How Your Business Can Take Advantage of the $2T Stimulus Package
Update: April 22, 2020, 8:00 AM EST
Due to the popularity of the PPP, many small businesses jumped at that opportunity. However, within 13 days the funds were completely exhausted.
On Tuesday, April 21, the Senate approved a $484 billion relief package that includes an additional $310 billion for PPP.
President Trump is likely to approve the package.
Even so, experts say not all small businesses are guaranteed to receive a loan, so it's wise for business owners to potentially think through alternate funding ideas.
Businesses with high credit scores, access to savings or assets to use as collateral for a loan will have an easier time accessing other forms of financing, said Bob Prosen, CEO of the Prosen Center for Business Advancement.
According to Market Watch, there are several other ways to secure funding, and business owners are wise to think creatively about next steps.
Some alternative funding ideas include:
1. Venture-capital funding
2. Employee-retention tax credit
3. State and local resources similar to PPP
4. Crowd-sourced funding
5. Loans from family and friends
Continue to check back for We at Gravy will continue to keep you posted as developments unfold. Bookmark this page and come back often as we are committed to being Online Business’ go-to resource for how you can continue to take advantage of the $353B earmarked for small businesses in the $2T Stimulus Package during this coronavirus pandemic.
So, you are wondering how the new 883-page, $2 trillion stimulus bill passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic will help you as a small business owner?
Look no further.
Nationally renowned CPA and advisory firm Warren Averett’s Kim Hartsock and Adam West break down what exactly this coronavirus stimulus bill means for you as a small business owner, and how you can cash in — fast.
“What we are going to talk about today quickly emerged as the centerpiece of stimulus for these struggling businesses,” West says. “We’ve been monitoring this, and hopefully we have some good news to share with you.”
The Senate passed the bill, 96-0, and the House quickly followed suit Friday, March 27, with its eyes toward getting relief quickly into the hands of business owners across the country.
Watch the replay of Gravy's pop-up mastermind webinar with Warren Averett on how your business can take advantage of the $2T stimulus package.
What is the Care Act for Small Businesses?
While there are a lot of detailed provisions in the bill that take into account taxes and unemployment among other topics, small business coronavirus relief certainly takes center stage of the stimulus package, with the point of the bill squarely being to keep people employed.
Being this is the largest stimulus in the history of the United States, $353 billion of the $2 trillion is focused on small businesses alone, which are the backbone of Gravy’s customer retention and failed payment recovery clientele.
Given the nature of how quickly things are changing in the world today with the coronavirus pandemic, speed is the name of the game — and one in which lawmakers are trying to fuel to prevent a 30% unemployment rate.
“We have a lot of small businesses that are struggling,” West says, “so how can (the government) get this into small business’ hands?
“They have taken the SBA 7(a) loan program as a shell and they have expanded it and that’s how they will get this into cash quickly.”
One thing to note is this loan from the coronavirus stimulus bill is not the same as the Disaster Loan being touted lately. This is separate as these loans will come from a private lender.
Who is Eligible for the Coronavirus Stimulus Package?
In order to remove as much red tape as possible and speed up the funding process, the stimulus bill has outlined the following requirements you must meet:
- In business before Feb. 15, 2020.
- Employ less than 500 employees.
- Have been impacted by the coronavirus.
While the amount of proof and paperwork required will be crystalized in the days ahead, West and Hartsock agree there is a presumption that if you are applying, you have been impacted. Even so, you will have to sign an affidavit acknowledging you need these funds as a result of the coronavirus.
Some ways you could have been impacted are though lost sales, supply chain issues, product chain issues and lost opportunities. There is gray area there, and experts agree this is for speed to get the funds released and available to those who need it.
How Do I Calculate My Loan Amount?
Small business owners are eligible to receive 2.5x payroll to use for things such as payroll, rent, utilities and health care benefits. The loans from the coronavirus stimulus bill are based on a 12-month trailing payroll average, but what does this mean?
Essentially, you will want to take your payroll average from Feb. 15, 2019 to Feb. 15, 2020, up to $100,000 employee salary, excluding employer tax. This also includes commissions and bonuses. Then, average that for a 12-month period and multiply that times 2.5 for your eligible loan amount. There is a $10 million cap to the loan as well.
Even businesses that have been operating for less than a year are eligible; however, you will have annualize it based on the months you have been operating.
How Do I Receive Funds from the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill?
While the process still remains to be ironed out further, in a nutshell, most business owners should plan on heading to their home bank (as long as it’s FDIC Insured) and being prepared to fill out minimal paperwork. There are a lot of lenders that are SBA preferred lenders, but they are releasing regulations to where every bank that is FDIC Insured is able to release these loans.
Then starts an 8-week clock for small business owners to use the funds on qualifying expenses to keep their business afloat and become eligible for loan forgiveness.
“Payroll is what is used to calculate the amount you can take for a loan, but you can use the proceeds for rent, utilities, health benefits. There are other things you can count as using the proceeds for,” Hartsock says. “It’s not designed for you to find somewhere to spend the money; it’s designed to give you enough money to keep the doors open and keep your employees paid over this 8-week period, because that is exactly what it was designed to do.”
Suggested Paperwork to Get Together
Hartsock and West suggest you start now and begin pulling together the following to bring to the bank to apply for your loan.
- Proof you were in business before Feb. 15
- Proof you had employees or payroll
- Load calculation based on Payroll
- Tax return
- EIN documentation
- Payroll tax return
How Do I Become Eligible for Loan Forgiveness?
Let’s assume you receive a $100,00 loan. Once the funds hit your account, it starts an 8-week clock for you to use it for payroll, utilities and rent, and other qualifying expenses during that time frame.
Assuming you do that, that full amount is eligible for loan forgiveness at the end of the 8 weeks. However, there is a caveat. Since the entire coronavirus stimulus bill is intended to keep people employed and small businesses afloat, if you maintain employees you had before the crisis began, then 100% of the loan is forgiven. If you have to let go of 50% of the employees, then 50% is eligible to be forgiven. The goal is to maintain your previous headcount through the 8-week cover period and be committed to maintain it.
The exception to this is anyone you let go from Feb. 15 for 30 days after the bill is signed, if you bring their role back by June 30, you are eligible for full forgiveness as well. Additionally, you are required to keep those employees, but you are also required to keep their pay within 25%.
What Happens to the Unforgiven Portion of My Loan?
After 8 weeks, whatever is not forgiven, you then have a 10-year loan not to exceed 4% without personal guarantee. No collateral is needed as well.
Lender is required to defer interest and principle for the first 6 months of loan (either date of origination or 8 weeks after, TBD). This is designed so you get the loan, go through the 8 weeks and not have to pay principle.
Tax Implications of the Stimulus Bill
Another great piece of good news comes in the form of tax law. Any proceeds that you don’t have to spend on qualifying funds will not be taxable. Additionally, the loan forgiveness portion is NOT taxable.
On the nonprofit front, 501(c)(3) are eligible to participate in the coronavirus stimulus bill as well.
When Can I Apply for the Loan?
Applications are now available for small businesses at most financial institutions, including online business loan companies like Kabbage and Fundera. Independent contractors are eligible to apply starting April 10th.
The Bottom Line of the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill?
“The point of the bill is to keep people employed,” Harstock says. “So even if your business is closed, is this a bridge to get you to the point until you reopen to keep people on your payroll and you not have to come out of pocket. Basically, we are providing you with the funding to keep you on your payroll until you can open and then we are going to forgive the loan and just call it even.”
Gravy is Your Additional Revenue Protection Source
Online and subscription-based businesses are expected to see a rise in voluntary and involuntary churn in the weeks and months ahead. Gravy specializes in providing personalized customer retention and failed payment recovery at scale, and is serving as a "revenue relief organization" during this crisis.
Gravy's full-time, virtual, Retention Specialists, are experts at recovering failed credit card payments and returning revenue to business owners. In a space previously dominated by dunning software and cut-throat collections tactics, our warm and personalized communication approach cuts through the noise, which is needed now more than ever. Our mission is to save payments — and serve people.
“There are some unique opportunities in this time,” Gravy CEO Casey Graham says. “There is uncertainty, but our heart today is to help you. Together, we want to help. My challenge today to you is to help your community. Reach out to an owner, love someone, help someone. Now we have an opportunity to be creative. We at Gravy are here to help.”
Update: April 3, 2020, 11 a.m. EST
As of 5 p.m. EDT on April 2, 2020, the details of the Payroll Protection Program have changed.
Earlier this week, the Feds and Treasury were at war with one another about the guidelines of the loans. Specifically, they released the fixed interest rate at a low 0.5%.
Banks began to pull back from processing the loans because of the low return on an interest rate that low.
So, the government went back to the drawing board and made two changes that will impact anyone who applies for the loan:
- The fixed interest rate went from 0.5% to 1.0%
- The payroll calculation no longer includes 1099 contractors in the formula
As a substitute, all 1099 contractors can apply for the PPP loans themselves starting as early as April 10, 2020.
As a business applying (applications are supposed to be open as of today), your loan amount calculation needs to only contain eligible payments for W-2 employees.
Because of the changes, the application process has not kicked off as promised on April 3, as banks wait for regulations on the new guidelines.
We at Gravy will continue to keep you posted as developments unfold. Bookmark this page and come back often as we are committed to being Online Business’ go-to resource for how you can continue to take advantage of the $353B earmarked for small businesses in the $2T Stimulus Package during this coronavirus pandemic.
To learn more about working with Gravy, book a call today.
Warren Averett Website
Warren Averett Coronavirus Resource Page
The Wrap Podcast - The CARES Act Special Edition
FAQs on Small Business Administration Loans
Download the Borrower Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Application Form
Provisions for Businesses
Provisions for Individuals
Key Highlights from Canada's Stimulus Package
35 Page Guide for How to Recession Proof Your Online Business