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SBA Award Winning Certified Development Corporation

Creative Business Solutions
To Help You Fight COVID-19

With many small businesses in full survival mode at best, most have explored a variety of adjustments that might help them survive one of the worst economic downturns in almost 90 years.

Clearly, the situation calls for at least considering every possible option. Here are some ideas that might help, if not directly then by leading to other strategies that may work for your business.

An obvious need involves improving cash flow, which for many is low and heading lower. There are, however, a few resources that might help you keep the lights on and your hopes alive.

Financial Programs

By now you’ve heard tons of news on the federal Small Business Administration and their programs. Most of these solutions are facing backups because so many are trying to access them. However, the situation changes almost daily so you should continue to check, focusing especially on programs that may help you.

SBA Disaster Assistance Loans are one area to start. For more information, contact the SBA’s disaster assistance customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339), or e-mail You can also learn more about other SBA offerings and programs by the state of Missouri on this MSBF web page.

Another option is to apply for a line of credit. If available, this can offer more flexibility than many loans.

Don’t forget to look for corporate assistance. Facebook has announced a small business grants program totaling $100 million in cash grants and advertising credits to help small businesses with the challenges of COVID-19. Quickbooks has set up a resource center to provide information, tools and support. Several large banks, including Capital One, Wells Fargo and Citibank, have announced plans to work with customers facing financial difficulty. Check these and research others, especially with organizations you already deal with.

Get Creative

Many businesses are examining non-traditional strategies to add new earnings and make what cash they have last longer. These efforts are very industry dependent – think restaurants switching to carryout, delivery, or both. Some of these ideas can work for nearly any business and include other steps like eliminating all but necessary rental services and work-from-home options. You can also offer your customers gift cards or other certificates for later services or goods.

This brings up another option: Find leads and customers ahead of time. This may sound farfetched, but while other businesses are desperately searching for cash where there isn’t much, you might be better off looking two, three or even six months ahead. Consider looking for new customers whether they would be attracted by your current offerings or perhaps represent a change of direction, especially one that you could access without significant disruption to your current market.

This is not easy since it requires some vision, forecasting and even guesswork. However, the current example of restaurants switching, often entirely, to carry out is a good example. The switch is apt to benefit many even after the virus and economic slowdown recedes. Many other services are “portable” or can be exchanged without concern for social distancing, including everything from professional services to  outside efforts like landscaping.

One aspect that’s become obvious is that the internet and social media marketing are no longer optional. Although phone calls help, many of the above strategies are essentially impossible without a website. If you don’t have one, get one. If you have one or plan one, make sure it is interactive and displays your products and services as fully as possible – think of an online menu.

The big web issue for many small businesses will be interactivity – the ability of the website to “conduct” transactions or at least take customer information via interactive forms. This is not new technology, but can be a challenge for small businesses so a little research may be needed. If you need outside help, get it. You’ll be rewarded with business you’re now missing.

Focus on Your Markets

One of the most difficult aspects of all this is that it’s very possible none of these specific examples will help your business. You will almost certainly need to brainstorm for an exact fit for your business, but hopefully you’ll get enough ideas to plot a successful course for your venture.

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Midwest Small Busness Finance | 7001 N Locust St. | Gladstone, MO 64118 | Phone: 816-468-4989