Help Available for Design Businesses

By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO and Co-Founder of Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Photo Credit: Stark Photography

These are challenging times for interior design businesses. As events currently are unfolding, we could be looking at months of disruptions, delays and disappointing sales. Don’t despair, though. Resources are available to help you, your team and your business weather this crisis.

The federal government recently took steps to ensure that all small businesses are eligible to apply for a low-interest disaster loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA has established a web page where you will find more information about the types of loans available, including express loans and microloans, as well as a link to an online application form. The page also contains information on how to protect the health and safety of employees.

You can contact your local SBA district office or use the SBA’s online Lender Match referral service to get more information about what type of loan best suits your business needs.

At the time of writing, the U.S. Congress was finalizing a $2 trillion emergency relief package, that the president has said he will sign, to provide additional help to workers and businesses both large and small. Among many other provisions, it includes an additional $10 billion for small business loans to help pay off debts and keep employees on payroll. Plus, it greatly expands unemployment insurance benefits to workers who have been temporarily laid off.

To help free up cash flows at this critical time, the U.S. Treasury has extended the deadline for paying any 2019 taxes owed until July 15. You must still file your 2019 tax return on time but can delay payment, if required. First and second quarter 2020 estimated tax payments also can be deferred until July 15 without penalty.

In addition to the federal government, some states, cities and not-for-profit organizations and foundations also are offering resources and assistance for small businesses. Forbes magazine recently posted a Small Business Relief Tracker, which includes funding, grants and resources.

Finally, some business insurance policies include coverage for sustained business interruption due to an emergency or disaster. Contact your agent to review your policy and discuss your coverage.

Although it may take some time, eventually business will return to normal. In the meantime, protect your and business’s health by using the resources available to you. Accept that in the near-term things will be uncertain and use the time now to plan and prepare to get up and running when the situation begins to improve.

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