So you’ve submitted a complete PPP application. Now what? Waiting can be hard, and it can be excruciating while waiting on funds you desperately need to keep your business liquid. The good news is there are a number of things you can do to help your business while you’re waiting for PPP loans and EIDLs to be processed and funded.
1. Apply for Local Loan and Grant Programs
The SBA is providing important, necessary avenues for small businesses to access capital, but it’s not your only route. Be sure to investigate all local loan and grant programs that may be available in your region. There are state, city, and corporate-sponsored programs that might help give your business a boost.
2. Delay the Bills You Can
Limits to cash-on-hand can put stress on your business when bills come due. To reduce that strain, delay any of the bills you can for your business. Whether you’re negotiating rent abatement or talking to your insurance company about delayed payments, you can delay bills in a variety of ways to help your business get through immediate tough times.
3. Apply for Other Forms of Financing
SBA coronavirus loans, like PPP loans and EIDLs, aren’t your only source of capital. Some lenders are still funding loan types. If your business needs capital before you hear a decision on your SBA loans or if you need more than what you qualify for, you may want to consider other forms of financing. Business lines of credit, accounts receivable financing, short term loans, and ACH loans can provide working capital for your business and may be available to you.
4. Cut Current Business Costs
Cutting costs will help your business endure the stretch between PPP or EIDL application and funding. It’s never easy to do, and it can feel especially daunting now. To help, we’ve put together some best practices to help you identify where you can more easily cut costs in your business.
5. Set Up Gift Cards
If you haven’t done so already, set up gift cards for your business. Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many small businesses have started pushing gift card sales to their clientele. If social media is anything to go by, gift card sales have been driven by the public’s desire to support small businesses in this hardship by giving them much-needed capital now with a promise to stop in once it’s safe to do so.
6. Set Up An Online Presence for Your Business
One of the lessons from the coronavirus outbreak is that every business needs an online presence. If you haven’t set one up already, there are many helpful tools you can use to quickly launch a website and start selling online.
7. Step Up Your Marketing
Step up your marketing to help your customers remember who you are and how to find you. Getting the word out about your business is more important now than ever.
8. Reach Out to Nearby Businesses
Every region and industry is facing unique struggles. Reach out to nearby businesses to see how they’re handling the coronavirus pandemic. They may have some helpful strategies they can share, or there might be an opportunity to build community-based strategic partnerships. Teaming up can lessen the burden on each of you.
9. Join Forces with Your Former ‘Competition’
No one understands the struggles you’re facing quite like your competition—because they’re going through it, too. We’re not suggesting you call up your competitors and give away trade secrets, but it might be worth setting up a phone call to say, “What can we do that will help all of us?”
10. Limit How Much You Read The News
Staying informed is important, but spending too much time reading the news can take a toll on your mental health. Limiting how much time you spend refreshing the homepage of your chosen news source—or better yet, setting specific times during the day to check in—can free up headspace for you to concentrate on what you and your business need to survive the pandemic.
11. Call and Email Your Representatives
While the PPP loan rollout has progressed at lightning speed (by government standards), multiple snags are slowing it down. The best way to speed up a government process is to call your representative and ask that they put pressure on the SBA to increase the number of lenders approved to fund PPP loans.
12. Take Your Concerns to Social Media
If your business is struggling while it waits for a PPP loan or EIDL, share your experience on Twitter and tag the SBA. Building awareness and putting a human face on this policy can amplify the message of how important it is for the SBA to act swiftly to fund PPP loans for the small businesses across America that are depending on them for a financial lifeline.