What do businesses do when their PPP or Payroll Protection Program funds run out? While small companies can apply and receive relief, that money is only finite. It will go just so far before it’s gone. And, once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Even organizations with business interruption insurance benefits have limited resources. Eventually, the cash will run out. So, what do small businesses do then?
PPP Loan Forgiveness Only Solves One Problem
It’s important to remember that PPP loan forgiveness — while most certainly helpful — merely solves one problem. Meaning, there are still other debts and obligations to pay and to meet. That alone reveals the fact there’s a lot more to doing business than just compensating employees. Vendors, contractors, and others also need to be paid.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. —U.S. Small Business Administration
This gets to the heart of the larger issue — the inescapable reality of the business world. Put another way, if someone paid off one of your personal debts and you had five, six, or ten more, while that’s a blessing and it’s appreciated, it does not get you totally out of debt. Businesses don’t operate that way because there’s always additional obligations.
What to Do When Your PPP Money Runs Out
Since businesses stay in a cycle of dynamics, with revolving credit and monthly bills, and they apply and receive PPP money, what can they do once those funds are gone? Here are a few suggestions that might prove helpful to your business:
- Offer invoice financing. Instead of requesting (or demanding) the entire invoice amount to be paid, give them the option to finance their outstanding balances. You can charge a small fee and/or interest rate — so long that it’s legal and ethical.
- Ask suppliers for extensions. For businesses that owe other businesses money, it’s worth a shot to ask for some more time or at least try to establish payment arrangements. This will help to take off a little pressure and to free up some cash.
- Review personnel staffing choices. Most businesses already have or will soon, be forced into this scenario — assessing which team members aren’t essential. It’s a tough spot but because employees most always represent the largest expense, this can’t be ignored.
- Consider liquidation or selling equipment. Another thing you can do is to sell off non-essential equipment, if available. Or, liquidate some inventory or materials. These are all difficult decisions but they could mean the difference between staying in business and going out of business permanently.
- Offer new services that are in demand now. Look at what services are in demand now that may be in line with your service offerings or a close extension thereof to provide immediate cash flow. Quickly shift to provide those services by promoting them to your current customer base and use social media to get the word out. Several industries and businesses have done this in recent weeks.
What other suggestions do you have? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting!
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