There have been a lot of headlines recently about small business financing. And rightfully so.
Non-essential businesses are currently shuttered nationwide due to mandatory stay-at-home measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. And one of the biggest government funds to help these businesses, the Paycheck Protection Program, ran through $349 billion in less than two weeks.
That alone signals how urgent the financial situation is right now for small business owners.
While the government has passed additional funding measures, if you’re a small business owner, what can you do to supplement your financial outlook in the meantime, or if the PPP runs out of money again?
The good news is that there are relief options for small businesses right now, and ones that can help you connect to funds relatively fast.
Here are my top three suggestions for locating COVID-19 financial assistance.
1. The Funding Finder
This is a new product we just launched here at Excelerate America and it single-handedly makes it easier for small business owners across the country to find loans, grants and other funding opportunities that are available in their area.
Here’s how it works:
- Visit localfundingfinder.com
- Enter your business zip code
- You’ll receive a list of local and nationwide funding programs you can apply for immediately.
As we learned from the Paycheck Protection Program, opportunities come and go super fast right now. The Funding Finder is constantly updated to display and share the most relevant and timely results.
Set up a GoFundMe for your business and get the word out! I have seen a number of local businesses here in metro Detroit utilize GoFundMe to keep their employees on payroll and cover other operational costs while closed due to COVID-19.
Also, friends, family, your community, and customers want to help small businesses right now. Everyone understands the seriousness of the situation. And everyone, for the most part, is stuck inside their homes wondering what they can do.
Right now there are numerous GoFundMe’s for small businesses in need and raising amounts that are larger than many loans and grants. Save City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, CA, has raised almost $500,000. Tuft Barbershop in Brooklyn, NY has surpassed $80,000 in donations.
GoFundMe is the number one online fundraising platform. It’s free, so you have nothing to lose either. And as an extra incentive and bit of all-around amazingness, GoFundMe is issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses who create a fundraiser right now.
You can learn more about how GoFundMe works here.
3. Facebook Fundraiser
Similar to GoFundMe, you can create a fundraiser through your Facebook account and share with fans, followers, etc.
The Fundraiser tool is found underneath the Explore section on the left-side when you’re signed in on a desktop computer. If you go into the Facebook App on a mobile device, tap on the hamburger icon on the lower right and scroll down to locate it.
Like GoFundMe, the process is free and set-up is simple, but your Facebook Fundraiser is limited to Facebook while GoFundMe can be used within emails, texts, and other social channels.
One important note: Both GoFundMe and Facebook have a per donation processor fee.
While these options are not guaranteed to connect you to all the financial help you and your small business need, they’re an excellent start and proven methods for a lot of other companies.
Leslie Youngblood is the Sr. Director for Excelerate America. Has your business applied for a COVID-19 relief loan or grant? What else are you doing to get through the current situation?
Tell Leslie by emailing her at email@example.com.