Be Careful with your COVID-19 Cuts

Almost all of our businesses are feeling the impact of COVID-19.  Revenues and cash flows are down and some costs are rising.  We are all looking for ways to cut expenses. Information technology and services can be a good place to find savings. As you look to reduce costs, be careful about what services you […]

SBA Clarifies “Good-Faith” Certification for PPP Loans

(Published 5/13/20) The US Small Business Administration, today, published and update to the PPP Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) to clarify confusion regarding loan audits and the “Good Faith” certification of need signed as part of the loan application process and form. The SBA added Question 46 as, “How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification […]

Phishing Attacks Spike Amid COVID-19 Crisis

It should be no surprise to you that we are seeing a surge in phishing and other cyber attacks, as criminals look to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. A sample of recent news reports illustrates the scope of the problem. In April, the FBI issued a warning about COVID-19 stimulus package scams (CNET). In […]

Detailed Guidance from CDC on Re-Opening Businesses

(Published 5/8/20) As reported by the Associated Press, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prepared a report providing specific guidance for re-opening for different types of businesses and organizations. The report, “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework“, was due to be released on May 1st, but was blocked […]

5 Ideas for Successful Remote Shopping and Customer Pickup Services

As more areas of the country move into Phase 1 of re-opening the economy, you may be able to offer remote shopping and curbside (no contact) pickup.  While you may already have a way to hold items for pickup by customers, moving completely to the “take out” model of business requires you to make changes […]

CARES ACT II – Emergency Funds for SMBs

(Updated 5/7/20) 5/7 Update: The EIDL program loans are now limited to $150,000 as the demand is dramatically outpacing funding.  The SBA is processing previously received applications in the order received. new applications are only accepted for certain US agricultural businesses, per the 5/5/20 update.  See news reports from CNBC.com and the Washington Post. 5/5 […]

Prepare Your Business for the Next Normal

(Updated 5/4/20) With some states and local jurisdictions beginning to loosen or remove stay-at-home and essential business orders and advisories, many small businesses will begin to adjust for the next phase of response and recovery.  For some, this will be a re-opening; for others it will be another shift in how we conduct our business […]

Coronavirus and the American with Disabilities Act

(Published 5/4/20) The US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has published guidance on the applicability and limits of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. While the ADA and Rehabilitation Act rules continue to apply, the do not interfere with, or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the […]

IRS Employee Retention Credit

If you did not receive a Small Business Interruption Loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, you may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $10,000 per employee paid in 2019 using the Employee Retention Credit. As noted on the IRS web site, The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain […]

Solve Your COVID-19 Phone Issues

As we are reaching out to customers and others in our network, we are seeing about 15% of business with serious phone problems.  The most common issue is that the person answering the business’ phone is unable to forward a call to other employers, nor can they provide a direct number without sharing a private […]

Federal Reserve Opens Main Street Lending Program with $600 Billion

(Published 4/25/20 – New links to program information) On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve System quietly announced the opening of the Main Street Lending Program.  Through this program, the “Fed” is providing $600 Billion in loans to small and mid-market businesses. Loans are available to companies with up to 10,000 employees and annual revenues […]

US Chamber Launches Save Small Business Fund

(Updated 4/22/20) 4/22/20: The Save Mall Business Fund application process is closed as all available funds have been committed. —- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a fund to provide assistance to small businesses in the form of $5,000 grants. The Save Small Business Fund — in collaboration with Vistaprint and with support from Merck, […]

Ensure Your Team is Working from Home Safely

(Published 4/21/20) The rush to get your employees setup and working from home is over; now is the time to take a step back and make sure your team is working effectively and that you are protecting your data and that of your customers. Here is a simple checklist: Give Employees Business Software If you […]

CARES ACT Emergency Funds for SMBs

(UPDATED 4/21/20) 4/21/20 Update – Senate Approves More PPP and EIDL Funding; Prepare Now. Late this afternoon, the US Senate passed a $480 in COVID-19 relief funding.  Of this, $310 Billion is for PPP loans and an additional $60 Billion for the EIDL program. If want to apply for a PPP loan, the time to […]

Protect Yourself from Personal Devices

(Published 4/12/20 – Get our Sample Policy) For many businesses, employees are working from home for the first time. Given the rush to change how our businesses operate, many of those employees will be using home computers or personal devices.  While enabling companies to continue operating, doing so can place your business, data, customers, and […]

5 Tools for Remote Team Success

One of the challenges we face with nearly everybody working remotely or from home, is how to manage teams.  In particular, customer-facing teams and teams whose members normally work together in person require more adaptation.  here are Managed Live Chat for Web Sites If done well, Live Chat on your web site improves your ability […]

Zoom Privacy Policy is a Risk

Updated 4/05/20 Updates: 4/05/20: Zoom posted an updated Privacy Policy, back dated to 3/29/2020.  This policy clarifies Zoom’s actions and intents and changes some terms and conditions, indicating that Zoom is now doing the right thing with your personal data.  Zoom has also expanded users’ ability to use passwords and waiting rooms to control meeting […]

COVID-19 Resources for SMBs

Updated 03/30/20; Additions in italics. As a service to our clients and to small and midsize businesses, we are collating resources to help you mitigate the economic and business impact of the COVID-19 emergency. Some of these resources are informational, others are tools that can help you adapt your business to current conditions. This post […]

Resources for Remote Work

To assist you in coping with the impact of the COVID-19 emergency, we are providing this list of resources to help you fully leverage remote work. We have additional business and technical resources listed in our COVID-19 Resources for SMBs blog post. (Updated: 3/27/2020 — Updates in italics)     Fast and Easy Intranets and […]

Creating a Virtual Classroom and School

With an increasing level of Coronavirus / COVID-19 infections transmitting via “community spread”, many schools are planning for the likelihood of closings that could range from days to weeks. Distance learning and virtual classrooms can mitigate the impact. The challenge is getting the systems, resources, and training in place quickly, before they are needed. Here […]