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We are moving into week four of Stay at Home and we have all had to adjust and compromise many of the things that we often take for granted.

For the past week, ideas around leadership have been ruminating in my mind. As small business owners, we are being called on to think clearly and act correctly in more ways that we ever imagined. In these difficult weeks, I’m reminded of Simon Sinek’s perspective on three qualities that make for great leadership.

  1. Selflessness – build trust by being willing to take care of others. This sets a tone in your company.
  2. Empathy – put others ahead of yourself by taking care of others.
  3. Grace under fire – manage your own stress and anxiety so that you can be selfless and empathetic in your own way.

We must adjust to the impact of the Coronavirus on our employees, our customers, and our vendors. We must adjust our expectations of others and even the expectations of ourselves. How can we exhibit these important qualities of leadership in our decisions these next forthcoming weeks? How can we exhibit grace under the current fire we are experiencing?

Let me encourage you to step up your leadership right now. Your family, your co-workers and other business relationships will all benefit – and my guess is that you will be personally challenged and fulfilled in new and remarkable ways.

Updates to the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans

Banks opened up applications under the Paycheck Protection Program (see our previous article for a reminder). In short, these forgivable loans will provide funding based on your prior year payroll to help you maintain your employment levels with this funding backed by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”). The Treasury and SBA have been clarifying the rules under the program and we’ve been monitoring the requirements and the underlying calculations for the loan amounts. We’ve also been monitoring the individual bank requirements to better understand the documentation they are looking for in your loan applications.

The past week we have seen a rush and panic from the media about delayed bank application openings, or bank denials for processing the loans, and the idea that the funding will run out before the end of June 2020. We can’t promise anything with these loans, but communication from Marco Rubio (Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship) says that they are working to increase Wells Fargo’s lending limits, increase accessibility for non-bank traditional lenders, and increase the funding to the PPP with an additional $250 billion to ensure that no small business is left out. This message tells us that some small businesses can take the time they need to strategically plan out the timing of their application without fear of losing out on this funding.

Unemployment benefits

Many state unemployment compensation websites and offices have been pushed beyond capacity. Approvals are slowly appearing for the initial state based claims and the projected timing for the federal subsidy of $600 is expected in some states as early as next week and others the week of April 20. While the state is now offering unemployment benefits to sole proprietors, the state unemployment processes and claim procedures are still not in place to begin processing unemployment benefit claims for sole proprietors. Keep checking your state UC sites online for updates on this.

FILE AN INITIAL CLAIM IN PA

Individual stimulus checks (Economic Impact Payments)

These one-time direct payment checks to taxpayers are part of a new refundable tax credit that will be part of your 2020 personal tax returns. The direct payment amounts will be $1,200 for single taxpayers earnings less than $75,000 and $2,400 for married taxpayers earning less than $150,000.

For families with kids under age 17, they will receive an additional $500 per child. The Treasury is beginning the distribution of these economic impact payments the week of April 13. It is expected that those who already have direct deposit information from a previously filed tax return will be receiving their payments first. For others, you can check this site where the IRS plans to set up a portal to enter your bank information, or you can simply wait for the paper check in the mail.

A word of caution about scams: The IRS will never call you to update your bank or address information. Save yourself the angst, calmly decline to speak about this, and simply hang up.

Final thoughts

A great question that I came across the other day asked “When this is all over, what will I wish I had done?”.  Without pushing deep contemplation on anyone, just sit with that thought for a few minutes each day for the next week. I think you will be amazed how your mind will inspire you.

Thank you for the opportunity to come alongside you in this. Please let us know if you need anything and get in touch with us at (215) 703-3098 or hello@kregel-cpa.com.