With the US economy rapidly shutting down, small businesses around the nation are being threatened. They are all asking the federal government one thing: Please send money quickly or our businesses will shut down.
Small businesses operate similarly to people living paycheck to paycheck. According to a study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute, companies with less than 500 employees have less than a month of cash reserves. Smaller Main Street type businesses will only have just a few weeks worth of cash to keep them operating.
Many businesses are just grounding to a halt as steps to stop the coronavirus take effect.
Calvert Thompson, runs a massage and spa business in Herndon, Va, he explained “Today, actually, we had zero clients, we have 13 full-time W-2 employees and I’m definitely trying to figure out what I can do to help keep all of our heads above water during this.”
Thompson is scared and said she’s going to need help fast. “Really in a matter of weeks, we could reach a critical point.”
Karen Mills, headed the Small Business Administration after the financial crisis. She saw just how quickly businesses can go under causing people to lose their jobs. Mills states “Half the people who work in this country work for or own a small business,”
Mills explained emergency SBA “economic injury” loans are crucial. Mills says they have long payback terms and slow interest rates which makes them affordable.
However getting those loans can take time. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is asking the federal government to make SBA loans available to small businesses and to make them quicker and easier.
In a statement the Chamber also said, “the SBA also should be given the authority to streamline its disaster-loan approval process for amounts below $350,000 in order to provide emergency capital more quickly.” The group is also urging for the removal of the requirement that small businesses need to show that they can’t get credit elsewhere before going to the SBA.
Experts are calling on the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to work with banks across the country to issue emergency loans. The next coronavirus bill in process may include an emergency small business interruption loan program.
Thompson is currently trying to get a $40,000 SBA loan. However she’s unsure what the terms will be and says the process has been confusing. She doesn’t want to borrow more than she can pay back but she also needs to be able to pay rent and her equipment.
Thompson especially wants to help out her workers but to do that and keep her business from going under, she’s going to need help very soon. Eric Groves Co-founder of Alignable, a networking site for small business owners with 4 million members. Started a poll asking business owners about the coronavirus crisis’ impact on their businesses. Almost all of the thousands of business owners responded that their business is being affected negatively.
Groves says “In just the last couple of days that number has increased up to over 80% are feeling that impact on their business,” According to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, about 1 in 5 U.S. households are experiencing a layoff or a cut in work hours.
Businesses across the country are being heavily affected by the coronavirus in a negative way and are desperately seeking financial help from the government.
Author Bio: Michael Hollis is a Detroit native who now lives in Los Angeles. He is an account executive who has helped hundreds of business owners with their disaster relief loans solutions. He’s experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, scientificating… But his favourite job is the one he’s now doing full time — providing business funding for hard-working business owners across the country.