I’ve met many of you, but for those I have yet to meet, my name is Jim Ramsey. Last year, I created a consulting firm and joined with Rick Sowan, Tim Horan and seven of their partners to help serve the BKM Sowan Horan clients. We launched Visorie Consulting in May of 2019 to focus on bringing Fortune 500 thinking (only the good aspects) to our clients.
Over the last few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time advising clients and friends about the economic impact on their businesses as a result of COVID-19. I’m advising business owners on steps they should take to obtain emergency funding, and in making smart business decision on how to use those funds. I recommend clients look at their business plan in three phases:
- React – hoard cash, obtain governmental stimulus wherever possible, preserve the core of your organization, preserve key customer/supplier relationships.
- Respond – formulate a plan to get through this crisis, manage important metrics, invest in key capabilities that generate value with a view toward how this will launch you forward when you return to the new normal.
- Regenerate – return to growth and profitability. Given the changes you have made to your team and business model, you may return differently compared to before the crisis. For many, this is an opportunity to return better.
Right now everyone is in React mode – and that’s OK — but if you’re like me, you like playing offense. Every day we’re learning more details from sources like Congress, the SBA, banks and our clients. Markets are changing, new technology adoption is occurring, and business leaders are innovating. I’ll use this forum to pass along information to you on a regular basis.
At Visorie and BKM Sowan Horan, we’re here for our clients, our families, and our community. Reach out to us directly if you have any questions while we’re all living in the React phase.
There are 2 primary forms of loans budgeted for small business (generally less than 500 employees, for profit or nonprofit):
- SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Loans (“EIDL”)
- Payroll Protection Program Loans (“PPP”)
I know many of you have already applied for the PPP, and some have been waiting on their financial institution to begin. The EIDL loans are also available to you now, directly from the SBA. EIDL loans contain a request for a $10,000 advance that can turn into a grant that does not have to be repaid. To apply for an EIDL loan, go to: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. It’s not a difficult form, it should take less than one hour. You can apply for an EIDL loan, and if awarded, you can roll it into a PPP loan.
As many of you know, the PPP loan application did start Friday at some SBA-approved lenders, and others are starting this week. I read that there were about 17,000 applications and about $59 billion (out of $349 billion) awarded last week. Many of the banks were unprepared to accept applications due to an aggressive timeline and changing requirements, but most all will catch up. While the first wave of PPP loans focused on employers with W-2’s on the 10th the SBA schedule calls for self-employed and independent contractors to be able to apply.
In any case get your financial information ready, engage with your bank and be prepared once they are ready. Stay safe and get ready to play offense.