Sunday, March 15, 2020

Disaster Loans from the SBA

The SBA has announced that they will be working to provide low-interest disaster relief loans to small businesses impacted by novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Now that the President has declared a National Emergency, State and Federal governments can work together to assist business severely impacted by the pandemic. A statement by SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza was released on Friday, the 13th of March.

You can read more about the Small Business Administration at

You can read about SBA resources here:

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Doing Business Under the Threat of COVID-19

Small businesses are especially vulnerable to the threat of any sort of disaster and certainly, we are now getting a glimpse of just how much businesses will be affected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

As the spread of the disease moves quickly from continent to continent and across the country, we can see healthcare organizations and cities roll out their plan for emergencies such as this. But if there is a task that falls by the wayside for the small business owner, planning for business continuity is probably the one that falls through the cracks. Perhaps lessons learned from myriad climate disasters have prepared business owners for this new threat but if not, there is no time like the present.

I've come across a few articles that offer some practical things that business owners can do to mitigate the damage. 

How Chinese Companies Have Responded to Coronavirus
by Martin Reeves , Lars Fæste , Cinthia Chen , Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak and Kevin Whitaker
March 10, 2020

I've seen some of these suggestions elsewhere but this article offers real-world examples from those who have been through it. It's always good to learn from others and China has been the hardest hit so far by the spread of the virus so they ought to know. HBR looks at how businesses rallied and also the effect COVID-19 has had on the economy.

Cancellations, Sick Leave, and Takeout: How Food Businesses Nationwide Are Handling COVID-19
by The Bon Appétit Staff
March 10, 2020

"The restaurant industry has already been deeply affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Here are a few of their stories, which we'll be updating regularly."

Time and place are of the essence for the restaurant business - more than many other businesses. Planning is tight and predicting the number of customers, maintaining the appropriate levels of staff and perishable inventory make the current situation especially dicey.

SBA To Provide Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Up to $2 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans
Mar 12, 2020, 11:51 ET
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --
SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement today in response to the President's address to the nation:
"The President took bold, decisive action to make our 30 million small businesses more resilient to Coronavirus-related economic disruptions. Small businesses are vital economic engines in every community and state, and they have helped make our economy the strongest in the world. Our Agency will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the situation. Additionally, the SBA continues to assist small businesses with counseling and navigating their own preparedness plans through our network of 68 District Offices and numerous Resource Partners located around the country. The SBA will continue to provide every small business with the most effective and customer-focused response possible during these times of uncertainty."

Monday, February 24, 2020

Less Red Tape - Obstacles to Small Business in New York State

The Empire Center for Public Policy is an independent, non-partisan think tank based in Albany, NY. Their project, De/RegulateNY exists to improve policies in NYS to promote small businesses. De/RegulateNY gave small business owners a chance to nominate state laws that owners believe hinder the progress of new businesses. This February, the winners were announced and in particular, two votes went to a law that requires new LLCs to buy ads in local papers to announce their organization. This rule ignores progress that has been made in business communication and burdens the new business owner with additional expense.

You can read more about the award and the project here.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Teach the Young: A Frank-ly Kind Act

This story was brought to my attention by our esteemed alumnus, Roger Green. This is the story of youngsters thwarted in their initial forays into small business ownership and some suggestions for workarounds. The Now-I-Know blog by Dan Lewis shared the story of how the police were called to respond to a lemonade stand that had been set up a bit too close to County fairgrounds.

How do we encourage young people to think like entrepreneurs?