Government Funds Depleted, What Now? 3 Tips

Government Funds Depleted, What Now? 3 Tips

$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 Gives Back to Restaurants and Retailers

Klosebuy Gives Back to Restaurants and Retailers

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

COVID-19 Government Funds for Small Business

COVID-19 Government Funds for Small Business

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!

References

http://www.jjthecpa.com/ppp

https://www.sba.gov/

The Power of Women in Business

The Power of Women in Business

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A WOMAN

You may be stunned to learn just how much women’s economic power has increased in recent years.  Their impact on the consumer economy and influence in decision-making has elevated them to account for 85% of all consumer purchases.  Understanding the factors leading to related statistics and how to appeal to this gender is critical to capture their business.

Factors leading to this rise in power are:

  1. Women earn the majority of bachelor’s degrees (57%), master’s degrees (60%) and doctoral degrees (51%).
  2. Seventy percent of women with children under 18 are working at jobs and at home and 74.9% of women are the primary shoppers for the household.
  3. Women control 60%+ of all personal wealth in the U.S.
  4. Women are responsible for the purchase of over 61% of traditional male products, such as automobiles, home improvement products, and consumer electronics.
  5. Nearly 40% of U.S. working women earn more than their husbands.

This powerful force will continue to develop and dominate the marketplace for generations to come.  Businesses must educate themselves on how to approach women and meet their purchasing needs. Research indicates “91% of women feel that advertisers don’t understand them.”

(For more Statistics on the Purchasing Power of Women, including Millennials, Gen-X women, Empty Nesters, and Boomer Women, see https://girlpowermarketing.com/statistics-purchasing-power-women/.)

How to appeal to this group:

Because women are sandwiched between raising children, working, caring for the home and caregiving for their elderly, their time is limited.  Customer service and convenience are paramount to a good relationship and a satisfied shopper.

Training your sales and customer service staff to create a pleasant customer experience and recognize the importance of appealing to this shopper’s buying needs will help to increase sales and develop a repeat customer.  To fail to acknowledge their presence or significance in the decision-making process will be a definite detriment to the ultimate sale of your product or service.

(www.forbes.com,2016/12/32, www.forbes.com, 2017/01/31)

More than 11 million businesses are owned by women who employ over 9 million people.  Of that, 5.4 million firms are majority-owned by women of color employing over 2 million people.

Make your business run smoothly with online purchasing options, electronic billing, customer financing, and an efficient Point of Sale System.  If these options are not available with your current vendor, call us for a free consultation at 866-207-3298 or go to www.cardsystems.com

Is your Company’s E-Commerce Evolving?

Is your Company’s E-Commerce Evolving?

E-commerce sales comprised 9.1% of all U. S. retail sales in the third quarter of 2017, according to the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. Up from 8.2% in the same quarter of 2016. In the next three years e-commerce sales are expected to total $708 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.

The big box retailers are consolidating and closing their brick and mortar stores in record numbers. They are putting their resources into their e-commerce sites to try and capture a market dominated by Amazon and primarily directed by Google. Will you follow their lead?

What can you do today to enhance your e-commerce site?

6 simple steps to boost and optimize your e-commerce site:

  1. Create a Mobile Friendly website.  First and foremost even if you are not selling your products or services online, you need to be found online today and in a mobile friendly way. 77% of American’s have a smart phone and are looking for your product or service right now. Is your site mobile friendly?  If not, stop everything you are doing and call someone who can help you create a mobile friendly e-commerce site today.
  2. Collect Customer Data.  Make sure you collect as much data as you can through your Point of Sale (POS) or on your site. It’s never been easier to collect your customer’s email or phone number at the POS. There are so many systems to choose from today that do this with ease at the cashier or checkout level. With more and more people using smart phones and going green, you can email receipts, notify of upcoming sales, and simply market your service to them with this collected information.
  3. Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program to collect the basic data of your clients and prospects (company name, contact, address, email and phone number). It’s time to drill down to interests, birthdays, colleagues, spouses, children, education, how and why the customer started the business or anything you can discuss. In fact, every time you talk with your customer, note their file. People love to be remembered and this is your powerful insight into your customers needs and wants. Listening to these needs not only builds a strong loyal relationship, it saves everyone time and money by not discussing or pushing out topics that have little or no interest to them or their business.
  4. Develop a strategy to engage your customers.  How do you get your message out to your valued customers.  Email, blog post, mail, phone or social media? Quite frankly, you should use all of these to connect and on a regular basis. Use the same information on all platforms as it is unlikely your client will visit all.  If they do, great because it takes 5-7 touches before you sell an item. Just begin with one and take baby steps. Remember…”A good plan … now is better than a perfect plan … next week” – General George C. Patton.
  5. Reward your Customers.  Do you have a rewards program? If not start one today.  If you have one in store, great.  If it isn’t online then talk to someone who specializes in gift cards and rewards programs that will work with your e-commerce site. It doesn’t matter what type of business you own, there is something you can do to reward your clients. Even if it is just a cup of coffee, a $5 gift certificate or maybe a discount on a future purchase.  Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, are all great, but what about something more original like an anniversary with you or just to thank them for their business? Think out of the box and send an e-certificate. If they don’t use it, it’s no loss to you.
  6. Optimize your payment process. Accept Apple Pay and the many new digital wallets to speed up the check out process. Shopping abandonment is a constant battle for e-commerce clients. Make it easy and fast for your clients to buy. Check into the many credit card software systems that not only reach out to clients to pay, for example, Electronic Bill Presentment and Payments (EBPP) but give your customers the ability to finance their purchases.

All in all, e-commerce has evolved and will continue to do so in the coming years. Take advantage of the many tools available to grow your business.

What are you waiting for? Like Nike says Just do it” and do it today!

Surcharge… pass it on or not?

Surcharge… pass it on or not?

Zero Cost processing to keep 100% of the sale and surcharge

Accepting credit cards is a necessity in today’s world.  As a business owner, you want to offer every means of payment you can to your customers, but the cost of processing high ticket transactions on a credit card could be putting a serious dent in your profits.

The practice of charging a small convenience fee for the privilege of using credit cards is already commonly used in many countries, and in 2013 surcharging became legal in the U.S.  Until recently, some states, including Florida, have prohibited surcharging.  Although Florida statutes currently prohibit surcharging, the US Supreme Court has determined that the Florida law is unconstitutional based on the Freedom of Speech protection.  Surcharging is growing in popularity among many different industries and will continue to grow as more business owners realize the savings this solution can bring them.  By switching to a zero-cost credit solution, many merchants have seen an enormous savings to their bottom line.

Businesses offering specialty products and services are often hit the hardest because the majority of their transactions are high ticket amounts.  A zero cost credit processing solution is perfect for these business types.  Making sure that your surcharge rate is fair and transparent isn’t always as easy as it may sound.  We’ve seen surcharge rates as high as 4%, and we can help guide you with lower options.  Fortunately, it is possible to ensure your business is charging a fair surcharge that covers the entire cost of accepting credit cards.

You have to ask yourself, is it good for you?  And, will your customers give you push back?  Passing credit card fees to your customers allows you to increase your income, which could amount to thousands of dollars every year!  Acceptance will continue to grow with consumers as more industries begin to implement surcharging.  Click here for common frequently asked questions.  If you would like more information about this solution for your business, contact us today!