Stuff Happens, Be Prepared

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

If you are a co-owner of a business, let’s hope that you have a buy-sell agreement in place.

Why, you ask? Well, “stuff” happens. The kind of “stuff” that triggers a buy-sell agreement generally falls into five categories, otherwise known as the four D’s and an R:

Death, Disability, Divorce, Disagreement and Retirement.

And when that “stuff” happens, something else also occurs: interests of you and your partner(s) diverge. Inevitably one (or more) owners will be buying – and one will be selling shares of the company.

The problem is that as of today, you do not know which side of the fence you will be on. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a plan in place that both parties understand, deem fair and equitable, and agree on – before either becomes the buyer or the seller?

Don’t think that “stuff” will happen to you or your partner(s)?  Read on and consider the risk if you happen to be wrong.

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Should I advertise in a down economy?

by Ken Sethney, Volunteer Business Mentor, SCORE Kitsap

A recent article on money.com dealt with a couple of difficult questions: “What Is a recession, and are we in one?” Three experts answered the questions. From a technical perspective we’re not there yet, but we could be very soon. 

OK, fine. I’m not a college professor, a manager of economic research, or an investment strategies advisor, but from my perspective, we’re smack dab in the middle of a recession. The question we all face is what do we do about it?

If you own a business, you want to cut costs, but where? For some companies the decision is easy… the first cut they make is advertising. But you’re not so sure. Continue reading

Things You Should Know About the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ & Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness applicationimplementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. 

Also see SBA Finally Clarifies PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules: Full Forgiveness For Self-Employed Borrowers

New information about PPP forgiveness — and EIDL reopens.

Keep an eye on the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance blog for breaking news about changes in COVID recovery programs. 

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What Tax Documents Should You Keep?

And which ones should you shred?

If your filing cabinet is bursting at the seams, you’re not alone. As a small business owner, you have a lot of paperwork to keep track of – everything from business licenses, employee records, lunch receipts – the list goes on.

Some of the more challenging records to manage are your business’ tax documents and all of their supporting paperwork. Navigating tax document requirements is complicated and is often unchartered territory for a small business.

As a default, many business owners end up unnecessarily saving every last receipt for years and years. Or, they become overwhelmed and throw away important information. Continue reading

Should I take on a business partner?

Are two heads always better than one?

When it comes to taking on a partner to start or grow a small business, there’s no right or wrong answer. 

Partners can complement each other’s management skills and bring benefits such as special expertise and client relationships. 

As with any relationship, there are trade-offs that must be carefully considered before deciding whether adding a partner is a wise move, and then you have to find the right person for the role.

If it sounds a bit like marriage, you’re not far off. Having the right partner can be a terrific advantage for a business. Making the partnership successful takes as much energy, effort, and positive feelings for one another as it does to make a marriage work.

There are several important things to consider before choosing a partner and entering into a business partnership. Continue reading

COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers

For the latest COVID-19 information and resources visit coronavirus.wa.gov.

On May 4th, 2020 Governor Inslee signed Proclamation 20-25.3 and outlined the “Safe Start” plan, a phased approach to re-open Washington’s economy. Under the plan, businesses and activities will re-open in phases with adequate social distancing measures & health standards in place. Businesses may also need to meet additional requirements developed specifically for their industry.

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Startups – April 2020

Infographic: The Impact of COVID-19 on Startups - April 2020

SCORE surveyed pre-startups and startups in early April 2020 about how they think how coronavirus could affect their business, and this infographic highlights the findings.

Data from a SCORE survey conducted from April 3-16, 2020. 492 business owners responded with 125 respondents identified as thinking of starting a business or in their first year of business ownership.

  • 65% of those surveyed are solopreneurs
  • 28% have 2 to 5 employees
  • 5% have 6 to 10 employees
  • 2% have 11 to 20 employees
  • 2% have 21+ employees

The respondents owned businesses in the industries below:

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PPP or Paycheck Protection Program Q&A

The Paycheck Protection Program was established by the CARES Act. The US Treasury website outlines all of the policies on one page and it’s the best resource for getting questions answered. For a quick reference, I’m including all of the topics below including the  Frequently Asked Questions (5/6/2020) which you will find under the program rules.

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How can I keep my business going during and after this pandemic?

by Ken Sethney, Volunteer Business Mentor, SCORE Kitsap

Every business owner I’ve had a conversation with in the last month or so is struggling to answer that question. It doesn’t matter what they sell, products or services, they are struggling to find answers to very difficult questions. Almost everyone in start-up mode has simply stopped. 

So, what should they do? What should you do? My suggestion is to keep moving forward. 

One of my SCORE clients owns a well established business with several employees. She and her team provide therapeutic services, but they don’t qualify as “essential.” 

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