Don’t Expect a Miracle: Practical Advice for Small Business Owners During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has only intensified the feeling we have had since Internet-enabled smartphones became ubiquitous in our hands and pockets, namely that the news is a constant emotional rollercoaster of gloom and doom predictions followed by promises of deus ex machina fixes. No sooner did the media announce that the federal government was offering billions of dollars in forgivable loans for small businesses faster than most business owners could even navigate to the website to fill out an application. There are plenty of ways that you, as a business owner, could theoretically get enough money to cover the basic expenses to keep your company in business for the next few months, but accessing most of those funds isn’t as easy as it sounds. An Alabama business law attorney can help you make the difficult decisions required to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fastest and most reliable solutions to the financial crisis Birmingham business owners are experiencing are here in your own neighborhood. Yes, the federal government has provided loans to small business owners, but when you apply for those, you are competing with every other financially strapped small business in the whole United States. The first place you should apply for a loan is the Birmingham Strong Emergency Loan Fund. All business owners in the Birmingham area who employ 50 workers or fewer are eligible for loans through this program. You can borrow up to $25,000, and the loan is interest free for the first six months.
Business activity will return to Alabama one day. What you need now is a quick source of funding that will get you through the next few months so you don’t have to close down your company and start from scratch when the economy reopens. Although it might make you cringe to think of doing these things, these desperate measures might mean the difference between having an uphill battle when the economy opens and leaving yourself and your employees unemployed.
- Take out a home equity line of credit.
- File for chapter 11 bankruptcy, in which your company continues to do business but renegotiates payment of business debts.
- Asking for a gift or a loan from a relative or friend who might be able to give you one. You might not like the idea of asking your in-laws for money, but your business making it through the summer of COVID-19 means financial security for your children and the children of your friends.
No matter which course of action you take, and you will probably have to take several before your business can return to its normal operations, you should work closely with a lawyer. Even though you may have to act quickly for an immediate fix, you should consult with your lawyer about the long-term consequences of your economic survival strategy.
Let us Help You Today
Business law attorneys have experience in helping business owners access funds and in protecting them from costly mistakes. Contact the Alabama business & corporate litigation attorneys at Cloud Willis & Ellis for a consultation.