Small Business and COVID-19
Episode 15: There’s no doubt the COVID-19 crisis has negatively impacted small businesses. Now the initial $349 Billion in relief has been depleted. In today’s episode, my guests will discuss what business owners should do now, and how they may be able to help. I’m joined in the studio by two, local contacts to discuss resources for small business and COVID-19.
First, Tommie L. Causey, Lead Economic Development Specialist, Kentucky District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration. With over 20 years of experience in federal contracting, lending, and economic development, Tommie is responsible for accessing, researching and identifying market national and local trends to develop or adjust value propositions tailored to fit customer needs. He collaborates with community leaders to help start and/or grow existing small businesses.
Second, I’m joined by Dave Oetken, the Director of the Louisville Small Business Development Center which provides free consulting, market research and debt capital sourcing to businesses in the Greater Louisville region. He has extensive experience owning and managing businesses both large and small across numerous industries including manufacturing, food services, hotels, recreational facilities, professional sports teams and commercial real estate & development. He holds an MBA from Bellarmine University, is a Certified Economic Finance Professional (EDFP), Certified Commercial Property Manager (CPM), Certified Exit Planner (CEPA) and a Certified Mergers & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA).
A quick clarification: In the introduction I mentioned that Tommie and I recently participated in a Bellarmine Rubel School of Business Roundtable. I commented that Tommie was a host and I was a “guest.” To clarify, I was not invited as a presenter. I participated in the event.
Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
The SBA is helping to administer these programs. The PPP funds are exhausted, but there may be another $250 Billion coming soon. The EIDL provides $10,000. The PPP is provided via banks and the EIDL comes directly from the SBA. It’s important for business owners to go ahead and apply for these programs, regardless of the current lack of availability of funds. You want to be in line for future funding, related to this COVID-19 business crisis.
Some of these funds will be forgiven, provided you use the fund for the intended purposes. There was a level of confusion as to how to access the loan applications.
The Louisville Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is available to work with small business owners to access their individual situations and begin to develop a survival plan. The services provided by the SBDC and the SBA are free.
Where Do I Begin?
If you have a relationship with a lender/bank, start there. Some of the programs will be applied for via your local lender. The EIDL is applied for directly via the SBA. The SBA is a one-stop shop for small businesses. They are there to support you. They are standing with you to help you find sources of funding, business expertise and guidance.
Can Non-Profit 501(c)(3) or Faith-Based Organizations Apply?
Yes. The rules were amended to help these organization.
Can Self-Employed People Qualify for these Programs?
Yes. Some of the programs are now available to self-employed, 1099 and other types of individuals.
Contact These Business Resources
Contact Tommie Causey at (502) 276-6873. His email is: Tommie.Causey@SBA.gov. For more information visit: www.SBA.gov/KY
Contact Dave OetKen at (502) 594-3871. His email is: DOetken@GreaterLousville.com. For more information visit: www.LouisvilleSmallBusiness.com
Additional Information for Small Business Owners
Finally, the specific number of available programs, their intended purposes and how you can take advantage of them may seem overwhelming. I get it. There’s a ton on your plate right now. I recently helped CPA Steve King produce a series of short videos that may help you to better understand some of those programs. You can watch these videos on LinkedIn at Meyerowitz & King, PLLC, or if you prefer to use Facebook, search for MKCPAsLouisville.
I hope you have found all of this information helpful. Believe it or not, it’s all temporary, even though it may seem like the end of your world. Hang in there. Make smart decisions and ask for help when you need it. There are many people ready, willing and able to help. If there’s anything I can do, then Let’s Grow For It!