Governor Ron DeSantis announced phase 1, the first steps to open Florida
The Governor held his press conference this afternoon and announced phase 1 of reopening May 4th. He is allowing certain industries to open with restrictions. “We need to focus on facts and not fear,” DeSantis said in a news conference today. He also stated that this will be a gradual reopening with all but Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties in Phase 1
Here is a quick snapshot:
- Essential businesses will operate as usual
- Elective Surgeries can resume
- Outdoor Seating for Restaurants is permitted with the 6-foot social distance requirement
- Indoor Seating is permitted at 25% capacity
- Retail Businesses may open with 25% capacity
- Bars, Gym & Salons are still prohibited from opening
This is great news for the sunshine state, however, we all need to be aware and take precautions. Our restaurants and retailers that have been offering curbside pick-up have been extremely cautious. The Blue Coyote Supper Club protected its diners with sanitizer, gloves, and instructions outside for customers protecting their staff and patrons when picking up orders. Their Clover Station faced customers with NFC enabled to creating a touchless environment. They also offered onetime use disinfected pens, to protect all. Another great example of the new normal we will all be faced with in the years to come.
$354 Billion of Funding Gone in Less than 20 Days
As Congress fights amongst themselves to release another much needed 250 billion through the CARES Act to small business owners, what can you do to save your business? Now that the shock is over, and the reality has set in, what are you going to do? Give up? Retire? Wait for the Government to save you? No, you are an American Entrepreneur, strong and resilient, and here are a few tips to implement today!
FIle for help as soon as you can:
Make sure your paperwork is in order to file for your PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) as soon as it opens up again if you haven’t received funding. See the breakdown of the 2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Package.
Check your Local Chamber and Associations for Programs:
Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched the Save Small Business Grant Fund. Corporate and philanthropic partners have established this in a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as possible. They hope these supplemental funds will help you get through the next days and weeks. Sorry, the funds were exhausted the first day. However, the EIDL Fund is going to be replenished.
Initiate an Online, Curbside Pick-up, or Delivery Program Now!
Business, as we know it, will never be the same again, and your business needs to adapt to stay competitive. Amazon is nipping at everyone’s heels. Learn from this an do what the big box merchants like Walmart, Target, and Large Grocery Stores are doing……Online, Curbside, Pickup, and Delivery. They are all catering to their customer’s mobile devices of choice and it’s working. Isn’t it time your business followed their model and adopted a similar On-line Ordering model?
Klosebuy is Here to Help with a Free Marketing App
Due to the impact of COVID-19 on restaurants, hospitality and retail Klosebuy and CSI have teamed up to offer a self-managed account for 12 months with no charge.
Klosebuy provides a digital app for consumers to see what businesses are open, providing essentials, has availability of products/services, and the type of delivery or pick up service available from the safety of their home. They know the importance of being connected with customers and keeping them informed during the pandemic.
Using a simple web portal, business owners can provide the above information as well as:
- Current Hours of Operation
- Any Capacity Issues or Changes
- Details on ordering including Specials
- How Pick up is Provided
- And so much more…
For businesses that are temporarily closed, this app can support their re-opening once State and Federal directives are lifted. With one click, a business owner can make their location “visible” on the app for their customers and those in their community to see. A “push” message can be scheduled to tell all “we’re back open for business!”
Their mission is to help businesses connect with customers in their local markets. They want to make sure all industries impacted by the virus have access to this simple to use technology.
Read the article published last week about the changes Klosebuy made to offer help to communities
Feel free to share with other business owners in your community. Together we’ll come through this ordeal stronger.
COVID-19 video: https://youtu.be/-Ojo8kzOEPI
Enrollment site: – a business can enroll in 2 minutes for free
Get the Funding You Need
We are in a Health and Financial Crisis of unprecedented magnitude and a huge financial impact on you, and your business is still a big unknown. Many of you are experiencing a 50%-95% drop in sales, and some of you may have closed your doors completely. Our hearts go out to you, and we want to help in any way.
First, we must plan for the worst and hope for the best. Financial assistance is available today. It’s out there and available for you in several forms, and we can help. This is our understanding as much as one can involving the Federal Government. Please understand we are not offering legal or accounting advice, contact local professionals licensed in your area for more info.
As your trusted advisor, we are here to help by sharing some useful guidelines we have found while navigating the process ourselves. We have also included some helpful references below. Please check your state as they may have some funding programs available in addition to the EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) and the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program).
Many of the banks were still awaiting guidance from the SBA before releasing their latest applications and their portals to be up and we are encouraging you to apply with them if you have an established relationship. As you can imagine, they are overwhelmed with a flood of applications and processing their clients first.
We have an alternative solution. We have partnered with a Lending Platform, Lendio, that can help expedite this process. They charge no fees and are entirely automated and accepting applications online today. They have been providing loans to small businesses for many years, and therefore already have the automated tools in place to process your loan quickly.
Three Suggestions to Help You Today
Apply for the PPP loan
It doesn’t matter if you are C-Corp an S- Corp, Partnership, LLC Sole Proprietor, 501C Non-Profit, Tribal Business, or even an Independent Contractor, you can apply. This is first-come; first-serve, so get your application in through your bank or click here to apply through our banking platform.
Summary of PPP
- Forgiveness of 2.5 x monthly payroll, payroll commissions, benefits, and taxes, as long as employees retained
- 1% interest loan with forgiveness (was initially announced at 0.05%)
- No personal guarantee
- May also include some insurance, rents, utilities
- 100% of the loan is supposed to be forgiven if 75%+ of the revenue is payroll related
- Loan payments are deferred 6 months should you have to pay it back
- 2-year term
Treasury Fact Sheet
Apply for the $10K ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL)
Businesses affected should immediately apply for the $10K loan to help them get funds quickly. It is easy to fill out (10 minutes online) and will be forgiven if the guidelines are followed: SBA.Gov. Remember, this is first-come; first-serve, so get your application in quickly.
Apply for State Emergency Funds
The Florida Disaster Bridge Loan is a $50K ($100K in special circumstances), 12-month, 0 interest loan. It requires more paperwork but worth a look. Check your State’s available resources. Sorry, the funds have been exhausted already. However, the EIDL Fund is going to be replenished.
Time is of the essence for all of us as these are first-come, first-serve programs. The money well is only so deep ($350 Billion) until additional funding is approved (maybe). We urge you to act quickly by contacting your lender or us so we can connect you with our lender.
Please stay healthy, adhere to the CDC guidelines, and as we have always done in our history…. America will get through this!
Customer loyalty programs are smart, innovative ways to increase revenue and create repeat business. These easy to implement programs not only create loyal, happy customers they give you a method to reach out to those customers with specials and new products. Also, 69% of consumers say they make their shopping decisions based on their loyalty programs or lack thereof. Studies also reveal that although finding new customers is crucial for a thriving company, it is far less expensive and better to maintain your current customers.
Loyal customers advertise for you
Loyalty programs are not a new concept, however, they can be very versatile. They can be in the form of an app, an email, or a simple letter in the mail. Having an app on their phone offers your customers a convenient shopping experience, and increases company awareness for potential customers. Appreciating your customers will draw them to your company, as well as maintain their interest. On average, a loyal customer can be worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase with your company. Personalized loyalty programs are very appealing to customers, such as a customized email with their name.
There are many ways to use loyalty programs. Most companies use points by tracking purchases. Companies such as Starbucks and Tarte use this method. For every purchase customers make, the business gives them the value spent in points. Customers save their points and redeem rewards or discounts exclusive to the company’s loyalty program. Some programs even encourage customers to positively review or share their products on social media in return for additional points. Turning their customers into advertisers for the business.
Easy to implement and inexpensive
In addition, loyalty programs are not expensive and can be set up a few different ways; using a POS or terminal to capture customer data and track purchases or a simple app customers can download on their phones. Decide which method you prefer, choose your reward and watch your profits grow. Most programs will track and reward your customer and the newer loyalty systems may even text or email you to notify you of the reward with beacon technology. Many systems just keep track of benefits and work only when a customer asks to use their card.
The small amount invested will be worth it when your profit increases. On average, companies will spend up to eleven times more on finding new customers than maintaining the ones they already have. Reaching out to your current customers is simple once you have the data. Also, sharing on social media has never been easier.
As technology continues to advance, so do company reward programs. It’s always a good idea to revisit your existing program and keep up with current trends to maximize company profits and maintain your customer loyalty. Whether in the form of an app, an email, or a letter, customer appreciation stretches far. Loyalty and customer reward programs are extremely efficient in inspiring customer loyalty and maximizing profits. If you do not have a program in place it’s time you looked into one.
A holistic workplace offers benefits to employers and employees and creates a thriving business environment. Businesses who recognize an employee’s mental well-being create a better work environment and tend to retain valuable employees. Research conducted at the O.C. Tanner Institute suggests six essential elements of a great workplace. Purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, well-being, and leadership. These elements are shown to improve the attitude and motivation of employees and employers. Savvy business owners are taking steps to create an environment that makes employees want to work and perform well. Companies such as Starbucks recognize this and offer additional benefits such as backup child or elder care.
The Staggering costs of Illness in the workplace
Even smaller businesses, restaurants and retailers are providing employees with emotional and physical support by offering flexible scheduling, group fitness, financial education, and even drug rehabilitation. Holistic programs are especially important in protecting the health of employees. 1 in 3 adults are affected by behaviorally linked health issues, and illnesses cost companies approximately $530 billion every single year. It’s essential to make your employees feel appreciated to maintain a healthy work environment.
What can you do today to make a difference?
- Treat your staff to an impromptu lunch or coffee break
- Give a Gift Card or Gift Certificate for outstanding performance
- Collaborate with your staff on important projects
Simple acts of kindness can motivate your employees to work hard and be productive. Having birthday or holiday parties can make your employees feel respected and build a healthy workplace dynamic. Recognizing the individuality of your employees is essential for you, your employees and your customers. Remember, your employees are the lifeblood of your business and it’s always the little things that make a difference and set you apart from your competition.
Holistic Employee Benefit Plans Offer Long-term Value