guarantee that you won’t get help if you don’t apply for it. The worst that can happen is that they say no, and you look somewhere else.
And if you don’t know where to start, there are a few things you can do. The first is to talk with other small business owners, preferably in your area. See if they know of any resources that can help you. You are all struggling together, so there’s no reason not to help each other.
Then there’s the internet. Sometimes you may have to dig a little deeper, but you can find many programs that could help you. Going to Google and typing in something like “financial help for small business owners in my area” could give you a good start to finding programs to help you out.
Lastly, you can start with one federal option: the Small Business Association loan. This federal association works with local banks to give small businesses loans of up to five million dollars to help them in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you qualify, it could give you the boost that you need. It may only be one option, but at least it’s a start.
Raising your credit score
As you know by now, the pandemic has caused many peoples’ credit scores to drop. And this can make it harder to get help for your small business. But there are programs out there that can help raise your credit score so you can get back on track.
Often these programs work by providing multiple small, one-time loans that are easy for you to pay back. This gives you an opportunity to boost your credit score without loaning money you can’t repay. After a while, it will open more opportunities for you to take out bigger loans and get the help your business needs.
Most of these programs operate on a local level, so there is no standard for you to apply to. You have to do the research to find programs like this in your area. If you live in the Capital DC area, there is a group called the Latino Economic Development Center that can help you out.
Though their name suggests otherwise, this organization does not just help those in the Latino community. Any person who is looking for financial help for small business owners in this area, specifically with raising credit score, could find the help they need there.
Bankruptcy and foreclosure assistance
As you already know, bankruptcy and foreclosure are terrifying. With the pandemic still affecting the lives of all Americans, and businesses losing revenue, it is a very real possibility for many small business owners. But it doesn’t have to be the end.
For starters, you can do your best to avoid these things. Looking into programs at the federal, state, and local levels to provide assistance can keep you financially stable, so you don’t have to worry about bankruptcy. But sometimes, you just aren’t able to stay afloat, and it happens.
Don’t give up yet, though. If your business is dealing with foreclosure or bankruptcy, you can get help to get your business back on track. Bankruptcy services, specifically things like a bankruptcy attorney, exist to help you and your business. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these professionals to get help when you need it.
In fact, sometimes these services can help you even if you aren’t dealing with bankruptcy. They may be able to help you figure out how to better manage your business, so you can avoid foreclosures and bankruptcy. The more you can do to prevent it, the less likely it is you will have to deal with it.
Though many small business owners don’t want to admit it, sometimes you just need help with managing your business’s money. There is nothing wrong with needing help. You can’t be expected to know how to run your entire business perfectly. So getting help with money management might be able to keep your business afloat.
There are many places that provide this kind of financial help for small business owners. You have workshops, consultants, CHP, even AI that can help manage your money. But there are a few methods that stick out.
The first is trainings. A financial training program can teach you how to properly manage the monetary inflow and outflow of your business. There are also money management algorithms, typically created by experts, which help you figure out the best ways to manage your business’s money.
And lastly, if you have people working under you that also handle financials, make sure that you are all on the same page. It’s a good idea to hold some kind of conferences or meetings to keep everyone up to date, and to get feedback. And if you do have a training, make sure all of those people are there!
Health is a very large part of your business and has many facets. For now, let’s just focus on the financial side of it. Purchasing PPE can get expensive, and health practices may lead to a loss of revenue for your business.
Depending on your area, there may be programs that can help you supply your business with PPE and other supplies you need. Again, you will have to do the work to find these resources, but if you do, they can be very helpful.
It is also a good idea to talk to your employees about health. Consider using automated conferencing so you can have a conference with all of your staff. Inform them about your health practices, and make sure everyone understands them so they can follow the guidelines. And ask your workers if they have any questions or concerns. They may have thoughts that you hadn’t thought of, and issues that need addressing.
Lastly, make sure that your employees have everything they need to stay healthy. If you have workers who can’t leave their homes but need supplies, recommend grocery delivery and home care pharmacy services. Ensure that everyone gets enough PPE. And if anyone has any concerns, address them immediately.
Though it may seem like a terrifying time for small businesses, there are ways that you can get the help you need. Programs at all levels can provide financial help for small business owners that will help your business stay afloat.
If you do the work to find these programs, you will thank yourself for it. It will help keep your business running, and hopefully let you keep doing what you love and helping others long into the future.