The coronavirus pandemic has severely damaged thousands of business across the United States, causing many to go out of business for good. The shutdowns have been an essential, yet controversial part of states’ plans to slow the spread of the virus.
Despite the negative effects, there have been several positive business outcomes in the midst of this global pandemic.
1. Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness Has Begun
The U.S. government launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in early 2020 to provide loans to businesses in need of funds to stay afloat. PPP loans qualified for forgiveness if the funds were used to cover payroll, mortgage payments, and utilities for at least eight weeks after receiving the loan and the business retained their employees without docking their pay.
According to Kcapex.com, some PPP loans have already been forgiven. Lenders, including JP Morgan Chase, have started sending out emails encouraging business owners to apply for loan forgiveness.
It’s great knowing that some loans have already been forgiven. Many businesses have been worried that forgiveness would be difficult to get even if all requirements were met. This fear stems from the fact that large companies with considerable financial resources managed to get PPP loans. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers qualified for a $4.6 million PPP loan, but when the funds ran out they decided to give the money back.
If your business received PPP funds, talk to your lender about applying for loan forgiveness if you haven’t already.
2. Businesses are Saving Money With Remote Teams
Businesses considered non-essential had to close during the first wave of shutdowns and as a result, had to transition employees to a remote workforce. Although many of these business owners weren’t ready to operate online, they’re figuring it out fast. In the mean time, it’s been a source of cost savings.
While many non-essential businesses are still paying rent to maintain their physical space, they don’t have to pay much for utilities since nobody is using the building. Many have disconnected their internet service and minimized their phone services.
The money these businesses are saving may not be equal to lost income, but every penny counts.
3. Some Industries are Thriving
In addition to Amazon doubling profits during the pandemic, many smaller businesses are also thriving. Businesses thriving during the pandemic include grocery stores, educational tech, online retail, online games, fitness apps, electronic money transfer apps, and anyone making masks.
Of course, all the companies making hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and spray, and toilet paper have been making a killing. For the first quarter of 2020, Clorox reported a 15% jump in overall sales and cleaning product sales rose by 32%. When people aren’t panic buying these items they’re either hoarding them or buying them more regularly.
Starting a business in the middle of a pandemic seems like a bad idea, but the fact that these businesses are thriving is proof that all you need is the right product that can be sold or used online.
4. Property Investors are Benefiting From Financial Relief
Renters and homeowners aren’t the only ones who have been struggling to pay the bills. Property investors rely on rental income to pay their mortgages and without rent coming in, they’ve had to tap into other resources.
Charities and other organizations in some states have put together relief programs for tenants and landlords that cover rent and mortgages. For example, the United Way of Atlanta has a program that provides rent relief of up to $5,000 per household paid directly to a tenant’s landlord. Oddly, United Way is having a hard time getting people to apply for the program. Most people think it’s only for low-income households or they’re too embarrassed to apply.
5. Businesses are Getting Resourceful and Creative
Forced to conduct business online, many businesses are getting resourceful and creative in the way they’re handling business. Restaurants that never considered takeout are offering curbside pickup and delivery. Retail businesses that avoided having a website are now having one built. Other businesses are finding ways to catalogue their inventories to sell online.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
As the old saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” We might be in the middle of a pandemic, but some business owners refuse to allow their circumstances to hold them back. Those who persevere in hard times will most certainly reap the rewards.