During this crisis, I’ll provide a daily (M-F) briefing of news relating to small businesses and the self-employed, with particular emphasis on financial assistance available, ways to get money to small businesses, and government actions.
Monday-Friday I’ll also hold a Facebook Live get-together at 1pm EDT/10am Pacific at www.facebook.com/RhondaAbramsSmallBusiness. I’ll have one today but not on Saturday or Sunday. So please join me with your questions, advice.
Today, both the news as of 9pm EDT 3/19 and a way to get more money to small businesses now.
First, the news:
Stimulus Package: Senate Republicans unveiled their proposal of what should go into the trillion dollar stimulus package. This is certain to be negotiated and look quite different before becoming law. This first look provides for:
- Direct cash payments of $1200 per individual, $2400 per couple, $500 per child—those earning more than $75,000 would get smaller checks and earners over $99,000 would get none—those filing jointly would see the amounts decrease if they earn over $150,000. Interestingly (and perhaps heartlessly?), these Republican Senators would give LESS to those who need it the most—poor families with no tax liabilities, with a minimum of $600 per person.
- $300 billion in small business (under 500 employees) loans. These must be used for payroll, mortgage/rent, other debt obligations, paid family/medical leave. The portion of the loan used by small businesses for payroll would be forgiven if they retain their workers until June 30, 2020 or provide additional wages to tipped workers.
- $150 billion would be available for large businesses in select industries (such as airline, hotel, cruise) for loans, and large corporations would benefit from changes in the tax code. (Please note: cruise lines, for the most part, are not registered in the US, nor are most of their employees American)
- The paid sick and family leave provisions passed this week would be weakened, so that fewer workers would be protected and the amounts of pay lowered.
This Republican package is highly unlikely to become law in its current form, because Democrats, the President, and other Republicans all have issues with provisions.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)—the Ranking Member of the Senate’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee—wants to see GRANTS of up to $50,000, not just loans, to businesses of 2-50 employees and a significant forgiveness program for SBA loans for small companies that keep their workers employed.
MUCH MORE ON THIS NEXT WEEK! KEEP READING AND KEEP ATTENDING MY FACEBOOK LIVE SESSIONS
Meanwhile, here’s some info. on how to get cash into small business ASAP. Don’t think of this as just for restaurants or physical products…a lawyer, hairdresser, house cleaner, anything…could use this to encourage customers to help support them in this difficult time by pre-paying for services they’ll use later.
SELL GIFT CARDS, BUY GIFT CARDS
Improve Your Cash Flow: Sell Digital Gift Cards
Make it easy for customers to buy gift cards from you. You’ll get cash in your account almost immediately to help with your cash flow.
One of the fastest ways to set this up is through Square. If you don’t already have a Square account, go to squareup.com to set one up. Then, go here to set up your digital gift cards in a few clicks.
You’ll get a URL for selling your cards. Add that link to Facebook with a couple of clicks (see below). You’ll need to first make sure your company’s Facebook page is a business page.
To sell directly from your business page, simply edit the blue button on the right-hand side of the page, under your banner image (see below). Select the “Shop Now” button and add the Square URL. Hit save and you’re in business. Be sure to write a Facebook post announcing to your audience that you now sell gift cards.
To sell the gift cards on your WordPress website, add the Square link anywhere: your product page, a blog post, or a page for example.
Tweet your link and Instagram it while you’re at it. Sell the digital cards in your email newsletter as well.
Wishing you well – from Rhonda and the PlanningShop team
Copyright Rhonda Abrams, 2020