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A Note to Small Business Owners

Note to Small Business Owners During COVID-19

March 17, 2020

As COVID-19 updates change with increasing speed, we are aware of how these changes are impacting small businesses throughout Greater Des Moines (DSM). Many of you have leveraged everything personally for your business. We understand that this means it’s not just the business affected, but the people behind the businesses we all love and frequent.

With the canceling of major events, DSM is now in uncharted territory. But there are things we can all do to help. If you as a business owner have not personally been affected financially, you can help other local small businesses by purchasing gift cards for later services. This includes coffee shops, restaurants, hair salons, dry cleaners, nail salons, daycares, children’s activity stops, etc. Businesses need cash right now to sustain.

  • Consider these questions: Can you place a future order and pay now? Can you pay ahead on lessons for kids? Gym memberships? Are you planning a large event down the road that you can put money down on now?

Pivoting in Trying Times

Now might be the time to consider pivoting your business. As a business owner, it is essential to be thinking of ways to bring in funds.

  • Consider these questions: Can you deliver, ship, consult virtually? Can you file a claim for business disruption with your insurance company? Start discussions now. Even without clear-cut answers, we can still be proactive.
  • Analyze your business’ bills and pull back where you can, including on supplies, subscription, etc. •
  • Communicate with bankers regarding loans and landlords regarding rent. Ask for options to reduce loan payments, refinancing, extending your lease to skip a month or paying less for a month and tacking on more to a future month.
  • Look at SBA disaster loans as an option. *Businesses will need to make a loan payment.
  • Avoid using credit cards and online financing options that claim fast cash for businesses. Most can’t be refinanced into loans.
  • Most importantly, stay in constant communication with your employees. If you have to cut hours, give as much notice as possible. Consider your employees’ ideas in getting cash in the door. Sometimes, they have the best ideas when it comes to thinking outside the box.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

Find these tips useful? Find more business tools and information by visiting the Business Resources page.

Christina Moffatt

Christina Moffatt serves as director of small business resources at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. She most recently served as Regional Director for the Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC), overseeing Dallas, Polk, Jasper, Warren and Marion Counties. She is also the owner of the award-winning Crème Cupcake + Dessert, which she founded in 2010.