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How To Keep Your Small Business Healthy During Pandemic

How to keep your small business healthy during pandemic

Update: April 1, 2020, at 3:40 p.m. CT

If you’re a small business owner, you’re navigating unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you keep your employees, customers and business healthy?

More resources and programs continue to emerge to help small business owners like you. We’ll keep you updated here as federal, state and local agencies respond with more assistance.

And, as always, you can contact your credit union for financial guidance on your business.

Small Business Survival Coaching

Dupaco has partnered with the Creative Adventure Lab’s Innovation Lab to provide free Small Business Survival Coaching to community nonprofits and Dupaco small business members.

The Innovation Lab specializes in helping entrepreneurs and existing businesses use creativity and innovation to be successful.

In response to the pandemic, the Dubuque nonprofit organization’s business coaching team will help you develop an outbreak survival plan through a series of one-on-one sessions. The virtual sessions will be available for the next 90 days.

During the sessions, you will:

  • Complete an outbreak cash flow analysis.
  • Learn about available disaster relief funding.
  • Identify potential opportunities to create alternative income streams.
  • Consider whether remote working is a viable option and, if so, identify the best tools to make it work.
  • Identify improvement opportunities to tackle during this time.

“We know the COVID-19 slowdown is creating strain for many businesses and not-for-profit organizations in our community,” said Dupaco Chief Marketing Officer David Klavitter. “In addition to ongoing coaching and services to small businesses, Dupaco wants to ensure our not-for-profits can continue their critical service roles.”

To start your coaching sessions, click here.

Interest-only business loan payments

In response to the pandemic, Dupaco is temporarily offering interest-only payments on qualified business member loans.

To learn more about this option, or request it, call the credit union at 800-373-7600.

Dupaco business Visa credit card

Dupaco’s business Visa credit card gives you access to a low, variable interest rate to help you keep your business running smoothly.

You can monitor account activity online to watch out for fraud.

The credit card application is available through Dupaco’s drive-through lanes and by calling 800-373-7600.

CARES Act Assistance for Small Businesses

The CARES Act, a $2 trillion economic recovery package, was signed into law March 27. The emergency bill includes funding for small businesses, establishing the Paycheck Protection Program.

The $350 billion loan program will help small- and mid-sized businesses with cash flow during the COVID-19 crisis. The loans will be completely backed by the government, but local credit unions and banks will make and approve the loans.

These loan funds are not yet available, though.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury are working to implement the program. Several new policies, procedures and guidelines must be in place before lenders, including Dupaco, can make these loans.

“We do not have a timeline for when these guidelines will be issued, but until we have those full guidelines, we’re not able to answer any questions about the new programs at this time,” the administration shared in a press release March 30. “We appreciate your patience as we work to respond to this unprecedented demand for SBA assistance.”

Meanwhile, here’s what Sen. Joni Ernst’s office has shared about the Paycheck Protection Program:

If your business maintains your payroll for eight weeks, the portion of the loan used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities will be forgiven. These businesses are eligible to receive the loans:

  • Businesses with 500 or fewer employees
  • Businesses that meet current Small Business Administration size standards
  • Self-employed individuals and “gig economy” workers
  • Certain nonprofits, including 501(c)(3) organizations and 501(c)(19) veteran organizations
  • Tribal businesses with less than 500 employees

The maximum loan size is 250% of the employer’s average monthly payroll or $10 million, whichever is less.

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a low-interest loan to small business owners suffering substantial economic injury from the pandemic.

The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance—and can provide vital economic support to help you overcome the temporary loss of revenue you’re experiencing.

The loans may be used to pay:

  • Fixed debts
  • Payroll
  • Accounts payable
  • Other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact

Iowa Small Business Relief Program

The Iowa Small Business Relief Program will provide financial assistance to small businesses economically impacted by the pandemic. The program offers grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, in addition to offering a deferral of sales and use or withholding taxes due and waiver of penalty and interest to eligible businesses.

Funds can be used to:

  • Maintain operations
  • Reopen business following the COVID-19 pandemic

The application deadline is noon Tuesday, March 31.

ICUF Small Business Emergency Relief Fund Grants

The Iowa Credit Union Foundation is providing $500 grants to eligible credit union members, including both individuals and small business owners, who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Applications for the Emergency Relief Fund grants became available April 1. The funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are subject to availability.

You can apply for the grant on the foundation’s website.

Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund

The Targeted Small Business Sole Operator Fund offers financial assistance for Targeted Small Businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Iowa Economic Development.

Targeted Small Businesses include women, individuals with minority status, service-connected disabled veterans and individuals with disabilities who are starting or growing a small business in Iowa.

The program offers eligible small businesses grants up to $10,000.

To be eligible, businesses must have single owners with no employees that are also Targeted Small Business certified or have an application submitted to the Iowa Economic Development Authority by April 10, 2020 to become certified.

Applications will be processed until all funds are exhausted.

Iowa Economic Development

Iowa Economic Development created a COVID-19: Iowa Business Recovery Assistance webpage to provide its partners with resources and information.

You’ll find everything from financial assistance, news about the pandemic’s impact on Iowa businesses and other business resource guides.

Small Business Helpline

The Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, Northeast Iowa Community College and Dubuque Small Business Development Center established a Small Business Helpline.

The resource is available to help you apply for funding assistance for your local small business during the COVID-19 emergency.

You can call the helpline between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at (563) 588-3355, or email sbhelpline@nicc.edu.

Wisconsin Economic Development

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation created a webpage to help Wisconsin business owners.

The page features resources available to Wisconsin businesses from WEDC and other local, state and federal agencies.

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity created a webpage to help Illinois small businesses.

The department regularly updates the page with the latest programs available, including a new Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund. The program will offer small businesses low-interest loans of up to $50,000 to support working capital.

Recipients will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below-market interest rate for the remainder of the five-year term.

You can express interest in the loan on a form here beginning Friday, March 27. Eligible businesses will be invited to submit a full application beginning April 1.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

The state of Illinois adjusted its Community Development Block Grant allocations to benefit more small businesses impacted by the outbreak.

The $20 million Downstate Small Business Stabilization program will provide working capital funds to eligible businesses.

The program is available to private for-profit small retail and service businesses or businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely.

The business must employ 50 people or less, including the owner.

The program will award recipients up to $25,000. Funds can be used for:

  • Employee salaries
  • General operating expenses
  • Inventory
  • Advertising/marketing expenses

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook will soon offer financial relief through the Facebook Small Business Grants Program.

The social networking company will offer $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries.

You can use the program to help:

  • Keep your workforce going strong.
  • Help with your rent costs.
  • Connect with more customers.
  • Cover operational costs.

Facebook will begin taking applications in the coming weeks. You can sign up to receive more information when it becomes available.

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