A Little Help for Small Business
in the time of COVID19
The Coronavirus, or covid 19, is a respiratory illness spreading from person to person. This illness has a high mortality rate, and is easily transmitted, causing many local and state governments to shut down areas of concentrated population.
For most business owners, dealing with a pandemic like this, is new territory. And you need to prepare your business, communicate with your customers and support your employees.
If your business financials feel volatile, you’re not alone...
Economic Impact Payments
What You need to know
and How to get it.
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What you can do right now!
1st step for Business Owners
Suggestion for Virtual Events
Best Practice for Remote Work
If your business financials feel volatile, you’re not alone. Here are some other ways business owners can ensure as few financial losses as possible:
Not all business owners can send employees home. If you have workers who must be on-site, we have a few suggestions for keeping people safe.
For most business owners, dealing with a pandemic like this is new territory. Here are some first steps to help you get started.
The simplest way to lower the risk of infection and contamination is to restrict all non-essential business travel. But for those unavoidable business trips, here are a few tips for keeping yourself and everyone else safe.
The CDC has the most up-to-date recommendations on gatherings. Here are a few tips should you decide to move forward with a virtual event:
As cases of COVID-19 continue to escalate, businesses are issuing work-from-home policies, so employees slow down the virus’ spread. Here are a few tips for a seamless transition to a remote workforce:
Working remotely can leave employees feeling disconnected from teams and co-workers. But teamwork is an important ingredient for productivity. Here are a few tips to help keep employees’ connections thriving:
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. This illness has a high mortality rate, and is easily transmitted, causing many local and state governments to shut down areas that have concentrated population
What you need to know:
“I want you to hear directly from me how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our services. The first thing you should know is that we continue to pay benefits. Be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is not true. Don’t be fooled."
For more information, please visit https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/.
To protect you and help stop the spread of this coronavirus, we cannot accept visitors in our offices at this time. There are several other ways you can get help. Many services are available online at www.socialsecurity.gov. If you have a critical need that you cannot address online, we can help you over the phone.
Mark Hinkle, Acting Press Officer
Incidents can strain a small business's financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it.
At a press conference held today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced the following extensions for federal income tax payments:
• Individuals and businesses with an April 15 filing deadline will be given an additional 90 days to pay taxes;
• Individuals will be able to defer up to $1 million of tax liability; and
• Corporations get an extension for up to $10 million.
Mnuchin was not specific about late-filing penalties for either the March 15 or April 15 deadlines, but it appears interest and penalties will be waived automatically. He stated, "All you have to do is file your taxes. You will automatically not get charged interest and penalties."
We will provide additional information when formal guidance is issued by the IRS.
In light of this information from the IRS, the FTB is looking at their extension to June 15, and we will let you know if the due date for California is extended to 90 days as well.
Notice 2020-18; Federal income tax filing and payment relief on account of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. The Treasury Department and IRS are providing relief to all taxpayers who have Federal income tax returns and Federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020. The April 15, 2020 deadline is postponed to July 15, 2020. Associated interest, additions to tax, and penalties for late filing or late payment will be suspended until July 15, 2020.
Notice 2020-18 will be in IRB 2020-15, dated April 6, 2020.
Regarding COVID-19, we have added some helpful Business Accounting and HR Q&As at optima-news which should offer some insight that isn’t mainstream.
Payroll Tax Credits for Employers
A refundable tax credit equal to 100% of qualified family leave wages paid by an employer will be credited against the employer’s portion of social security taxes and can be claimed quarterly. If the credit exceeds the employer’s social security tax liability, the excess credit is refundable to the employer. https://www.sandiego.gov/economic-development/resources/relief
Charitable Deduction increase?
A potential amendment would increase the proposed $300 cap on charitable deductions included in the current Senate package of bills to roughly $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for married couples. It would be available for all of 2020 and would have no giving floor or minimum donation amount, encouraging individual donations of any size.
Need Money? Optima can help you apply for SBA loans or assist you with other financing options: on March 11, the President directed the SBA to provide low-interest loans to small businesses (3.75%) and asked Congress to increase SBA funding by $50 billion. This may be separate from the current Disaster Loan Assistance program. (Congress has already allocated $8.3 billion to assist small businesses as part of an emergency spending package passed on March 4.)
Resources for you and your kids:
NASA’s image library is free
Free learning on Linkedin!
Great Curriculum ideas for your kids:
Links we are using currently to track COVID-19:
We strongly recommend the following list that cover Federal, State, Local and Private help for Small Businesses.
The most comprehensive list of resources for Small Business during Covid19 we have encounter so far, from Gusto…
Private corporations around the country are also finding ways to support small businesses, either through funding or free use of their services.
Facebook has launched a small business grants program offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 small businesses.
UberEats is waiving delivery fees for all orders from independently-owned restaurants to keep them in business as many cities begin to mandate closure of storefronts.
Amazon created a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to local small businesses that will be impacted by fewer customers due to COVID-19. The fund is intended to support small businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue located near Amazon’s Seattle office weather the outbreak.
Google has rolled out free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite customers until July 1 so businesses can stay connected with their teams and vendors.
Intuit also has a funding program. See link: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/smallbusinesshelp/?cid=DR_em_46556_001_Text1_US_QBOA
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced a $4 million economic relief package Wednesday for struggling local businesses affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
The city will work with local financial institutions to establish a relief fund, which will support zero-interest micro-loans for affected businesses, Faulconer said during an afternoon news conference at City Hall.
Faulconer said the relief fund would be kickstarted by money from the city's business revolving loan fund, and that he expected the fund to grow from the initial $4 million.
Additional steps the city will take to assist small businesses include a program to delay payments of business tax certificates and associated fees for 120 days; suspension of water billing fees and late payment penalties to prevent commercial account shutoffs; and an extension of all building permits for 180 days.
Faulconer said additional details on how businesses can apply for the loans will be released in the coming days.
"The goal of the San Diego economic relief package is simple: help businesses stay afloat so they can keep paying their employees," he said.
The announcement came one day after the San Diego City Council voted to support a temporary moratorium on evictions for San Diego residents and businesses. Any resident or business missing rent payments due to a loss of income or medical bills resulting from novel coronavirus will be granted a stay until at least May.
Process for Accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending
For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Read complete article Here >
Notice 2020-21 provides that employment tax credits for paid qualified sick leave wages and paid qualified family leave wages required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“the Act”) will apply to such wages and compensation paid for periods beginning on April 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, and that days beginning on April 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020 will be taken into account for credits for paid qualified sick leave equivalents and paid qualified family leave equivalents for certain self-employed individuals provided by the Act.
Notice 2020-21 will be in IRB: 2020-16, dated April 13, 2020.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Does my business qualify to receive the Employee Retention Credit?
The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. There are only two exceptions: State and local governments and their instrumentalities and small businesses who take small business loans.
Qualifying employers must fall into one of two categories:
1. The employer’s business is fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter.
2. The employer’s gross receipts are below 50% of the comparable quarter in 2019. Once the employer’s gross receipts go above 80% of a comparable quarter in 2019, they no longer qualify after the end of that quarter.
These measures are calculated each calendar quarter.
How is the credit calculated?
The amount of the credit is 50% of qualifying wages paid up to $10,000 in total. Wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2021, are eligible for the credit. Wages taken into account are not limited to cash payments, but also include a portion of the cost of employer provided health care.
How do I know which wages qualify?
Qualifying wages are based on the average number of a business’s employees in 2019.
Employers with less than 100 employees: If the employer had 100 or fewer employees on average in 2019, the credit is based on wages paid to all employees, regardless if they worked or not. If the employees worked full time and were paid for full time work, the employer still receives the credit.
Employers with more than 100 employees: If the employer had more than 100 employees on average in 2019, then the credit is allowed only for wages paid to employees who did not work during the calendar quarter.
I am an eligible employer. How do I receive my credit?
Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees’ wages by the amount of the credit.
Eligible employers will report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns or Form 941 beginning with the second quarter. If the employer’s employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may receive an advance payment from the IRS by submitting Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19.
Eligible employers can also request an advance of the Employee Retention Credit by submitting Form 7200.
Where can I find more information on the Employer Retention Credit and other COVID-19 economic relief efforts?