Guide to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

March 31, 2020

The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship has published The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act — a guide to the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was recently passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.

The new law is intended to help business owners with the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it creates numerous new resources for small businesses and other employers.

The Senate Committee’s guide provides information about major programs and initiatives in the new law, which will soon be available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as several new tax provisions.

The Guide covers programs and initiatives such as:

• The Paycheck Protection Program, which provides capital to cover the cost of retaining employees;

• The Emergency Economic Injury Grant, which provides a quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover immediate business needs, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans; (more…)

11 Ways Retailers Can Combat Coronavirus Fears

March 26, 2020

By Susan Guillory –

Rita Mitchell, Certified Counselor at the University of Southern Mississippi SBDC, compiled a great list of 11 ways retailers can combat coronavirus fears, the closures, and the financial decline those fears are causing.

Here are her suggestions.

1. Have VISIBLE and TOTAL hygiene discipline. Mitchell suggests placing anti-bacterial pumps throughout a store. Also, posting photos online and on your website of “deep cleaning” activities can show customers your commitment to keeping them healthy while shopping.

2. She also recommends posting a kind and intimate email, Facebook post, Instagram post, and in-store posted statement about your commitment to the care and services your business will provide during this emergency.

3. To drum up business from people who are staying away from shopping in stores, she recommends making an open offer to deliver or ship a client’s order, and then include a fun surprise. (P.S. Your client will want delivery and shipping to be at no charge.) (more…)

COVID-19 and Cyber Security

March 20, 2020

By Troy Richardson, South-West Texas Border SBDC Network –

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. COVID-19 originated in China and has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. As countries, states, and communities take preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, more businesses are allowing their employees to work remotely. It’s important to understand how this situation may affect your cyber security hygiene.

KEY POINTS

As with most significant global events, cyber criminals will leverage the event against potential targets to advance or achieve a malicious goal. This is most often carried out through phishing attacks. The cyber criminals send emails claiming to be from organizations that a recipient might expect to hear from, considering the current event. For example, with the COVID-19 disease, the emails may appear to come from a government health organization such as the CDC or other health care authorities. Users should be aware of this tactic and utilize good cyber security hygiene to include: (more…)

4th Annual SBDC Day Responds to COVID-19

March 18, 2020

By Charles “Tee” Rowe –

Happy SBDC Day! SBDC Day is a national celebration of the success of SBDC clients and the impact that SBDCs have on our nation’s prosperity.

SBDC Day unites the nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the millions of clients they have served over the years by sharing, in real time, the success stories of SBDC clients and the SBDCs that serve them. Typically, this special day is celebrated with social media campaigns, public relations initiatives, online and in-person events. In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact on everyone’s lives, especially small businesses, we have decided to focus this fourth annual SBDC Day on how SBDCs can help their local small businesses and clients prepare and persevere in the weeks to come.

We encourage all entrepreneurs and small businesses to check out and bookmark our new “COVID-19 Small Business Resources” webpage. We will continue to add information, resources and opportunities for businesses, to help them keep their businesses afloat as they navigate through this challenging period. And check out your local SBDCs as well — they are there to help!

SBDC clients need their advisors’ expertise now more than ever. For over 40 years SBDCs have been building trust, building communities, and advising small businesses through financial crises, natural disasters, and other misfortunes. This year is no different.

This SBDC Day we ask SBDC clients to share their stories or questions online, and we ask our SBDC Day Ambassadors and other friends in the field to highlight resources they have in their toolboxes that can assist people and companies facing this crisis. We ask everyone to include the #SBDCDay hashtag in their social media communications so we can track and share questions and resources that are posted. Together through this pandemic, SBDCs and their clients will “Stay Calm and Small Business On.”

If you aren’t familiar with the SBDC program and would like more information, please take a few minutes to check out the rest of my blog.  (more…)

Speeding Up the Search for Cures – Jeeva Informatics Solutions

March 12, 2020

Success Story: Virginia –

By any measure, Harsha Rajasimha, PhD, was a successful man. He had published journal articles and chapters in professional textbooks; he had received patents, honors, and awards for his work. But none of these accomplishments equipped him to help his baby, who died from Edwards Syndrome, a rare congenital disease.

Determined to honor his daughter’s memory, Harsha started Jeeva Informatics Solutions, where he could devote his years of post-doctoral training in genomics and precision medicine at NIH to accelerating the process of making novel diagnostics and therapeutics for rare diseases.

Jeeva’s initial focus was on projects such as next-generation sequencing and data-analytics interpretation, and discovering novel approaches (turning raw data into actionable insights). In 2018, the company pivoted to address the problem of recruiting and retaining participants in clinical trials, a mandatory step in getting products to market. Patient recruitment takes time and, if anyone drops out, it takes more time recruit more patients. These issues cause delays and cost the biopharmaceutical industry a loss of billions of dollars, rendering it unsustainable. (more…)