Get Links to Loan Applications & Expert Advice About Advertising Messages

Whether your business is considered essential or has been forced to shutter to prevent COVID-19 infections and deaths, revenue has dropped, resources are limited and operations are challenging for most companies. It is rewarding to provide services people need and appreciate during this stressful time, and feeling productive is good for the economy and for your mental health. But you might need a little help, too, to keep going. The good news is that several options are available for financial assistance that can prop up your business until we get through this.

We are not experts in finance or tax law; our branding and marketing agency specializes in services like vehicle wrap design and building websites for contractors. But if you know KickCharge, you know we want to support our clients in every way possible. So we’ve compiled a list of informational resources to help you take advantage of new opportunities while you remain focused on how to keep delivering outstanding service to your community.

Loans for Payroll and Related Expenses

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act the federal government signed into law includes many components. Among them, it expands unemployment insurance for workers so people not normally eligible can receive unemployment benefits, while other workers can collect more money than they otherwise would. It also prevents the standard delay people typically endure before they start to receive these benefits.

The CARES Act includes $350 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which helps businesses that have fewer than 500 employees and are hurt by the pandemic-related economic downturn to secure a 0.5% interest loan to cover payroll and certain other expenses, such as mortgage interest, rent and utilities. In certain cases, the loans may be forgiven. Applications will be accepted starting today. This fact sheet explains the eligibility requirements, how the loans can be used, loan forgiveness parameters, etc. Fortune.com answers common questions here.

Working Capital Loans

The Small Business Administration is accepting applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help companies overcome their temporary revenue losses. What’s more, they can apply to receive an advance of up to $10,000 within three days of successfully applying. Apply here.

Google Ads Credits

Eligible companies that have advertised on Google platforms since Jan. 1, 2019, will receive ad credits in their Google Ads accounts. The credits can be used for search, display and YouTube campaigns in 2020. Advertisers will be notified in the coming months about whether they’ll get a piece of the $340 million initiative. Google says they’ll see notifications in their accounts. Few other details are available at this time.

Tax Breaks

Employers also are eligible for a 50% refundable payroll tax credit on up to $10,000 in employee wages paid during the crisis if they experience a decrease in gross receipts of 50% or more compared to the same quarter last year. The Act includes a variety of other business tax provisions, too, such as delaying Social Security payroll tax payments. Learn more here.

Special Tips for Home Service Contractors, Sign Companies

ServiceTitan, the creator of popular software for managing residential and commercial service businesses, is providing frequent blog posts, webinars and interviews specifically related to operating amid the coronavirus challenges. A webinar Thursday with legal and financial experts focused on the CARES Act and how to apply for financial relief.

The International Sign Association has assembled a Business Continuity Resource Center for sign companies and printers. It includes sample language to use to designate employees and projects as essential. The ISA is hosting a webinar about the CARES Act on April 9.

Advertising Guidance

As a contractor, you may be wrestling with how to promote your services without exploiting the situation. The first priority should be to reassure and educate your community about your availability, safety practices and flexible policies. Need help? We’ve provided language, web banners, blogs, press releases and more for many of our clients and would be happy to lend a hand.

You may believe it’s a bad time to invest precious finances in advertising, but it’s crucial to remember that communication is key. You have a captive audience with time and attention, and maintaining a presence will strengthen your brand. During this time of crisis, the knee-jerk reaction for many businesses may be to cancel or postpone your advertising investments. Roy Williams of the American Small Business Institute says that is a mistake. Williams, known as “Wizard of Ads,” advises how to be strategic instead: In a highly emotional state, you can win big or lose big. The key to creating successful ads under these circumstances is to “be the company they think of first and feel the best about,” Williams says in the video below. Bond with your customers by telling stories. Run ads no other company could run. “If you win the heart, the mind will follow,” he says.

In the words of the Wizard of Ads: Share happy memories, reflective thoughts, be human—and ask for nothing in return.

KickCharge Is Here to Help

We understand what our clients are feeling and experiencing; we are a small business, too, affected by the economic disruption this pandemic has caused. We’re here to support you so that you come out of this as strong as can be, whether you need help with blogging and email, rebranding or vehicle advertising, or web design in NJ or beyond. We’ve got your back and we wish you the best. Stay healthy.