Surviving Covid-19: 4 strategies to help small businesses survive

SURVIVING COVID-19: FOUR STRATEGIES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

1 CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES

• Review your business interruption policy. This could be in your property or business owner’s policy. Your policy might provide for compensation for loss of income due to a specific interruption.

• Look to see what is specifically covered and if there are any exclusions. Determine how losses are evaluated under your policy.

2 REVIEW YOUR CONTRACTS

• You probably have provisions in your contracts that can help if you are having to cancel or reschedule because of the pandemic. Review your contracts so that you have a good understanding of your agreements and analyze how it applies to your current situation.

• One common contract provision that might help is a force majeure provision. This allows for nonperformance under a certain event for items not anticipated at time of entering the contract and beyond the parties’ control. Look at your specific provisions and see if this is applicable now or in the near future. Not all force majeure clauses are drafted the same. Before stopping compliance with any contracts, it is a good idea to talk to a professional to see if you have any obligations, such as mitigating damages.

• Look to your contract to see if you are entitled to any refunds – either a full or partial refund. • You might also have defenses to nonperformance of a contract, such frustration of purpose or impossibility.

3 DETERMINE WHAT TYPES OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE

• The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided for two loans for small businesses. At the time of publishing this checklist, the SBA has run out of funds for their small business loans. However, the Trump administration and congressional leaders are closing in on a deal to renew funding for these loans. If you have not applied for the EIDL or PPP loans, gather your financial information together so that you will be ready to apply once the programs’ funds are replenished. These loan funds go on a first come first serve basis and funds are limited.

• Another part of the CARES Act includes a new Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) that could help some businesses as well. If you were not approved for a PPP loan, you should look to see if you are entitled to the ERTC. Employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19 might be eligible for this credit. This new employee retention tax credit is a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation, including the employer portion of health benefits, for each eligible employee.

4 RE-EVALUATE YOUR WORKFORCE

• If your business is still having cash flow issues, consider reevaluating your workforce. This can compose of layoffs, furloughs, or reduction in compensation for employees. This is a tough decision but might need to be done to help ensure the survival of your business. As long as you have the proper notices and appropriate procedure, this could be a necessary solution to help the business continue so that they employees have a place to come back to. Under the CARES Act, unemployment benefits were significantly expanded. Most workers will receive an additional $600 weekly payment. Claims due to Coronavirus do not impact your unemployment insurance rates.

If you have any specific questions pertaining to your business, please feel free to reach out: 321-209-5995 or andrea@wheeler-legal.com

Disclaimer: This material is intended to provide general information and is not intended as legal advice. If you have any questions or issues of a specific nature, you should consult with an attorney to review the specific circumstances involved.

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