Our world is going through an unprecedented time. The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us socially and economically, and some have experienced devastating losses. It is a challenging time.
However, through time immemorial we have seen great hardships bring about sweeping and lasting changes, wondrous innovations, and the understanding that we, as humans, are resilient, caring, and creative.
ATMs Are Deemed Essential During COVID-19
The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has created a list of guidelines that is “intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”
Independent ATM Deployers (IADs) and field service technicians are considered to be essential workers during this time. CISA’s guidelines state that essential worker are “Workers who are needed to provide business, commercial, and consumer access to bank and non-bank financial services and lending services, including ATMs, lending and money transmission, and to move currency, checks, securities, and payments (e.g., armored cash carriers).”
Now Is the Time for You to Change Fear Into Opportunity.
On Friday, March 27, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy Security Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion economical stimulus package passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the president. It provides much-needed relief and support to businesses and individuals alike who may be struggling during this time.
As part of the CARES Act, $350 billion is being allocated to direct support of small businesses. To administer this money, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has created the Paycheck Protection Program to help businesses with 500 or fewer employees to maintain their payroll during COVID-19. These small businesses can receive up to 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance. The SBA states, “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.”
You can apply for your SBA loan through your federally-insured financial institution.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a guide for small businesses to be helpful during this time. The guide is updated daily with new resources and information to assist small businesses during the pandemic.
Hello Alice is a free online platform that helps small businesses grow and thrive. They are currently offering $10,000 emergency grants to be distributed to small businesses that are impacted by COVID-19. Additionally, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the larger Hello Alice community.
For Oregonians, state, regional, and business administrators have put together resources for individuals and businesses alike, including:
- The City of Portland has put together this list of resources that covers everything from the COVID-19 hotline information to a list of resources providing small business loans and grants.
- Portland’s City Council has also put together a small business relief fund to provide grants and no-interest loans to businesses in need during this time.
- Greater Portland Inc. is a public-private partnership that seeks to enhance the regional economic status of Portland and the surrounding areas through job growth and investment. They have put together a list of resources for small businesses for both Oregon and Washington.
- Business Oregon, an agency created by the State of Oregon, has a COVID-19 resource page called the Small Business Navigator. This site provides information on financial assistance, making connections, business planning, counseling, and other general resources.
- The State of Oregon has also created a business-related web page with updated information about COVID-19 with information for workers, job seekers, and employers.
Now is the time to think outside the box. If you’ve been wanting to take your business in a new direction, change policies, or think big, now is the perfect time to do it! With these resources, small businesses like yours can not only survive the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent needed social distancing, you can take your business in new and meaningful directions to ensure that you thrive in the long run.