Important Information and Resources for Small Businesses impacted by the Covid19 Crisis

The Coronavirus or Covid19 has been sweeping the world with unprecedented economic hardship and health consequences. In some ways it has brought the world closer together as we experience the same situations and face this challenge together.

As a Small Business Owner who may have had to cease or reduce operations and have no or limited revenue stream until the crisis is over, what are your options for receiving HELP? This post will share some tips and resources for you to explore and further the path to getting back on your feet.


UPDATED INFO ON LOANS:

Received this from a business lender: As of the time of this writing, March 29, 2020, the SBA has not formalized the application process for the new “Paycheck Protection Program” or “PPP”, the program that got signed into law Friday as part of the $2 Trillion CARES Act. At the moment, we are all waiting for guidance. Once I get clarity on that, I will likely fill you in with another update. Businesses CAN apply right now for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan…it is an application you can file on line direct with the SBA and do not need another lender involved….go to https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance to apply.

Here is a link with a helpful run down on the SBA assistance loans that are currently available: https://files.constantcontact.com/27483c98001/ab3a54bd-48b0-423b-b845-cb3d2ed735e8.pdf  

And another link to help you understand what you qualify for:  https://files.constantcontact.com/27483c98001/5549b8bb-7ea1-4c06-9817-28d88045dfce.pdf

Keep in mind, that there is a HUGE demand for all of these products as most businesses are affected in some way over this virus. So there is going to be delays at SBA and especially with the banks and lenders who will be called on to administer the new PPP Loans. So be patient.

LOANS AND FINANCIAL AID

The SBA has loans available under the Disaster Relief Act from the Federal Government. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

Your COUNTY needs to be listed on the Disaster Loan Application site for the SBA for Covid Declared Disasters. If your county is NOT listed, we encourage you to contact your Governor’s Office via phone and email and ask them to submit ALL counties for their state so people can get financial help. The Governor is the only one who can request for the counties to be added.

https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/Index

You will need to indicate ECONOMIC INJURY as the reason for filing.

Some states have funding and even municipalities so please check on your state and local government websites to see what they have for funding assistance. Some of the funding is for government entities only, some may be for brick and mortar stores/shops/restaurants forced to close.

BEWARE of predatory money lenders who are hard-money loan sharks looking to capitalize on “desperation.” These lenders usually charge very HIGH interest rates with possible daily payouts and should only be used as a last resort after other options have been exhausted.


BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE

You may be eligible for Business Interruption Insurance from your business insurance carrier. You need to review your policy or have your insurance agent help you with this to see if the Covid19 is covered. KMRD Partners shared via webinar what to do with insurance and questions to ask your carrier.

The video is here: https://www.facebook.com/178677998855566/posts/3140169152706421/

You need to keep good records of any economic hardship you are facing as a result of the Covid19 shutdown. Know the payouts will not be quick and as with any agency, they will probably try to dispute your claim to avoid paying out on the policy. KMRD has offered to assist those who may need help with their policies whether or not they are policies set up through KMRD. They are our ADVOCATE for insurance coverage.

KMRD Partners, Inc.
2600 Kelly Road, Suite 120
Warrington, PA 18976
866-957-5673
http://www.kmrdpartners.com


DEFERRED PAYMENT PLANS

We encourage you to reach out to any creditors you owe money to and ask for a reprieve for payments. MOST entities are being understanding and will defer payment for 1-2 months with a provision to contact them if more time is needed.

IF your bank, auto loan, credit card companies, lenders, property managers are NOT being cooperative, we suggest sending that information to the Governor of your State and also to your local news station. This is a time when EVERYONE need to be helped to the degree they are impacted and for entities to take a hard line on offering any support or assistance is not right. These companies need to be exposed. The pressure they receive might make them change their attitudes and approach to their customers.

  • Ask your creditors what they are offering
  • Negotiate terms that work for you
  • Keep track of what you have agreed to so you know when your payments will resume and at what amounts
  • Stay in touch with all of your creditors – they like communication and most are available via phone and email.

WHAT ABOUT MY CLIENTS AND PROPERTIES WHERE I HAVE MY STAGING FURNISHINGS INSTALLED?

If you are getting calls to waive payments for your furnishings, you have a right to not lose the income. You can agree to the terms providing the seller/client has enough equity in the home to pay the deferred amount at closing. We do NOT recommend going to a pay at close option for the duration – agree to only 2 weeks or 1 month and then re-assess.

The prediction is clients will resume their jobs and income once the Covid19 crisis is over – and current estimates are by mid-April we will be able to resume our business activity. Your other option is to pick up your items and return them to your warehouse for use in future projects. If the property gets put on temporary-withdraw status, this means the house will be put back to active showings once the crisis is over and real estate activity can resume to normal.

  • IF the house is still listed online, you should be paid for your items that are being used to showcase the house. You can decide if you will charge a reduced amount as a courtesy. You have a legal agreement in place with your client that needs to be honored however if you are able to adjust things to work with your client that will go a long way for future business opportunities.
  • IF the house is de-listed temporarily, this is where you can defer use fee for 2 weeks and then resume payments. We are not charities and as micro-businesses we are not in a position to lose income as we have bills to pay as well. Make sure to keep track of lost income.
  • IF the house is removed from active listing altogether – pick up your items. Make sure to keep on top of important dates such as when the REALTOR no longer has access or you no longer have access, etc.
  • Check with the listing agent on the strategy – the sellers may be moving back, they may decide to rent, or other options. You don’t want to let your things sit at risk when a contract has been terminated.

Houses are still being purchased and sold which means sellers are still able to get their house to close during this time.

  • You want to make SURE you submit your invoice to the TITLE company with clear instructions on how you are to be paid.
  • Ask the client who that entity is for the transaction or;
  • Ask the REALTOR who is handling the sale about the Title Company. Make sure the REALTOR knows what your plan is so they are in the loop.
  • Call the Title Company and explain what you need to do – and ask about any other payouts on the property to ensure there will be revenue left to pay you.
  • Stay on top of the CLOSING DATE and the day prior, call the Title Company to ensure you are on the LIST for payout/settlement.

If you do choose to waive payments and let items remain in a house, make sure to KEEP TRACK OF ALL LOST INCOME as that would be part of the Economic Injury Claim.


We hope the information shared is helpful to you and answers questions you may have regarding how to deal with our current, unprecedented situation. For more information or to contact us please email info@iahsp.com

Coronavirus-Covid19-Recommendations for all home staging industry professionals

The International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) is monitoring the current health pandemic with great concern for all our members around the world. We are hopeful none of our family is impacted personally with this virus and pray for all those who are to date as we continue to see the spread globally. As the home staging industry association leader, we wanted to share guidelines specific to how you can remain viable and earn income during this time while not risking your health and safety.


VIDEO-Consultations or E-ConsultationsThese are a great way to provide necessary information, guidance and support to homeowners who want to prepare their homes for sale now. The steps to accomplish this are fairly simple given today’s technology.

  1. Start with having them send you photos of each room in the house from the doorway, and from all corners (if possible). This will allow you to assess the room as a whole versus from just one vantage point. It allows you to see what is on the walls, in the corners, and see how the room and furniture is positioned relative to other parts of the house.
  2. You would analyze the photos and provide a typed summary for the clients to follow.
  3. Email the summary to the client and agent (if one is involved).
  4. Call the client or do a face-time chat on your phone, use Zoom or Skype or WhatsApp to do a video call. This is recommended so you can see their reaction to the guidelines you shared. If you are not able to see them or them see you the important part of “rapport” is lost and they may not agree to do all you recommend.

Note: We are doing our best NOT to use the word “VIRTUAL” as we are opposed to Virtual Staging as a cheap alternative to real Staging, and as such we do not want to be using that word in conjunction with our services. Alternatives are “E-Consult” or “Tele-Consult” or “Video-Consult” – which all indicate the type of services being provided.

E-PreviewsThese are a great way to provide a proposal for Staging a vacant property without you having to go in person.

  1. Follow the steps above with someone sending you photos of the property.
  2. You prepare the proposal for recommended areas and send to the client.
  3. Follow up on the phone or via a video call.
  4. The Staging can be scheduled and installed as long as your state/region allows you to be out OR you get things set when bans will be lifted.

Property Showings:

Tips for BUYERS: Buyers are still out looking for properties and have to purchase for work or lifestyle decisions. A property that is Staged shows great online and in person showings can be done taking these precautions:

No open houses are being done to protect the public and homeowners. Tips to share with buyers:

  1. Keep hand-sanitizer by the front door for all buyers to use.
  2. If you are an agent bringing buyers, make sure you all use the sanitizer before anyone enters the home.
  3. Do not touch door knobs, cabinets knobs and light switches. Do not use the restroom in the house. If there is an urgent need, please make sure the homeowner knows this was done so they can take disinfectant measures.
  4. If anyone in the buying group is not feeling well, do NOT go to a home to look in person. Stay home. Let someone else be your eyes.

Tips for SELLERS: Your house is for sale and Buyers need to see it in person to make an important decision to purchase. If you are in an area where showings are allowed, take these precautions to ensure your home is protected from potential exposure.

  1. Keep hand santizer in a basket outside the front door. Make it mandatory that any agents and buyers use the sanitizer before entering your home.
  2. You can provide disposable gloves for buyers and agents to wear as an added precaution. Keep a small trash can outside your front door (or in other discreet area out front) for buyers and agents to throw their used gloves away once they exit your home.
  3. Keep all doors open throughout the house. This will minimize the chances of other people touching your door knobs where germs can be present.
  4. Wipe down all switch plates for lights and turn on all the lights in the house so agents and buyers do not have to do this. Instruct agents NOT to turn off any of the lights.
  5. Fold your toilet paper end into a point in every bathroom. If you return home and the end is not folded anymore, you know someone used the bathroom and you will want to sanitize it.
  6. Keep plenty of lysol and disinfectant wipes on hand to wipe down doorknobs, cabinet knobs, and light switches.

SYMPTOMS and TIPS to help minimize the exposure and impact of this virus.


If you suspect you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor. Do not immediately go to the ER as the hospitals are overwhelmed with patients. To find a location for testing in your area, GOOGLE your city and state/province/country as there is not one site that has the information pulled together by state or country.


If you or someone you know is struggling due to this pandemic please let us know how we can support you through this challenging time. Email Jennie@iahsp.com