If COVID-19 has impacted your business, you’re not alone. As the coronavirus pandemic halts operations around the country, 27% of businesses expect it to have a moderate to high impact on their revenue, and 30% expect it to have a similar impact on their supply chain. Small businesses are struggling to remain open—and turning a profit is even more challenging. Some businesses deemed “nonessential” have even been ordered by local governments to shut their doors until the crisis dies down. To address the crisis and bolster small businesses in the wake of a global pandemic, Congress recently passed the CARES Act. This $2 trillion government stimulus package set aside more than $349 billion in emergency grants, forgivable loans, and existing loan relief for small businesses. Many companies will depend on this money to keep their doors open and their employees paid in the coming months. These COVID-19 loan options include: \tThe Paycheck Protection Program: A loan of up to $10 million that is almost entirely forgivable, so long as 75% is spent on payroll expenses (paychecks, benefits, sick leave, etc.) and the other 25% is spent on costs like mortgage, rent, or utilities. \tThe Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL): A loan of up to $2 million that comes with a completely forgivable $10,000 cash advance. The remainder of the loan is not eligible for forgiveness but can be used much more flexibly on payroll, rent, utilities, production costs, and more. \tSBA Bridge Loans: Loans that provide quick access to $25,000 for borrowers who already have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender. \tSBA Debt Relief: Through this loan option, the SBA pays the principal, interest, and fees on current and new loans, including 7(a), 504, and microloans. Once your company secures an SBA loan, you’ve jumped a major hurdle for small businesses right now: access to liquid cash. Now, you have many options in front of you to rebuild your business. But in unprecedented times like these, you’re going to need to approach it with intelligence and business savvy. Here are 3 smart ways to rebuild your business with an SBA loan after being affected by COVID-19. 1. Invest in Your Greatest Asset: Your Employees A business isn’t a business without its people. Not only do they do the work, but they also form company culture. Keeping a company culture afloat is a huge challenge during coronavirus when millions of Americans are working from home. Paycheck Protection Program loans are designed specifically to keep your employees on the payroll in the challenging months to come. So once you get your SBA loan, first things first: pay your employees and ensure they’ll remain paid until things get back to normal. Ensure there is no loss of benefits like paid parental leave or sick leave and that all employees are well aware of the options available to them. Make sure they have what they need to work from home and that they can follow safety precautions such as social distancing if they need to report to work on-location. If you keep your workforce strong during this economic upheaval, your business will be able to continue to provide a consistent level of service months from now. 2. Communicate With Suppliers, Investors, and Partners Even when the coronavirus pandemic is over and people start returning to work, the struggle for small businesses won’t be over. This event is having a monumental global effect, and we will likely feel the ripple effect for years to come. What you can do immediately is take action while government officials are dealing with the big picture. Speak with the people who keep your operations in motion: your investors, suppliers, and partners. Work with them to put up defenses that ensure your supply chain is strong, you have the funding you need, and your customers are satisfied. 3. Expect the Unexpected When we come out of this—and together, we will—businesses will have been on a wild ride. They’re not likely to forget their experiences anytime soon. And that’s a good thing. We can now know what’s possible during one of the biggest economic disasters in history, but we also learn how we can be better prepared for next time, even if we were caught unaware this time. Be prepared for what comes after the coronavirus pandemic by creating a crisis contingency plan. Instead of riding the waves of a crisis, you can have a plan in place to effectively manage the next one. Identify possible scenarios, like how you can manage your workforce when everyone moves remote. What tools will you use to ensure you can connect virtually if you need to? You could even simulate these situations to ensure you have the proper protocols in place to manage your business. Above All, Be Positive That You’ll Bounce Back The economic fallout caused by the coronavirus has never been seen before—by economists and small business owners alike. But the world has been in situations like this before, where each day seems less certain than the last. Small businesses draw communities together and create millions of jobs across the country, and their importance is permanent. Small business owners need to work around the clock to make it through this challenge. But if we’ve learned anything from natural disasters and the financial crisis of 2008, small businesses will bounce back. If you use your SBA loan strategically, you’re more than likely going to bounce back, too. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information when a story is published, the coronavirus pandemic and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have caused details to change at a rapid pace. Additional guidance from the government may change or clarify certain aspects of the forgiveness process and could result in changes to the information contained in these pages. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the COVID-19 section of our website. For more information, you can call us at (855) 853-6346. Lendio is not responsible for and provides no warranty as to the accuracy of this content. Lendio does not provide legal, accounting or tax advice. The information and services Lendio provides should not be deemed a substitute for the advice of such professionals who can better address your specific concern and situation.