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Ines Pereyra

Key metrics to know the economy is recovering

We are all wondering, when will everything go back to normality – if it does. Gene Marks on an interesting article for The Guardian, says there are seven key metrics we should be watching to know when and how the economic recovery will take place. Even though the Covid-19 Crisis is far away from ending, and there are many speculations around this, it’s important to be aware and correctly informed to make the right movements. Small businesses, as our Cellphone Stores, should take a look at these key metrics in order to plan and move forward.

In the following article, we will share with you only three of these metrics, specifically the ones of interest for Cellphone store owners. 

Small Business Optimism Index

The National Federation of Independent Businesses publishes monthly 

its Small Business Optimism Index. Before the COVID crisis, the levels of the optimism index were historically high, during the crisis the levels fall drastically. But actually, as the NFIB publishes on its index the optimism has raised again back to a very high level.

“Optimism about future conditions improved and small-business owners indicate they expect the recession to be short-lived. We’re starting to see positive signs of increased consumer spending, but there is still much work to be done to get back to pre-crisis levels,” NFIB’s chief economist said.


Take a look at it in the following link:
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/nfib-business-optimism-index

Open Table

Even though it’s famous for its restaurant reservations app O.T. has a great database which analyzes day – by- day the state of the restaurant industry. As cities, states, begin to reopen their doors, this is a great resource to understand how the industry is beginning to rebound. It’s been updated daily and market comparisons are been summarized weekly. The database is very easy to read and understand, don’t doubt to take a look at it to have a wider perspective of the situation.

Take a look at it in the following link:
https://www.opentable.com/state-of-industry

ISM manufacturing and service indexes

The Institute for Supply Management publishes every month a report on Business. Those indicators show the economic activity in the sector grew in June after two consecutive months of contraction. The growth cycle has returned after months of COVID-19 disruptions. Demand, consumption, and inputs are reaching parity and are positioned for a demand-driven expansion cycle as we enter the second half of the year. Among the six biggest industry sectors, Computer & Electronic Products have returned to respectable growth. 


“We are seeing an increase in orders as the economy starts to get rolling again. Slow and steady, sales are increasing. So far, so good.”

Take a look at it in the following link:
https://www.ismworld.org/supply-management-news-and-reports/reports/

We hope that this article brings optimism and helps our entire community. Our intention is to provide you with true and clear information during these difficult times in order to accompany you in the COVID crisis.  We also leave at your disposal the sources used so that you can follow up on these resources and be able to anticipate making well-informed decisions. 

We wish you the best
Stay healthy and at home
We greet you until our next publication
CELLSTORE

Growth beyond the pandemic – Small businesses look at the CARES ACT with new eyes

The generous temporary incentives linked to section 7 loans of the CARES ACT  shows it is a good time to fund investment.  When Congress passed the CARES coronavirus recovery act in late March, most of the attention was given to the billions in funding made available to small businesses for the paycheck protection program and economic injury disaster loans provided by the Small Business Administration. Those loan programs were designed specifically for firms affected by the coronavirus pandemic and since then millions of small businesses have taken advantage of the relief. But there’s another part of the Cares Act that also provides a big benefit to small businesses that some see as an «opportunity of a lifetime» and yet it hasn’t received as much attention. It’s a Small Business Administration program that’s been around for a long time.

Under the program, small businesses that are unable to get traditional financing through banks can apply for funds that can be used then for anything from buying a business and real estate to working capital. The loans have been popular in the past because the SBA guarantees them, so banks are able to get the money into the hands of small businesses that don’t have collateral or financial history.

The short-term tweaks to the Section 7 program have another purpose: help small businesses grow beyond the pandemic.

The paycheck protection program and economic injury disaster loans are providing much-needed relief. That’s because economic downturns cause disruption. But now that most signs are pointing to recovery, many of the business owners are looking to take advantage of opportunities. They see the potential to hire key people, buy real estate, snap up inventory and equipment, and even acquire other businesses.

The ones with capital right now are the ones who will benefit. The incentives for getting a Section 7, thanks to the Cares Act, can help provide that much-needed capital – not for survival, but for future growth. It can be a great opportunity for those who can see beyond the immediate horizon.

We hope this article has been useful for our community. We will continue to share with you updates on this issue during this period of crisis and complexity.  

Until the next time… 

Stay safe and be well!

Small businesses opportunities during the COVID 19 Crisis – CANADA

We are happy to welcome back our community in a new publication for cell phone store owners. In this opportunity, we bring to our community in Canada this article where we will introduce new proposals and opportunities offered by the government to expand the horizons of small businesses.

We take as a reference to the new podcast series hosted by the Financial Post’s Emily Jackson. An interesting proposal to think and rethink business during and after the historical crisis caused by the COVID – 19 pandemic.

Small businesses make up the vast majority of Canada’s business community and employ the majority of Canadians. Given the size of the community, it’s no surprise that all levels of government pay a lot of attention to what small businesses have to say. But now the federal government is trying to convince small businesses to listen to it. As Ottawa pushes for more of them to do business outside of Canada.

The Financial Post’s weekly podcast Down to Business episode 10 received Mary NG member of parliament and minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. She said firstly, that ninety nine percent of all businesses in Canada are small or medium sized enterprises.

It’s a tough time to convince small businesses to expand beyond Canadian borders thanks to hide and trade uncertainty with our two largest trading partners, the United States and China.

But Minister administering is determined to get more companies exporting. 

“99 percent of all our businesses in Canada are small and medium-sized businesses when I travel around the country, I think most people know that we have a lot of small and medium-sized businesses. But when you say ninety-nine percent of all our businesses are a small and medium or ninety-eight percent or small, people actually paused for a moment and think, jeez, I can see myself in that.”

It is such a big number, that small, medium-sized businesses with less than 500 employees make up 90 percent of the labor force in this country. That said, most of these businesses are locally focused. Statistics Canada recently put out a report saying that only 12 percent of small businesses are exporting. Why do you think there is that reluctance for small businesses to expand outside of Canada’s borders?

12 percent of businesses that export, 70 percent of that 12 percent go into the one market, which is the U.S. “So you could see that even within that, we’re not diversifying very much. We’re not exporting very much.”

Mary NG said: “I think that the issues that I hear from businesses are very practical ones. how do I begin to export? How do I know what markets I should be going by business into? I don’t know what kind of risks there are for my business in growing it internationally. I don’t understand the language. What you know, how do I do this? So these are very practical questions that I think businesses are asking”.

Mary NG said they want businesses in particular, small, medium-sized businesses to see themselves in these trade agreements. During her meetings with businesses across the country, she affirms this is about customers. She says business owners want access to customers and there are one point five billion customers in the global marketplace that comes directly from Canada’s present trading agreements. Pacific Rim countries like Australia, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, just to name a few, and the Pacific Rim and through the European Union, through FITA. And, of course, the North American market. That’s one point five billion customers in the global marketplace that are Canadian businesses get access.

Small business can access them with these trade agreements that the government has pushed for. But they’re not accessing them. What is the government doing about that?

As she said, the government have doubled down on a plan to help Canadian businesses diversify their exports into the global marketplace. Mary NG also said to be helping small or medium-sized businesses become more export-ready. Puts funding out into, across the country about 15 million dollars worth of funding to help Canadian companies become export. This means coming up with an export plan, figuring out where the business might grow, and into which market. The government of Canada has some support to help small and medium-sized businesses do that.

Can Export is a program that helps business owners take a trip to the country where they want to grow the business into. In order to see how that growth could be done, evaluate what customers are over there, etc. Can export actually provides the opportunity so that the business owner can  take a look at how to expand into that marketplace. When she or he gets there, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service will help navigate through customers, through the local economy and opportunities and connect with contacts that might be helpful to the business. That’s the kind of work that it’s being done right now to help Canadian businesses get the tools. Some of the investments that they need to go abroad.

Mary NG shared an example of where this has actually worked. 

It was a trade mission of about 30 female entrepreneurs, and it took a few months to put that trade mission together. This particular one actually was focused on the care economy. What they did there was look at entrepreneurs who were in that space who wanted to grow because they had products or services or technology in the care economy that could actually grow into Japan. The company is called a linker. 

What the business had to do was to go over to Japan prior to the trade mission just to do some early planning to assess what kinds of customers might be there. So can export is the program to help an entrepreneur go abroad also the program is responsible for adding a greater capacity in the trade commissioner. As the entrepreneur starts planning with the Trade Commission service here in Canada. Then when they got to the designated country, they utilized that trade commission sorest so that they could introduce them to potential contractors. In fact, in the case shown of LINKER, they introduced to a designer that ultimately is going to reframe her product so that it fits the Asian marketplace.

The trade mission itself helped 30 women entrepreneurs go over into that market so that they could look for potential customers. And so that they can grow into that market.

Even though this is a very tough situation for everyone, it is time for us to start looking at the future with different eyes, trying to figure out creatively ways of improving our businesses, and ways of moving forward.

We hope this article was useful and enjoyable, 

Stay safe and well!

CELLSTORE Team

DIFFICULTIES WITH THE CARES ACT – A PRIMER FOR CELL PHONE STORE OWNERS

A few months have past since the COVID-19 crisis started. The US government had presented a very important and ambitious economic plan in response. The intentions were to provide economic support for businesses. In this article we’ve decided to review 4 important sources which describe and show how the CARES ACT is actually working with enormous difficulties. 

The articles included are the following:

  1. NYTimes Few Minority-Owned Businesses Got Relief Loans They Asked For
  1. NYTimes Small Businesses Wait for Cash as Disaster Loan Program Unravels – Owners were supposed to be able to get up to $2 million. Now they’re being told the cap is $15,000 — if they can get any answers at all.
  1. Forbes The Design Flaw At The Heart Of The CARES Act
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathrynjudge/2020/04/20/the-design-flaw-at-the-heart-of-the-cares-act/#4c0ca1906bed
  2. Prevue Meetings + Incentives Difficulty With the CARES Act
    https://www.prevuemeetings.com/coronavirus/difficulty-cares-act/?gclid=CjwKCAjw-YT1BRAFEiwAd2WRtntvaQN39RefHiXvPiOKVXvELH4gMlPyJAWsK6OfJ2SnYKtNRQPIExoCny4QAvD_BwE

Continue reading to get more information about the actual situation.

1. NYTimes- Few Minority-Owned Businesses Got Relief Loans They Asked For 
By Emily Flitter Published on May 18, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program largely neglected them, a survey commissioned by two equal-rights groups found.

Business owners are struggling to get government assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program, a new survey has found, and many say they are on the brink of closing permanently. The survey, conducted by the Global Strategy Group for two equal-rights organizations, Color of Change and UnidosUS, included interviews with 500 business owners and 1,200 workers from April 30 to May 11. Just 12 percent of the owners who applied for government-backed loans in the $650 billion program reported receiving what they had asked for, and nearly half of all owners said they anticipated having to permanently close in the next six months.

2. NYTimes – Small Businesses Wait for Cash as Disaster Loan Program Unravels – Owners were supposed to be able to get up to $2 million. Now they’re being told the cap is $15,000 — if they can get any answers at all.
By Stacy Cowley Published on April 9, 2020. Updated April 20, 2020

Owners were supposed to be able to get up to $2 million. Virginia Warnken Kelsey, an opera singer whose spring season canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak, said a disaster loan would be a lifeline. Now, business owners who applied are desperate for cash and answers about what aid, if any, they are going to receive. The initiative, known as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, is an expansion of an emergency system run by the Small Business Administration that has for years helped companies after natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes.

To speed billions of dollars in aid along, the government directly funds the loans, sparing applicants the step of finding a lender willing to work with them. But in the face of the pandemic, the loan program is drowning in requests. Many applicants have waited weeks for approval, with little to no information about where they stand, and others are being told they’ll get a fraction of what they expected. The program is supposed to offer loans of up to $2 million, but many recent applicants said the helpline had told them that loans would be capped at $15,000 per borrower.

Those funds were supposed to be available to applicants within three days of their application, even if they weren’t approved for a loan. That hasn’t happened, according to more than 400 applicants who contacted The Times. The disaster loan program’s missteps have been overshadowed by the chaotic start of the federal government’s other large small-business aid effort, the Paycheck Protection Program, which started taking applications last week. Applicants to that initiative have faced delays as banks deal with the hasty deployment of a $349 billion program.

Each state had to submit its own formal disaster declaration, and business owners could not apply until their state’s declaration was approved. The disaster loan program issued $1.7 billion in loans in 2006, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Congress has approved funding to support borrowing that will far exceed that figure. And even though Congress allocated billions of dollars to fund the disaster loan program, some applicants said S.B.A Deb Wood-Schade, who runs a chiropractic wellness business in Aliso Viejo, Calif.

«I am concerned if I take it I won’t get the additional funds». Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, who pushed for the additional funding through the CARES Act, said the program simply had to have more money. « is limiting Economic Injury Disaster Loans to an initial disbursement of $15,000 shows that there is a clear need for more resources for this program,» he said. The program’s previous peak came in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina.

It disbursed loans of $1.7 billion that year, according to the Congressional Research Service. In early March, Congress allocated funds to support around $7 billion in lending in response to the pandemic. It added another $10 billion through the CARES Act to fund the $10,000 cash grants, saying applicants could get that money even if their applications were denied. If every applicant received the maximum $10,000 grant, the funding would cover around one million businesses.

But more than three million applied for disaster loans last week alone, Joseph Amato, the director of the S.B.A  In response to the demand, the S.B.A. Even early applicants who have been approved for larger loans still have unanswered questions. A retail business owner in California, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared jeopardizing the loan he had been promised, was relieved to be getting the money needed to support his employees but frustrated about the process. The official who requested additional documents, then verbally approved a loan of $500,000. It took more than a week before he got a letter confirming the loan, along with a pile of closing documents to sign.

Business owners who applied later are afraid the funding will run out before their applications are processed. Kevin Smith, chief executive of the software company Wynexa, has spent hours on hold trying to find out about his loan. A loan capped at $15,000 would be nearly useless to Kevin Smith, the founder of Wynexa, a software company in Houston. Smith said.

He was initially told he would have a response to his application by April 1. Several business owners said their frustration was magnified by the Trump administration’s frequent proclamations that small business aid was flowing freely. «Any little glitch, we had worked out within minutes, within hours,» Mr. Trump said on Tuesday about problems with the government’s still-chaotic paycheck loan program. Dave Vanslette, who has applied for that program and a disaster loan, said comments like that were infuriating.

He is still waiting for responses to his applications. «It would be great if our administration communicated the reality of the situation instead of saying the process is working perfectly,» said Mr. Vanslette, who runs FairwayIQ, a software company in Waltham, Mass.

3. Forbes The Design Flaw At The Heart Of The CARES Act
Kathryn Judge. Published on April 20, 2020.

The economic crisis stemming from COVID-19 made speed and size the order of the day. Too much of the support is going to large companies when it should be going to the small ones. And far too many of the benefits are flowing to shareholders and creditors, rather than to the underlying enterprise and the people it employs. In the face of a shock the size of COVID-19, it makes good sense for the government to loan, and even give, money to otherwise private companies.

Just as it can be rational for an individual to spend money to obtain a college degree in order to improve future earnings, countries sometimes must spend today to increase the size of the taxpayer base in the future. This reasoning also helps to explain why the CARES Act authorizes the Treasury Secretary to spend so much money supporting businesses. The largest pot of money that Congress allocated to help businesses consists of $454 billion that the Treasury Secretary can deploy through facilities created by the Federal Reserve. Requiring these funds to flow through Fed facilities has benefits.

It ensures, for example, that the Treasury Secretary cannot divert money to businesses that he unduly favors. It could also increase the aggregate amount of new capital available to businesses, as the Fed contributes multiples of the amount that the Treasury commits when they create facilities to use these funds. Small businesses are often particularly innovative and are critical to the long-term vibrancy of society and the economy. Just as importantly, these companies are vulnerable, and if they run out of cash and must file for bankruptcy, they usually are forced to liquidate.

Liquidations destroy a company’s productive capacities and destroy jobs, precisely what the government wants to avoid. Unfortunately, the last few weeks make it clear that the Fed is ill-suited to provide the direct capital support these companies need. Even before the CARES Act was signed into law, the Fed had created two facilities now positioned to provide up to $750 billion in financing for the largest corporations. Just the announcement of these facilities sufficed to lower funding costs for the large companies that qualified.

As details have emerged, however, so have questions about whether the mid-sized companies most in need of funds will be able to qualify and whether companies that do qualify might suffer under the strain of the new debt. That the Fed’s interventions disproportionately benefit large companies is not a reflection of its priorities. The Fed is creating these new facilities pursuant to its authority under Section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act to loan money to nonbanks in «unusual and exigent circumstances.» But the Fed must ensure each of its loans is adequately secured, limiting the credit risk it can take. This makes it far easier for the Fed to support large, creditworthy companies than smaller ones that pose greater risks.

Again, the Main Street Lending Facilities demonstrate just how difficult these issues can be, as efforts to rely on banks to screen the companies have revealed conflicts and compensation concerns. Shifting to focus on just the largest companies reveals yet another mismatch between what the Fed can do and what ought to be done. The most important near-term goal to promote economic health is keeping operations viable and employees employed. This is one of the reasons Congress tried to make retaining employees a requirement for new funding and why some European countries are providing generous incentives for companies to retain employees.

By contrast, the government has far less reason to want to protect a company’s current shareholders or creditors. Although it may seem counterintuitive, bankruptcy can be an effective way to protect a company’s operations and employees while still imposing appropriate losses on shareholders and creditors. Even without the additional burdens placed on the Fed in the CARES Act, the Fed is doing a lot to protect the long-term economic health of the country. From its commitment to unlimited quantitative easing to the range of facilities it has instituted to support short-term markets and provide liquidity to banks and primary dealers, it is working hard to prevent the COVID-19 crisis from triggering the type of market dysfunction that could exacerbate the pain.

As reflected in the fact that the stock market is booming while unemployment lines are swelling, the aggregate effect of funneling so much support through the Fed is that too much money is going to big companies, and far too little is going to small and mid-sized companies. It has also resulted in too many benefits flowing to the shareholders and creditors of those large companies, and too few protections for the underlying businesses and employees. That the Fed can only extend loans, not grants, even when grants may be optimal, could also inhibit economic growth when the cloud of COVID-19 clears. The one important bright spot in the CARES Act is the PPP, a program designed to help small businesses and their employees which does not require the Fed’s involvement.

The support takes the form of a low-interest loan, but it gets converted into a grant if the recipient uses the funds to retain employees. Just over two weeks later, however, it has become clear that the country is facing a new normal and the economic effects of COVID-19 will reverberate for a long time. The answer is not just to throw more money at PPP. It means allowing shareholders and creditors to bear some of the risks that they have been compensated to shoulder.

And it means being less reliant on the Fed to get money where it ought to go.

4. Prevue Meetings + Incentives Difficulty With the CARES Act
By Andrea Doyle – Published on April 10, 2020

One of the provisions of the CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP that are forgivable loans to keep workers on the payroll. You can borrow up to your average total monthly payroll costs during the one year immediately before the loan multiplied by 2.5. To find a list of lending institutions that are participating, click here and for the application and details here. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, about 70% of small business owners tried to apply for the loan with varying degrees of success.

About 72% of those who tried to apply for a PPP loan were successful in submitting their application. However, some banks are pre-screening applicants before having them fill out the full application, so it is unclear how many have successfully applied or have just completed the first step in a longer process. Twenty-eight percent of small business owners were not successful in applying for a PPP loan. Of the 28% of small business owners who were not successful, most of them are waiting for their bank to start accepting PPP loans.

Nine percent of them are not able to find a participating bank, which is likely due to their own bank not participating. Five percent of owners trying to apply for the loan were told by their bank that it had hit their limit of accepting loans. «We’re trying to get the Payroll Protection loan, and thank goodness my banker knows us. «The bank’s most significant recommendation to all who apply is to make certain that the supporting documentation you submit along with your application fully ties in with the dollar amount of your loan.

The COVID-19 crisis is not yet resolved and the times are still very uncertain. Our intention is to give our community of small businesses relevant information about the situation and the measures that are being taken from the government. Far from generating political opinions, we hope that this article can be of great help so that everyone can face the crisis with clear and concrete data.


We wish you the best 
keep healthy and take care of yourselves
keep healthy and take care of yourselves

THE CARES ACT – A PRIMER FOR CELL PHONE STORE OWNERS IN THE USA

With the beginning of the crisis generated by the COVID-19 and its effects on the economy, the U.S. government launched an economic rescue plan for small and large businesses called CARES ACT. This plan has diversified areas that respond to the different needs of the country’s economy. 

In this article we present a series of sources that introduce the CARES ACT as the case may be, detailing the different possibilities that this plan offers for cellphone store owners. You will also find specific information that will help you to present your application correctly. 

We hope this will be of great help to our small business community. It is very important for us to take care of our clients and help them to overcome in the best possible way this economic and humanitarian crisis in which we all find ourselves.

The articles included are the following:

  1. NY Magazine – Everything We Know About CARES Act Expanded Unemployment Benefits

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/cares-act-unemployment-benefits.html

  1. Forbes CARES Act Compliance, Oversight, And Investigations: A Basic Checklist For Business https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulrosen/2020/04/28/cares-act-compliance-oversight-and-investigations-a-basic-checklist-for-business/#769763ff69a2
  1. S.B.A US – SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resourcess
  2. Home Treasury USA The CARES Act Provides Assistance to Small Businesses
    https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/assistance-for-small-businesses
  1. The Points Guy Ultimate guide to CARES Act relief options for small businesses and employers
    https://thepointsguy.com/guide/cares-act-relief-for-small-businesses/
  1. Forbes/How Small Businesses Can Get Coronavirus Relief Through The CARES Act
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/advisor/2020/04/02/how-small-businesses-can-get-coronavirus-relief-through-the-cares-act/#20032b207934

Continue reading to get more information about the actual situation 

1.  NY Magazine – Everything We Know About CARES Act Expanded Unemployment Benefits – Written by  Adam K. Raymond, Published on April 27, 2020

When Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to combat the economic crisis created by the coronavirus outbreak, the top-line item was the $1,200 payments that will go out to most Americans. But the crown jewel of the legislation was the expansion of unemployment insurance that will benefit people who’ve lost their work due to the crisis. After weeks of delay, the extra federal benefits, which are added to the state unemployment payments, began arriving for many Americans in mid-April.

How much can you get?

Each state determines how much people receive based on their prior income and other factors, and some states are far more generous than others. Nationwide, the average payment is roughly $385 per week. The extra $600 from the federal government will be added to that total each week until July 31. Though the extra benefits are only now making their way to the unemployed, they will be retroactive to March 29.

When will the money arrive?

Many Americans have already started to receive the payments after long delays. The federal government sent $1 billion to states to improve their unemployment systems, which is reportedly being used to hire more workers and update technology. Some gig workers, freelancers, and self-employed workers are still waiting to receive benefits as states scramble to build programs that include them.

Will the program be extended?

The Urban Institute has also called for an extension, arguing that if the benefits end as scheduled, «renters will fall off an income cliff in July, which is also when the federal moratorium on evictions ends for those living in federally financed units».

2. Forbes – CARES Act Compliance, Oversight, And Investigations: A Basic Checklist For Business – Written by  Paul Rosen, Published on April 20, 2020

In the years that followed, SIGTARP became one of the most dogged oversight agencies in Washington, landing criminal convictions of 381 people and recovering $11 billion as a result of its investigations, including those arising from fraud, insider trading, obstruction of justice and more.

NCAA Suffers Another Blow To Current Amateurism Model

The SIGPR will not be the only oversight body looking after the use of taxpayer funds. Traditional government investigators, such as the FBI and dozens of inspectors general across the federal government, will continue to be vigilant for this kind of fraud. In addition, the newly formed Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which is made of up 21 inspectors general from a variety of government bodies, will most certainly use their authority and $80 million budget to aggressively audit and investigate the disbursement, receipt and use of funds under the act. The Executive Branch will be joined by Congress in exercising oversight, with the newly established Congressional Oversight Commission, which will oversee the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve in their implementation of the CARES Act, as well as traditional oversight committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In fact, Congressional investigations into businesses’ pandemic response have already begun in earnest, including, for example, the scrutiny of certain businesses that have received SBA Paycheck Protection Program payments. While any company doing business with or receiving funds from the government should ensure robust compliance with applicable laws and regulations, the flood of stimulus money in response to the coronavirus pandemic, along with the new oversight authorities and funding, demand an even stricter compliance focus and framework from businesses. While the initial tranche of some loans have been exhausted, last week the president signed a bill providing nearly $500 billion more in federal stimulus, including for the Small Business Loan program. One of the more common charges resulting from oversight of such programs is making a false statement to the government, which is a felony.

Whoever signs or submits a business’ application for CARES Act assistance is certifying to its accuracy. Neither the signer nor the business should simply rely on data provided by others. Demand the underlying documents and test the accuracy of the data as a basic measure of due diligence in verifying information and of whether the business satisfies the act’s statutory and regulatory requirements. The administration of any spending program needs policies and active controls to ensure a business is clear about what kind of spending is permissible and what is not.

The CARES Act has very specific requirements for how stimulus dollars can be used, and sloppiness – or worse – could result in civil or criminal penalties. Building policies and active internal controls around these requirements is critical, as is making sure there is one person or small group responsible and accountable for these important compliance activities. Develop a comprehensive training program so those responsible for CARES Act related activities know the rules of the road and abide by them. Acting appropriately is only one part of a strong compliance program.

Businesses should centrally and safely maintain records demonstrating appropriate due diligence and compliance, including in filling out applications and in spending stimulus dollars. Such records should include underlying support for representations made to the government, any interpretations or analysis by counsel , and an audit trail of how funds were spent. As part of its record-keeping, a business should create a list of CARES Act requirements and obligations, specifically demonstrating how it has complied with each of those obligations. It is always good practice to retain a backup of the documentation and to place such documentation in your records retention program.

Businesses may discover issues or problems in connection with their application, receipt, or spending of stimulus dollars after the fact.

3.  S.B.A US – SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Coronavirus Funding Options

Our nation’s small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. agricultural businesses.

Common Issues Small Businesses May Encounter

Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business’s financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations. Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it. See SBA capital access resources. Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors.

Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand. Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.

Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise.

Join the SBA’s Relief Efforts

The SBA is hiring additional employees to assist with disaster relief efforts.

SBA Products and Resources

SBA is here to assist small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their own preparedness plans as described by the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers. SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor and train small businesses.

Access to Capital

SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business. Express loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than 7 years with an option to revolve. Community Advantage loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000.The 504 loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention.

Microloan program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets. Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery & equipment, and fixtures .

Exporting Assistance

The loans are available to U.S Businesses could use a loan to obtain or retain overseas customers by offering attractive payment terms. International Trade loan program helps small businesses engaged in international trade to retool or expand to better compete and react to changing business conditions.

More specifically

8 Business Development program serves to help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities, and the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate. The 8 program offer and acceptance process is available nationwide, and the SBA continues to work with federal agencies to ensure maximum practicable opportunity to small businesses. If a situation occurs that will prevent small businesses with government contracts from successfully performing their contract, they should reach out to their contracting officer and seek to obtain extensions before they receive cure notices or threats of termination. The SBA’s Procurement Center Representatives can assist affected small businesses to engage with their contracting officer.

4. Home Treasury USA The CARES Act Provides Assistance to Small Businesses

ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS

This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is for any small business with fewer than 500 employees , private non-profit organization or 501 veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.

5. The Points Guy- Ultimate guide to CARES Act relief options for small businesses and employers – Written By Richard Kerr – Published on April 6, 2020.

On March 17, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act into law that contained $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. These funds were allocated to several new temporary programs, most administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Paycheck Protection Program

The program is designed to allow small businesses to keep workers on payroll during the pandemic. The program is for any small business with less than 500 employees, including sole proprietorships, independent contractions, self-employed persons, private non-profit organizations or 501 veterans organizations. This has become the most popular program because you have the high potential of all or the majority of the loan being forgiven.

Loans can be in the amount of up to two months of your average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25% of that amount up to a $10 million cap. Payroll costs are also capped at $100,000 annualized for each employee. That means if your average monthly total payroll is $100,000, your PPP loan could be up to $250,000.

You have until June 30, 2020, to restore your full-time employment and salary levels for any changes made between Feb. 15–April 26, 2020. The actual amount of your PPP loan that will be forgiven is still a bit murky. Several different government organizations have put out different FAQ documents that word the forgiveness criteria differently. Bankers are continuing to ask for clarification. Loans have a 1% interest rate, payments are deferred six months and the loan is to be repaid in two years.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance

The EIDL provides loans of up to $2 million with up to 30-year terms at 3.75% interest rates for small businesses and 2.75% for most private non-profits. Payments are deferred for 12 months but interest does accrue during deferment. No personal guarantee is required for loans of less than $200,000 and collateral is required for loans over $25,000.

You are eligible if you are a sole proprietorship, independent contractor, co-op or tribal small business with less than 500 employees.

Using the PPP and the EIDL

According to a few experts, you can apply for and use both programs as long as the funds are used for different purposes. The EIDL outside of the $10,000 advance is a loan that you must repay and you can use the funds for a far less restrictive number of purposes compared to the PPP. The only overlap between the two programs is if you also apply for the PPP, the $10,000 EIDL grant will count against the amount of the PPP that can be forgiven.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Small businesses that need fast help can apply for a bridge loan of up to $25,000 to help while they apply and wait for long-term financing. To qualify, a business must have had an existing relationship with an SBA Express Lender before March 13, 2020. The funds will be received within 45 to 90 business days of an application.

SBA Debt Relief

The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest and fees of current 7, 504 and microloans for six months. Also as mentioned in the above programs, the SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest and fees of new 7, 504, and microloans issued before Sept. 27, 2020. For current SBA Serviced Disaster Loans, if your disaster loan was in «regular servicing» status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through Dec.

If your business has a 50% decline in gross receipts for a calendar quarter in 2020, you can qualify for the ERC. This is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages that employers pay their employees.

Bottom line

The banking world was given roughly five days to bring online the largest lending program perhaps in history. Unsurprisingly, the entire process is still unorganized and an evolving matter. There are likely going to be unanswered questions and many different scenarios not answered. Business owners need to decide on their strategy of PPP and/or EIDL versus unemployment and furlough along with the employee retention credit without even having full guidance and banks turning off applications to new small businesses. In other words, this is complex and time-sensitive.

6. Forbes How Small Businesses Can Get Coronavirus Relief Through The CARES Act – Written by Michelle Black, Published on April 2, 2020

BIO of Contributor: 

Michelle Lambright Black, Founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com, is a leading credit expert and personal finance writer with nearly two decades of experience in the credit industry.

Small Businesses Seek Answers in Federal Stimulus

Segments of the U.S. economy have nearly come to a halt in recent weeks as government officials have issued stay-at-home orders to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

Additionally, there is a provision to send recovery checks of up to $1,200 to many taxpayers, which Congress hopes recipients will inject into the economy. Another section of the CARES Act creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program that will run through Dec. 31, 2020.

What Businesses Are Eligible?

The program is designed for companies and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, which includes full-time, part-time, and other types of employees.

How Much Can You Borrow?

Companies should divide their payroll costs over the past year by 12 to determine their average monthly payroll, then multiply by 2.5 to find the maximum they can borrow, up to $10 million.

How Does Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Work?

Businesses that maintain their payroll levels—by paying workers at their normal rates for at least eight weeks after the loan is originated—will be eligible for forgiveness.

You can get loan funds forgiven if they were used to pay qualifying payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent or utility payments over the eight-week period.

How to Apply for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan

Normally, SBA-backed loans are handled by a network of banks the organization works with, known as SBA-approved lenders. But while the SBA will still guarantee the loans, more banks will be able to issue Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Existing SBA lenders can start accepting applications from small businesses and sole proprietors on April 3, according to the Treasury Department, and from independent contractors and self-employed workers on April 10.

Expansion of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

The CARES Act also introduced an expansion of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. The goal of the expansion is to offer financial support to more businesses experiencing reduced revenue due to the pandemic.

Companies that have applied for a disaster assistance loan due to COVID-19 can request the $10,000 advance to help cover costs. If the loan application is approved, the SBA must distribute the advance within three days. Applicants are not required to repay the advance, even if they are subsequently denied an EIDL.

Updated Business Tax Provisions

Employers whose operations were fully or partially suspended due to a shutdown order, or whose gross receipts declined by more than 50% when compared to the same quarter a year ago, are eligible for a refundable tax credit.

Deferred Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes

Employers who do not receive forgiveness on a Paycheck Protection Program loan can delay payment of payroll taxes.

What’s on the Horizon?

Small-business owners may be able to benefit from additional support from states and the federal government in the coming weeks and months.

Canada’s COVID-19 economic response plan for cellphone shop owners

This year has presented many difficulties for the cell phone store owners. Dealing with unpredictable and unexpected times may require not only an economic capacity, but also the ability to control and understand how to move forward during and after a crisis of this magnitude. Our intention with this article is to provide specific and useful information to cover the most affected aspect, the economy. This may bring relief to our large community of cell phone stores across Canada, with the financial support of the government many owners may be reducing risk and recovering some of the losses.

In this article, we are going to introduce and share with all our colleagues the economic response plan the government of Canada has announced and update with relevant information about the current situation. You’ll find an updated version of this regularly as the situation goes evolving. Please have in mind that the newest info will be included at the beginning of the article, scroll down to find general aspects of the Economic Response Plan. 

This article has summarized the items we believe to be most relevant to our clients.

On this article you’ll find an introduction and a summary of the following sources:

  1. Tax Measures Under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
    https://www.mccarthy.ca/en/insights/blogs/mccarthy-tetrault-tax-perspectives/tax-measures-under-canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan
  2. Highlights of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
    https://www.sterncohen.com/covid-19-economic-response-plan-highlights/
  3. Government of Canada launches Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator for Employers
    https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/government-of-canada-launches-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy-calculator-for-employers-824653825.html
  4. The Government of Canada announced the first phase of its economic response plan
    https://www.dalelessmann.com/news/blog/covid-19-economic-response-plan

1. Tax Measures under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
by authors: Fred Purkey, Robert W. Nearing, Christian Meighen, Kim Brown, and Raj Juneja. Published on April 30, 2020, in McCarthy Tetrault

Introduction

Since March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a series of tax and economic measures under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support the Canadian economy during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

For a deeper knowledge please continue with the following reading

The Response Plan is designed to help stabilize the Canadian economy and includes measures to assist both individuals and businesses through direct transfers, tax deferrals, and measures to ensure businesses continue to have access to credit. On March 25, 2020, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-13, An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19 to implement the Response Plan measures. The original Response Plan has since been supplemented by measures announced on March 20, and on March 27, 2020.

On April 11, 2020, Bill C-14, A second Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19, which enacts the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, received royal assent. The Response Plan contains measures to help businesses retain their workers.

The Response Plan contains measures that will allow businesses to defer until September 1, 2020, the payment of any income tax that becomes owing between March 18, 2020, and August 31, 2020. This measure will apply to both monthly installments and year-end tax balances due under Part I of the Income Tax Act. Generally, corporations must pay income taxes owing under Parts I, VI.

Additionally, unless otherwise noted by the CRA, administrative income tax actions required of taxpayers by the CRA due after March 18, 2020 can be deferred until June 1, 2020.

Taxpayers who are unable to file a return or make a payment by the new deadlines due to COVID-19 may request that any penalties or interest charged to their account be canceled.

Curtailment of Audit and Reassessment Activity

No collection action will be taken with respect to objections related to tax matters filed by individuals and businesses which are in abeyance. If a taxpayer is prevented from making a payment when due or filing a return on time, or from otherwise complying with a tax obligation because of circumstances beyond their control, then the taxpayer can submit a request to have interest and/or penalties waived or canceled by using Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief. Payment arrangements are also available on a case-by-case basis if a taxpayer is unable to pay its taxes, child and family benefit overpayments, Canada Student Loans, or other government program overpayments in full. Specifically, no new audits will be launched, no requests for information related to existing audits will be effectuated, no audits should be finalized, and no reassessments should be issued.

In addition, the period from March 16, 2020, to May 29, 2020, is excluded from the computation of time prescribed by the rules of the TCC. Applications approved during the current period may be subject to review or audit at a later date to confirm eligibility.

Flexibility for Taxpayers

Any income tax that becomes owing by the taxpayers between March 18, 2020, and August 31, 2020, under Part I of the ITA will be deferred until September 1, 2020. Taxpayers who are unable to file a return or make a payment by the deadlines as a result of COVID-19 can request the cancellation of penalty and interest charged to their account. To reduce the administrative burdens and the necessity for taxpayers to meet with tax preparers in person, the CRA will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the ITA on a temporary basis.

2. Highlights of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
by: Adam Morke. Last updated April 30, 2020, in Stern Cohen Accountants.

Introduction

The subsidy will apply to corporations, individuals, charities, NPOs, and partnerships consisting of the aforementioned. Forgivable loans will be offered to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of rent payments for April, May, and June that are payable by eligible small business tenants. Employees receive Income Tax

Tax Filing due date – 2019 Personal income tax returns due June 1, 2020, for individuals without self-employment income.

For a deeper knowledge please continue with the following reading

Income Tax – Extension on filing and deferral on payment

2019 Balance Owing – Payment of income tax becoming due between March 18, 2020, and August 31, 2020, can be deferred until September 1, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Tax filing due date – Corporate income tax filings due between March 18 to May 31, 2020, are now due June 1, 2020.

April 11 Update – The following has been updated to reflect the legislation to enact the CEWS into law.

Highlights

For businesses and organizations that don’t qualify for the 75% subsidy, they may still qualify for the 10% subsidy. This is a temporary three-month wage subsidy that applies to employers who are: Partnerships where all partners are one or more of the above

Associated CCPCs are not required to share the $25,000 maximum subsidy per employer Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

Forgivable loans will be offered to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of rent payments for April, May, and June that are payable by eligible small business tenants.

The loan will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place.

The small business tenants will be required to pay the remaining 25% of the rent. Can defer reporting and remittance of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Canada Emergency Business Account – $40,000 Interest-free Loan. Interest-free loans of up to $40,000 available to small businesses and non-profit organizations to help cover operating costs during a period where revenue has been temporarily reduced.

Tax Filing due date – 2019 Personal income tax returns due June 1, 2020 for individuals without self-employment income. Earned at least $5,000 of employment, self-employed income, or non-eligible dividends in 2019 or in the 12 month period prior to applying for the CERB. Allowing people to earn up to $1,000 per month Income support for low-and-modest income families.

3. Government of Canada launches Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator for Employers 
News provided by Canada Revenue Agency. April 21, 2020

Introduction

OTTAWA, April 21, 2020,/CNW/ – To help employers keep and re-hire workers amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

For a deeper knowledge please continue with the following reading

OTTAWA, April 21, 2020,/CNW/ – The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator to support employers as they prepare to apply for the CEWS. The CEWS calculator can be found on CRA’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Web page. This Web page incorporates feedback received during user testing with stakeholders, including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

«The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will help many small business owners keep their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were pleased to provide feedback to the CRA on its calculator designed to make it easier for firms to access the wage subsidy».

«The APFF wishes to highlight the importance of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for the survival of a large number of Canadian businesses. ».

4.  The Government of Canada announced the first phase of its economic response plan.
By Tamara Ramsey. Published on March 18, 2020 in Dale & Lessmann

Introduction

On March 27, 2020, the Government first announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Generally speaking, the program provides a subsidy for defined periods to employers who have experienced significant decreases in revenue.

For a deeper knowledge please continue with the following reading

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy 

Employers eligible to apply for the subsidy include corporations, individuals, registered charities, and certain partnerships. The subsidy will apply to certain qualifying periods, being March 15, 2020, to April 11, 2020, April 12, 2020, to May 9, 2020, and May 10, 2020, to June 6, 2020.

Eligible employers who suffer a drop in qualifying revenue of 15 percent in March 2020 or 30 percent in either April or May 2020 may be able to access the subsidy for the relevant qualifying period. Eligible employers will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s portal.

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit

Waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim EI sickness benefits.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

On March 25, 2020, the Government passed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. The CERB replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. The CERB will provide income support to eligible workers.

The Government has indicated that workers cannot be paid EI benefits and the CERB income support amount with respect to the same period The Government has provided the following administrative guidance:

“If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or onward, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit”

Link to The Economic Response Plan web:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

We hope this article has been useful for our entire community. We will continue to share with you updates on this issue during this period of crisis and complexity.  We also hope that this article has given you solid knowledge to make front to the crisis  COVID – 19 is causing, both locally and globally. We will continue to provide additional topics weekly to support you through this period.

Until the next time… 

Stay safe and be well!