$350 billion set aside for 'Paycheck Protection Program' - any small business can apply - Here are the details
There's a lot o questions on the stimulus checks going to millions of Americans, but I don't think its clear on how the business is helping small businesses. Let's try to knock that out right now.
The package includes a $350 billion forgivable loan program intended to save jobs. It's called the Paycheck Protection Program.
Any business with fewer than 500 employees can apply. There is a formula that dictates how much they would get. If the business spent that money on employees, a mortgage, rent or utilities, the principal of the loan would be forgiven.
The loans are backed by the SBA but you can apply through your local bank.
Already have an SBA loan? The principal and interest can be delayed up to six months.
The benefits don't end there. Eligible businesses will also be able to defer their payroll taxes until 2021. They still have to pay but they can stall some.
Official FAQ from the U.S. Senate:
Where can I apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?
You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank. There are thousands of banks that already participate in the SBA’s lending programs, including numerous community banks. You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool. You can call your local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center and they will provide free assistance and guide you to lenders.
Who is eligible for the loan?
You are eligible for a loan if you are a small business that employs 500 employees or fewer, or if your business is in an industry that has an employee-based size standard through SBA that is higher than 500 employees. In addition, if you are a restaurant, hotel, or a business that falls within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72, “Accommodation and Food Services,” and each of your locations has 500 employees or fewer, you are eligible. Tribal businesses, 501(c)(19) veteran organizations, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including religious organizations, will be eligible for the program. Nonprofit organizations are subject to SBA’s affiliation standards. Independently owned franchises with under 500 employees, who are approved by SBA, are also eligible. Eligible franchises can be found through SBA’s Franchise Directory.
I am an independent contractor or gig economy worker, am I eligible?
Yes. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and self-employed individuals are all eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.
What is the maximum amount I can borrow?
The amount any small business is eligible to borrow is 250 percent of their average monthly payroll expenses, up to a total of $10 million. This amount is intended to cover 8 weeks of payroll expenses and any additional amounts for making payments towards debt obligations. This 8 week period may be applied to any time frame between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Seasonal business expenses will be measured using a 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or March 1, 2019, whichever the seasonal employer chooses.
How can I use the money such that the loan will be forgiven?
The amount of principal that may be forgiven is equal to the sum of expenses for payroll, and existing interest payments on mortgages, rent payments, leases, and utility service agreements. Payroll costs include employee salaries (up to an annual rate of pay of $100,000), hourly wages and cash tips, paid sick or medical leave, and group health insurance premiums. If you would like to use the Paycheck Protection Program for other business-related expenses, like inventory, you can, but that portion of the loan will not be forgiven.
When is the loan forgiven?
The loan is forgiven at the end of the 8-week period after you take out the loan. Borrowers will work with lenders to verify covered expenses and the proper amount of forgiveness.
What is the covered period of the loan?
The covered period during which expenses can be forgiven extends from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Borrowers can choose which 8 weeks they want to count towards the covered period, which can start as early as February 15, 2020.
How much of my loan will be forgiven?
The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help you retain your employees, at their current base pay. If you keep all of your employees, the entirety of the loan will be forgiven. If you still lay off employees, the forgiveness will be reduced by the percent decrease in the number of employees. If your total payroll expenses on workers making less than $100,000 annually decreases by more than 25 percent, loan forgiveness will be reduced by the same amount. If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30, 2020.
Am I responsible for interest on the forgiven loan amount?
No, if the full principal of the PPP loan is forgiven, the borrower is not responsible for the interest accrued in the 8-week covered period. The remainder of the loan that is not forgiven will operate according to the loan terms agreed upon by you and the lender.
What are the interest rate and terms for the loan amount that is not forgiven?The terms of the loan not forgiven may differ on a case-by-case basis. However, the maximum terms of the loan feature a 10-year term with interest capped at 4 percent and a 100 percent loan guarantee by the SBA. You will not have to pay any fees on the loan, and collateral requirements and personal guarantees are waived. Loan payments will be deferred for at least six months and up to one year starting at the origination of the loan.
When is the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program?
Applicants are eligible to apply for the PPP loan until June 30th, 2020.
I took out a bridge loan through my state, am I eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?
Yes, you can take out a state bridge loan and are still be eligible for the PPP loan.
If I have applied for, or received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) related to COVID- 19 before the Paycheck Protection Program became available, will I be able to refinance into a PPP loan?
Yes. If you received an EIDL loan related to COVID-19 between January 31, 2020 and the date at which the PPP becomes available, you would be able to refinance the EIDL into the PPP for loan forgiveness purposes. However, you may not take out an EIDL and a PPP for the same purposes. Remaining portions of the EIDL, for purposes other than those laid out in loan forgiveness terms for a PPP loan, would remain a loan. If you took advantage of an emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000, that amount would be subtracted from the amount forgiven under PPP.
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Let’s start with: DON’T BE A VICTIM!
I get it. Times will be tough for a few, but don’t get down on yourself or let anyone else get you down. You are an entrepreneur and have the brainpower and passion to figure out how to take advantage… AND THAT IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. Today takes perseverance, courage, intelligence, and long term thinking. Consider the next week or two weeks as a reset for the business to understand how to capitalize. At Ava Digital, we are as much a business strategy consultant for small businesses as we are experts on SEO services.
Business Strategy - Let’s agree that over the next several months, people are going to be even more focused on “social distancing”. The future for Chicago small businesses and consumers are going to become more digital than ever. So, now is the time to plan your strategy. How are you going to get to your consumers and how are your consumers going to find you? Are you service based, how can you use video services to get your business going? Can you sell products as part of your solution? Can you offer subscription services? These are all questions to ask, but no matter what you answer, YOU MUST GET FOUND ON THE WEB. People will be looking for your services so do what you can to be ready to catch them when they are searching. At AVA digital, this is a busy time because small businesses are looking to beat the competition as consumers search for products and services.
Step 1 - Build Site
Build Your Website. Call Ava, we will walk you through what is required, Already have a website, ensure the site has all the right keywords that people are searching for. For example, SEO services Naperville is searched 100s of times per month and guess whose company comes up? Get it? When building your site, you have to make sure you have enough content written on your pages. It’s one of the key factors that allows your site to rank on Google. 1500 words on the home page and 500 words on every other page. Don’t worry, we can help. We provide web design services across Chicago.
Step 2 - Optimize
Optimize the site so Google grades it as an “A” for desktop and mobile. More than 50% of search will be done on a person’s phone so ensuring you are thinking about this is essential.
Step 3 - Blogging
We get it. It’s not easy to constantly write articles about your service, but there is a reason we always discuss this. Blogging about your services help continue to reinforce keyword content.
Step 4 - Back-linking & Citations
A secret that you have to start working on immediately is ranking your site. If your company does not show up on page 1 for your service in your area, that is enough to give us a call. Back-linking and citations are ways of getting votes for your site and allowing you to rank in your market.
Step 5 - Lets get Google To Help
Google My Business is a great source to localize your business and have it show up in the “map pack” This is critical because once you set this up you can beat out all your competition and guess what, not many businesses know how to do this and are losing out.
So, let’s get to work. Now is not the time wallow or just sit around and watch Netflix all day. Today is the day that you work on the business that is coming and I promise you it’s coming.
AVA Digital Marketing Provides SEO service in Naperville, Chicago, Glen Ellyn, and across the US. We build websites, consult businesses, manage social media accounts, and all that is digital.
Google AdWords is built to help you promote your business, simple as that. They charge you based on how many people click on your ad which is called pay per click or PPC. Additionally, you can put a lot barriers and constraints in the campaign so that you control your budget. With Credits, Google is wanting you to try their platform and they will credit you in various ways. Some may be spend $25 and they will give you $100 additional. Others may be Adwords credit of $150 where you spend $150 and get credited that amount (no less). To enable it, you must go into settings and payment and enter the promotional code that you received. Once its enabled you can run your campaign. So why run a Google Ad Campaign?
Everybody loves good data about your business and when it comes to Adwords campaigns, there are a lot of it. First, you will receive an overview you can view a completely detailed report on each aspect of your ad campaign. The reports tell you clicks, what words generated the clicks, and how many times your ad was shown based on search. This is pretty good data because it allows you to refine your campaigns and understand the market for your service.
Conversion tracking will tell you about how many clicks converted into customers and wanted to use your services. Pretty slick.
How you set keywords up for your campaign is all the difference in success, but like I said you can learn and adapt. If results don’t meet your expectations, you can make use of AdWords tool to make changes on the fly.
Google AdWords is also very helpful to get the word out about your business. It can start to build brand recognition for people searching your site. You can simply decide where you want to promote your service (nationally or locally) and let it fly. Don't for get to use a coupon!
Google AdWords works on the based on what we call Search Engine Marketing (SEM). You put the basics in the ad like keywords, key phrases, and site info in addition to setting a budget You can set budgets per click per day which help you when you are starting out. Adwords will manage how and where Google Ad will appear during a search. Your ad will be positioned based on its ad rank, which depends on the Cost Per Click (CPC) bid and the relevance of your keywords with that of users.
For more information on Google Ad Words or Paid Ads, shoot us a note and AVA Digital will walk you through and manage campaigns on your behalf
Getting your site to rank is like a puzzle that has to be solved. Good news, IT CAN BE SOLVED!
So let's get into it. Let's start by saying that Google has algorithms that decide how a site get placed on its search engine. This changes a bit, but for years it has had some basic fundamentals and we will talk through them. If there are any questions on these, shoot us an email or give us a call and will talk you through it. In the coming months, we will deep dive into many of these, but let's give you an overview of 4 key things to do to get going.
Backlinks are a bit of mystery to folks not involved in SEO or digital marketing. Think of backlinks of powerful website, one that has a lot of traffic, that allows you to put your website link on their page. That one link from their website is like a VOTE in the world of Google. The more votes you get the better and the more votes from powerful sites, the better. In the world of backlinks, quality matters. So how do we find backlinks. Well, it's not the easiest without some tools.
If you know of sites in your industry like bloggers that have a lot of followers, you can ask to guest post and potentially pay. You can also get on your local chamber of commerce sites.
At Ava Digital Marketing, we use tools like Mangools to look for powerful sites that will allow us to put your site on their's for free and get a backlink. We can do that with comments, blog posts, business listings, complementary sites, etc. I do believe there is an art to identify powerful sites and placing your URL on there. This is an ongoing battle and must be done on every page you want to rank on Google. It will take time and if time is not on your side, hire an SEO firm like Ava Digital Marketing to get this done for you. This is gold in terms of getting your site ranked!
I'll keep this short. Citations are like the yellow pages of the web. Places like yelp, foursquare, bing, and hundreds more are vital to help your local business. Citations matter because you are telling the internet world about your business and location. Google likes it because its a foundation to help your ranking. A little additional nugget here is that you usually get links from these listings so they become defacto backlinks. Hooray! They are mostly "No Follow" backlinks which means you don't get any votes, but Google still cares about them and again they are great from a Citation standpoint. This task is something you an assign someone to begin this process or give us a call and we'll begin working on this.
Google My Business
No, I am not asking you to google your business.. Google My Business is the way your business gets on the "Map Pack" The Map Pack is the top 3 results with a map listing on Google. Without a google my business setup, it's simply not possible. Head over through the link above and sign up. You'll need to validate your business location and can do that via postcard or other options that Google will give you. Once you have set it up, you'll need to optimize it. Optimizing Google My Business means going line by line and entering all the details of your business so Google can provide the customer the necessary information. Google My Business is extremely critical for your business.
Content, Backlinks, Citations, and Google My Business are all critical to getting to page 1 on Google for your keywords. Without these main pieces, getting your website to the top is a non-starter.
If you need help on any of the SEO tactics mentioned above, send us a note and our team of SEO experts can walk you through what to do on a step by step approach. Ava digital marketing group is a digital marketing agency focusing on web design and generating leads to your business using the SEO tools above. To learn more about our services, click here.
Connecting consumers to goods and services is what we do in a nutshell. We love working with like minded individuals and companies. Ava Digital Marketing Group is the premier digital marketing company in Chicago and western suburbs. We are based and develop SEO for Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Chicago, and many other cities across Illinois. Our goal is develop and rank your site to number 1 on Google.
Why is that important?
Well, ranking 1 on Google will give you majority of the traffic for the keywords for your business. After 1, 2-10, and page 1 will still get you some traffic for the right keywords. After page 1, you might as well not be on the web because no one is looking past this page. With Ava Digital, our plan is to build the right content, keywords, and other tools to get your business to the top spot. Once we do that, and you start getting leads, life will be good.
Over the next weeks, months, years, our plan is to continuously update the tools and tips you need in order to rank your website and maintain it to number one. Will introduce features/tactics like Google My Business (GMB), Back-linking, Citations, Content Creation, Header Tags, On Site Optimization, Off Site Optimization, Mobile vs. Desktop, and many others to help your small business.
At Ava Digital Marketing, our team of SEO experts help develop websites, run SEO, manage social media, consult companies on SEO, provide promotional products to promote your brand, and provide lead generation to bring customers to your business. Our business located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and look forward to helping your company grow. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are the top digital marketing agency across Chicago supporting small businesses and helping them grow and generate customers. Our plan is simple. We build your site, optimize it, and get you to page 1 so that business comes your way.