By Intuit –
To help small businesses and self-employed workers stay afloat due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the IRS created new tax credits, including:
• Employee Retention Credit
• Paid Sick Leave Credit
• Paid Family and Medical Leave Credit
But carving out extra time to figure out which tax credit options you may qualify for — while adapting your business to COVID-19 — can be an overwhelming and time-consuming experience. Federal financial relief programs often have rules, provisions, and exceptions that are hard to understand at a glance. (more…)
Success Story: Wisconsin
Darcy Musil incorporated her background as a manicurist, esthetician and bra fitting specialist into Two Sisters Boutique, her unique retail business designed for women of all shapes and sizes. Her store provides a custom “one-on-one styling” service to shoppers who prefer suggestions and guidance.
Many customers come to the boutique for help obtaining the perfect look for photo shoots such as family portraits and senior pictures. Darcy also offers makeup consultations to provide expert knowledge on skin tone and color match. The retail location in Rice Lake opened in May, 2017 with four employees, and the business has grown to employ seven.
SUCCESS DURING COVID-19
The store is more than just a clothing boutique. It supports local vendors in many ways. Jewelry, soap, lotions, candles and other accessories and gifts created by local artisans are sold in Darcy’s store. When COVID-19 hit, Darcy had to close the storefront location but was able to sustain online sales. (more…)
Success Story: Georgia. By Aaron Cox –
Cottle & Gunn in St. Marys, Georgia, closed its doors in April when the state’s shelter-in-place directives took effect. But the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop owner Deborah Cottle from doubling — then tripling — her sales from the previous spring, thanks to a creative outlook, a new online store, and some help from the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center.
Located just blocks away from the Florida state line to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, St. Marys is home to about 17,000 people. Cottle & Gunn sits in the middle of the coastal town’s historic district — a fitting location for an eclectic store specializing in reclaimed vintage furniture, housewares, local crafts and more.
While the store itself is small, its online presence is anything but. Since opening her doors in 2014, Cottle has built an online following that nearly matches the size of the town — with more than 15,000 combined followers on Facebook and Instagram.
So, when the pandemic hit and businesses began closing their doors, Cottle tapped into that social media network — and her longstanding relationship with the SBDC — to keep her sales going. (more…)
Success Story: Wisconsin –
Dr. Tiffany Mullen co-founded Vytal Health with Dr. Alex Yampolsky in July of 2018, and their focus on personalized, affordable care has only grown stronger since then. Vytal Health is a telemedicine company that provides continuous, long-term relationships with patients via digital channels. The two doctors were inspired to start the business because people were searching for answers to health problems and not finding them in traditional avenues.
As new business owners, Dr. Mullen and Dr. Yampolsky had to create and refine their working relationship, make a few mistakes and find funding along the way. Dr. Mullen turned to the UW-Milwaukee Small Business Development Center (SBDC) after being referred by a friend who was also an SBDC client. (more…)
By ComplyRight –
Across the country, small businesses are grappling with numerous operational and employee management challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’ve remained in business during the crisis — or are just now initiating your return-to-work plans — you must balance new federal, state and local legal requirements against your typical business practices. It takes keen awareness and action to protect yourself from legal risks during the crisis, while also keeping your employees safe from the virus.
Here is some guidance on how to interpret and handle the biggest employee management issues arising today:
Q: What should we communicate to employees about the COVID-19 virus?
A: This depends on your business, as well as what is happening with the virus in your area (which changes day by day). In general, you should communicate the measures you are taking internally to help limit the spread of disease, changes to scheduling or hours of operation, whether remote work will be permitted (and the rules around working remotely), and any travel restrictions. You also need to discourage employees from coming to work if they have been exposed to the virus or exhibit any symptoms of the virus, in addition to addressing how the company will handle absences relating to the pandemic crisis. (more…)