May 28, 2020
During the past few weeks, the business conversation has quickly shifted to finding a viable way to reopen as all 50 states have entered phases of opening the economy. The three essential topics for today are PPP loan forgiveness, reopening your business safely, and what does the future hold for the traditional office environment?
1. PPP Loan Forgiveness
Businesses that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan are reaching the vital phase of applying for loan forgiveness. The U.S. Treasury Department has recently published numerous guidelines and forms regarding this step. The eleven-page Loan Forgiveness Application is now available. The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) published a comprehensive PPP Loan Forgiveness spreadsheet to help borrowers collect the required information to make the necessary calculations and a template for a Loan Forgiveness Letter.
The PPP program’s FAQ recently clarified three critical issues:
- Borrowers with loan amounts below $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.
- Bonuses, hazard pay, or other extra compensation are allowed for employees, but not for business owners. So long as their total compensation does not exceed $100,000 on an annualized basis.
- Plan on being patient. Banks have 60 days to review the forgiveness application, and the SBA gets another 90 days. The good news is that your first payment on the PPP loan is deferred for six months from the funding date.
The Senate and the House of Representatives are considering additional changes to PPP that would extend the time during which to use the funds, and possibly eliminating the rule requiring 75% to be used on payroll and 25% on non-payroll costs. Stay tuned for more updates.
2. Reopening Your Business Safely
For companies operating effectively with a remote work environment, it’s sensible to delay returning to the office until August or later, as many of my clients have decided. Organizations that cannot operate in a remote environment should consult the CDC’s “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.” The CDC also published a guideline specifically for restaurants and bars. The CDC is updating its comprehensive COVID-19 resources for businesses regularly, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also has a detailed guide to business reopening.
The best approach for reopening safely and effectively is to build a cross-departmental team and build a detailed plan specific to your needs. And as one of my clients said, “Over-communicate to your clients and team members.” Contact me at email@example.com if you need help creating your plan.
3. The Future of the Physical Office Is in Doubt
The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated many trends, including changes to the traditional work environment. A key lesson for many companies is that remote team members can be a useful component of any work environment. My three favorite articles on this conversation come from Owl Labs, the makers of the coolest conference room camera on the market:
- Leaders are considering changes to physical offices to support “hybrid teams.”
- Meeting spaces and tools need to be updated to accommodate remote workers.
- And remote work policies are essential to creating guidelines for work-at-home team members.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for the next #RuleOfThree, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Simons is a coach, facilitator, and storyteller – a unique fusion of skills that makes him uniquely equipped to coach entrepreneurs and business leaders to scale organizations. Using the Rockefeller Habits as his foundation, Rob has successfully trained hundreds of clients to build a culture of purpose, alignment, and accountability in organizations across various industries. Contact Rob at email@example.com or 210-845-2782.