March 2020 likely will be remembered for the true start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
Small businesses have had to cut hours or cease operations altogether while health and government officials work together to maintain the safety, security and health of the American people. As a result, small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers and themselves healthy.
All businesses are noticing fewer customers, especially ones that don’t sell essential goods. In addition, shipping delays and temporary business shutdowns all over the world are making it hard to get parts or inventory.
Many families are staying home and changing their shopping habits. American citizens are shopping online for basic necessities. This is affecting small businesses operations and profits.
Your business may experience a decrease in cash flow. If you are unable to cover daily operating expenses, quick action is needed to stem your losses.
Small businesses already are feeling the impact of COVID-19, and most expect this to be a long struggle. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is preparing for long-term changes in the economy and business environment.
How The SBA Can Help
The SBA is working directly with state governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to businesses and non-profits that have been affected by COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury & Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million, providing vital support to small businesses to help overcome the loss of revenue.
You can find more information at SBA.gov/Disaster.
The SBA has also outlined common issues facing small businesses in the future and how to respond.
A major problem will be access to capital. The COVID-19 outbreak may strain your ability to meet payroll. Depleted inventories also are a problem, limiting your ability to respond to surges in demand.
Businesses should plan ahead, evaluating their capital access options, and determining how much money they will need to continue operations.
The SBA has a capital access resource website to help you put your capital to the test.
How Stearns Bank Can Help
Stearns Bank is well capitalized and has a solid financial foundation to help keep your organization up and running. Current and future customers can be assured that with our remote work capabilities, our staff is prepared to provide the best customer service possible, anywhere in the country.
We know these are challenging times. If you need to discuss your business operations, cash flow and financing options, contact us at 800-320-7262 or visit stearnsbank.com.
Stearns Bank will remain open for business and available to serve your funding needs, keep your accounts accessible or simply be a listening ear as you navigate these challenging times.