Florida Restaurants Begin to Open up for Business

Florida Restaurants Begin to Open up for Business

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.

 

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

https://www.sba.gov/

Loyalty Programs Drive Business

Loyalty Programs Drive Business

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.

Cash Discounting & Your POS

Cash Discounting & Your POS

We realize that your costs for accepting credit card payments increase regularly. As your source for Point of Sale, we can help by improving other aspects of your service that save you money and make you more profitable IN SPITE OF those rising costs.

There’s been a lot of confusion about surcharging in the past few years. Can you do it? Yes and no. They are specific rules and guidelines for each state regarding Cash Discounting and Surcharging.

For restaurants, the safest and most transparent method is to offer a cash discount for people paying with cash. Advertising the credit price throughout your restaurant with the expectation if they use credit, they pay that price.  This should avoid confusion and keep your customers happy with a Cash Discount Program.   In addition, you must notify patrons throughout your restaurant with a sign on the door, notification at a POS or cash register, and printed on the receipt.  Make sure you are following your local state rules.

Upgrade your Point of Sale System – it will pay for itself so quickly you won’t even think of it as an expense.  Our POS System will even automate the Cash Discount feature for you, so you don’t have to think twice about it!

For restaurateurs, the speed and efficiency of ordering alerts to kitchen staff, and payment processing will turn tables much, much faster in dine-in situations and faster yet for takeout. When customers key in their own orders – with descriptive, easy-to-use menu presentation and clearly stated instructions and payment options – it greatly reduces errors and streamlines the notifications along the order-fulfillment process that saves time. You and your customers will love that!

For other businesses, giving customers the ability to choose their items online saves clerks’ time (and prevents complaints about it taking too long to find a clerk!). Checkout is a breeze, and if there’s one thing everyone believes is in short supply today, it’s time.

Another great feature you should look for when choosing a new Point of Sale System is the ability to upload images and price changes instantly.   This process should be as easy as putting a photo on Facebook.

So what are you waiting for?  Call us today at (239) 549-5055 or check out our website www.cardsystems.com.

Generate More Revenue and Traffic with an ATM

Generate More Revenue and Traffic with an ATM

ATMs still Represent Easy Money for your Business, Restaurant or Store

With the rise of online shopping, brick-and-mortar businesses today need to do everything they can to stay competitive. Sometimes that means using a traditional, tried-and-true method of boosting traffic and earning some passive income.

We’re talking about the ATM machine.

Your store, restaurant or business just might need one.

Why?

Not everyone likes to swipe or dip the chip at a business. Credit and Debit card security concerns are causing some people to stick to the safety of cash. One-third of U.S. consumers (34 percent) say they are making more purchases in store with cash because of data breaches, according to ATM Marketplace.

Avoid card processing fees: Customers who use your ATM and then pay cash in your business save you in credit card processing fees.

Where’s my bank? In a tourist market, in particular, a customer’s regular bank may not be available or may be prohibitively far from his or her local destination. Your customer may want to withdraw money from or check his balance from an ATM before making a card transaction with you or another business.

“Now that I’m here”: Average 7-Eleven ATMs perform about 3,000 transactions per month, according to National Cash, an industry provider. That could be 3,000 times a customer visits your business just to use the ATM, and while there, they notice what else your business offers.

It’s a tax write-off: The ATM is a tangible personal property item which can be expensed. Your tax advisor can tell you about how the cost of an ATM machine can be depreciated or expensed beginning in the tax year that it is placed.

Earn income on surcharges: Talk about passive income! It’s the easiest way to make money on your money.

Operating an ATM is easy and a great way to drive more revenue and foot traffic into your establishment this year!  Call or email us today to learn more.

Is Managing Your Images on your POS this Easy?

Is Managing Your Images on your POS this Easy?

Is Managing your POS System as Easy as Posting a Picture to Social Media?  It Should be!

Imagine being able to upload an image of your daily specials or entrées as soon as they come out of your oven.  Uploading an image to your menu is as simple as posting to your facebook page.  Wow your customers and entice them into your restaurant or store today.  The power of an image is incredible!

As a business owner or manager, can you edit and make modifications easily from wherever you are?

Envision being able to make real-time changes to your menu, manage your staff and keep an eye on your sales from anywhere in the world.  Whether you are at home or on vacation the newer POS systems allow you to manage all of your operations in one place!

The newer POS systems are now state of the art, replacing the old legacy systems and improving your life as a restaurant or retail owner.

If your current POS system doesn’t have all these easy-to-use features, make the change and upgrade today!