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Old 03-18-2020, 07:49 AM
5,107 posts, read 3,403,072 times
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I really want this thread to be a good resource for small business owners that are trying to survive through this pandemic. Please post any ideas, updates, links, information, suggestions, etc about any programs and resources for small business owners.

Those of us who have taken the leap to 100% self employment live under a different type of fear/reality than those who get a regular paycheck. We need to be constantly hustling to be able to pay payroll, taxes, rent, utilities, vendors, loans, etc. Then we pray we have enough to pay our own mortgages and bills.

So here we are, how do we survive the next few weeks or months with sales dropping 90-100% and no other income?

Rent - we won't pay the store rent in April, see other thread for good info
State Taxes - I heard our governor (SC) say business taxes delayed a few months - I need to check and see if that includes all taxes (sales, payroll, income, etc)
Loan - trying to get through to get loan payments put on hold, call wait times are long and then they ask you to leave a message
Vendor payments - I will be emailing them and letting them know our payment will be delayed

Sales - schools are our largest customer base, since they're closed, we're going to try to market more to small businesses through free Facebook posts. We are also trying to spend this time getting more in store items on our website.

Please post what you're doing and good luck!
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:46 AM
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Also, has anyone checked their Commercial Insurance policies to see if there are any benefits for times like this?
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:05 AM
Location: Union City, NJ
1,851 posts, read 1,192,484 times
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For your bank loan, try reaching out to your relationship manager directly as opposed to the general customer service number. Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2020, 01:39 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
32,335 posts, read 58,942,406 times
Reputation: 35363
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
Also, has anyone checked their Commercial Insurance policies to see if there are any benefits for times like this?
Business interruption insurance is available but most don't buy it. I had it for 16 years and never had a claim, but now, fortunately, I can work from home, for someone else.
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Old 03-18-2020, 01:42 PM
Location: SoCal
18,127 posts, read 8,595,096 times
Reputation: 14920
My daughter owns a small business, she’s not laying off anybody but will let go of her office. She and her staff will be working at home. I think she’s planning to move to a diiferent location anyway, but this speeds it up.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:45 PM
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I have a small oil company and our new wells will take longer to pay off but once we have cash we will try to put it in a new deal or maybe lease some land.Our small business has taken a big hit because gasoline is so cheap right now.Good luck to you and everybody else.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:54 PM
1,778 posts, read 834,555 times
Reputation: 1956
normally business interruption insurance doesn't cover events like these unless it causes PHYSICAL damage. The carriers word it specifically so it narrows the potential liability. Almost nobody with business insurance will be covered by loss of business due to the virus unless they paid $$$$$ specifically for a rider or clause that covers it.
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:16 AM
Location: Henderson, NV
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I own a small video production company, most of our work is done by contractors, but we have 2 employees (not including myself). We have suspended all advertising effective April 1 to cut costs, we have enough clients and potential clients anyway for the year -- it was going to be our best year ever -- and I have to do some creative thinking to figure out what to do with my 2 employees. One is essential, she is like my partner in the business practically and has been with the company since the start (about 9 months in, I hired her). She's not going anywhere, and I'll probably continue to pay her as usual. The editor, however, will have nothing to edit by the end of March. We are finishing off some existing projects and we lost all of our work for March, about $30,000, and there are no booked projects for April as you can imagine. Anything beyond that is uncertain as everything has been put on hold, by all of our clients, and our clients are in industries ranging from defense contractors to senior living to product companies to banks and financial institutes to medical fields. It doesn't matter whether what they're doing is "essential" or not, video production is not taking priority right now so we sit on the sidelines.

I could keep the company afloat indefinitely as the majority of my income is from investment sources that are assured, more or less, and I have cash reserves. But given we had a somewhat rocky 2019, and this was to be a giant year for us, my appetite for staying in business only extends so far. As much as I've put into the company, and the years I've given it, there comes a time when if it's not contributing more than 25% of my income, and I don't really need the money, how much hassle will I put up with? I want to keep it going but if this drags on past 4-5 months, I'll probably have to shut it down. By late September, a new large payment will be due for the year's insurance policy (around $7,000) and that would probably force my hand. I need a recovery before that point and to get some of our large projects back on track. It won't save 2020, but if the second half of the year is strong, we could maybe still break even or make a small profit and then have a better 2021.

It's pretty depressing, though, as I was thinking we'd have enough money in profit this year that I could really do some damage, maybe pay off my mortgage completely, that kind of thing. Instead, our best year ever turns into a nightmare. I'm sure other small business owners are experiencing the same.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:52 AM
Location: Silicon Valley
4,853 posts, read 2,182,142 times
Reputation: 7897
This is very rough for my wife's business, which is dry cleaning and alterations. With retail clothing closed, proms cancelled, weddings postponed and office workers all working from home in PJ's, we're off 90+%. By comparison, at the worst of the Recession we were off 30%.

It's not just us. The plant (which serves several locations in the area) said volumes are so far down that they are moving to cleaning every other day.

5 year lease is up on 4/30. We've asked to pay a smaller amount until this is lifted and we'll repay the delta at the contracted rate over the course of the following 12 months. We'll see.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:16 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
285 posts, read 194,954 times
Reputation: 729
This is a very sad time to be a small business owner. My husband's work has dried up. He can't work from home. He is an engineer. He still has office rent to pay. We just keep waiting and hoping things will open up by mid April or the first of May the latest. Most small businesses won't be able to survive if this "lock down" continues. My heart goes out to other smal business owners.
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