Countless small businesses have been impacted by the pandemic in one way or another, and 53 percent say it could take at least six more months before things will return to how they were prior to COVID-19. But in the meantime, there are several steps small business owners (SBOs) can take to keep their companies alive and growing throughout COVID-19 and beyond. The team at D2R-Collect shares them in the sections below!
Compare SBA Disaster Loans
Applying for an SBA loan is just one of the steps SBOs can take to keep their businesses afloat throughout the pandemic, as several financing options are available to qualifying for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Current relief options include the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and debt relief assistance — while future options will include the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) and Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
In addition to these financing options, SBOs may apply for funding through corporations like FedEx and Visa — or federal agencies such as Grants.gov and GrantWatch. Other small business grants are offered through the National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE), Department of Agriculture, and First Nations Development Institute.
Improve Your Small Business for Long-Term Success
In addition to applying for SBA loans, grants, and other types of funding, now is the time to make a few budget-friendly business improvements. If you’re currently operating your business as a sole proprietorship, for instance, it may be time to upgrade to a limited liability company or corporation — as doing so will legitimize your company and increase your chances of securing a loan. Plus, forming a legal entity is simple and affordable thanks to online services such as ZenBusiness.
Other small business improvements to consider include the following:
- Trying a few creative marketing ideas.
- Claiming your free listing on Google My Business.
- Learning search engine optimization (SEO).
- Launching a blog and/or email newsletter.
- Updating your business technology.
- Hiring an accountant to manage your cash flow.
If your business could use some help with its marketing and advertising, it may also be time to recruit a few freelance professionals to assist with things such as social media, blogging, content marketing, and SEO. Content marketing managers, SEO specialists, email marketers, and digital marketing consultants are just a few types of freelancers to consider for these types of tasks. And if you’d like to upgrade your website, you may wish to enlist the help of a freelance web designer or developer as well.
Create a Safe Environment for Customers and Employees
Even when the pandemic ends, many of us will continue to wear masks in crowded public spaces, practice social distancing, and follow COVID-19 safety precautions. And therefore, it’s important to create a working environment where your customers and employees will feel safe today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Here are some things small businesses can do to today create a safe working environment for their customers and employees:
- Install plexiglass barriers in spaces where social distancing is not possible.
- When feasible, space desks and workstations at least six feet apart from one another.
- Allow remote work whenever possible.
- Install hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the office space, especially near high-traffic areas such as copy machines and elevators.
- Regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, including doorknobs and handrails.
The Bottom Line
From making a few small business improvements to applying for an SBA disaster loan, there are so many things you can do to keep your head above water as the pandemic continues on. Plus, the upgrades and improvements you make today will help your business to grow and thrive for many years to come — even after the pandemic has officially ended.
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Sba disaster loans