Whew, Petpreneurs! The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of us and the level of uncertainty it brings can be . . .
A little anxiety-inducing.
You’re not alone. But, please, please, PLEASE don’t panic! (Easier said than done—we know!) Honestly though, recommendations and mandates are changing by the hour and, depending on where you live, you probably have a lot more help available to you than you realize.
We’ve dug around and compiled a list of awesome offers from different companies and helpful government resources that are available to you today to help you find ways to stay afloat until we kick COVID-19’s butt.
Of course we can also do our own part to help: support local business, when and wherever possible.
Resources you can access include:
- Are you thinking of requiring your employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s a few suggestions for making your decision.
- Are you in the veterinary field? Veterinary Practice News published an ebook guide for navigating veterinary care during COVID-19.
- Do you use Rover.com for dog walking or pet sitting? Here’s a guide to navigate the unemployment system, money management tips, and more!
- Google merchants can now list their products for free!
- Have you been itching to start your own podcast? Zencastr is lifting the limits on its basic “Hobbyist” podcasting plan through July. Their web based software lets you interview guests remotely, add sounds and post your show all from your computer.
- Need to send large files to team members or clients? MeeroDrop has unlocked advanced features you usually have to pay for, like the ability to send a file up to 10GB! There’s a cap on how long your link is good for, though, so make sure you’ve got a backup of your files stored away.
- Are you a G-Suite user? Google cloud has announced free access to its advanced Hangouts Meets Videoconferencing for all G-Suite customers.
- If you are a Citi Retail Bank Small Business Customer, monthly service fees and penalties for early CD withdrawal are being waived.
- Intuit QuickBooks has teamed up with GoFundMe to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Here’s how you can start your free GoFundMe page.
- The company Honeycomb Credit is offering Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loans that are funded by everyday people who want to make sure businesses like yours don’t take too hard of a hit.
- Adobe is giving away Creative Cloud for FREE for two months. Go here to start your freebie months.
- Facebook has set aside $100 million to help small business owners during the COVID-19 crisis. They are looking to help about 30,000 companies. Details are still being released, so sign-up for their updates.
- Look into your business insurance policy, if you have one. Some companies cover portions of lost revenue under certain types of business interruption coverage. Each policy, situation and company is unique, so it’s worth asking.
- If you’ve had to move your team to remote work, Microsoft Teams is now free for use. If you have Office365, you already have access to Teams. But if you don’t, now’s your chance to try it. There’s a chat feature, video calling, 10 GB of storage for the entire team, 2 GB storage in a personal file plus various Office apps.
- Need to get signatures on contracts? PandaDoc launched a free eSign plan. It expedites collecting eSignatures. It’s a secure and fast way to keep business moving forward.
- Expect a refund from Square. How awesome! The company is refunding March subscription fees for people using some of these specific products.
- If you have a business credit card, you may be able to have fees and interest waived due to COVID-19. Dial up the number on the back of the card and speak to a rep. Every little bit will add up.
- Comcast is providing Xfinity WiFi for FREE across the U.S. Find a hotspot and log in.
- AT&T is doing some great things too like not charging for going over data use and giving away two free months to new customers.
These are only some of the great things we see happening for Petpreneurs. We recommend looking specifically into the subscriptions and services you use to run your company to see if they are offering any COVID-19 relief. Finding ways to minimize your personal expenses too will help ease any pressure you might be feeling right about now!
For our U.S. Petpreneurs
Have questions about what’s what with your taxes? Check out this breakdown of Coronavirus tax breaks by individual state or visit Quickbook’s guide on What You Need to Know about Your Taxes and COVID-19,.
The Treasury Department and the IRS announced on April 8 that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically. Want to find out how much you can expect to receive? Visit turbotax’s 2020 Economic Impact Paymnet Calculator.
The Small Business Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with up to 8 weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. Plus, these funds can be used to pay mortgages, rent and utilities. Here are the borrower and lender applications.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a Coronavirus Response Toolkit that is full of hashtags, social media graphics, and key messages to help your business understand how to navigate this pandemic.
ASPCA has committed $5 million in their COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Initiative. It includes $2 million in grants to the animal welfare organizations in critical need of funds.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has an Economic Injury Disaster Loan program offered in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Here’s their PDF about it from March 14. They work with individual states to loan up to $2 million to offset revenue loss for Petpreneurs and other small business owners. There are also a lot of great strategies over there too. Definitely worth checking out. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to apply on the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan website.
The IRS has issued tax relief services due to coronavirus. Mainly it’s deferring tax payments out to the summertime, which can be a huge help! Frequent their page though as things can change any minute. Many states are also deferring tax payments for businesses. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is updating this amazing chart frequently so keep your eye on it.
If you have a physical space that remains open, OSHA’s Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 is a great resource. This can be super helpful for kennel owners, shelters, pet lodges or hotels, veterinary practices, pet supply stores and anyone else who needs to practice social distancing yet still interact with staff and the public. Their COVID-19 webpage can be super helpful as well.
Are you currently under a government-issued quarantine? Want to ask your employees to telework? The U.S. Department of Labor’s FAQs on the Fair Labor Standards Act can answer most, if not all, of your questions.
The U.S. Department of Labor also expanded unemployment benefits during the outbreak. Of course, each state will be different in how they issue the benefits. Careeronestop.org created an awesome search tool or you can click on your state below for info:
District of Columbia
For our UK Petpreneurs
Need some accounting help? Coconut has launched its free-to-use tool to help you calculate your self-assessment tax returns.
The government is supporting businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax paymens for 3 months. Also, if you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 will be deferred to January 2021.
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme launched this week to support small businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. Your business is eligible if it’s UK based, with a turnover of less than £45 million per year, and follows the British Bank eligibility criteria. Find full details here.
Are you a business customer of the Development Bank of Wales? If so, they are currently offering a 3 month capital loan repayment holiday.
A few days ago, the Chancellor announced numerous steps the UK is taking to support petpreneurs and small business owners around the country during the pandemic. The HM Treasury released a fact sheet outlining how people impacted by COVID-19 can apply for government financial assistance and support. Guaranteed loans that are government-backed to the sum of £330 billion are up for grabs. There are other measures in place too including money set aside in Budget 2020 and the COVID-19 Response Fund.
The size of your business will impact the type of assistance you are eligible for. Check out the guide for employees, employers and businesses issued from www.gov.uk. Your unique business structure and the specific impact COVID-19 has had will play a role.
On March 19, the Chancellor extended the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, increasing the £1.2 million loan cap to £5 million. Here you can find a view more details of these temporary measures being taken to support petpreneurs and other business owners as they navigate coronavirus.
For our Canada Petpreneurs
This one is huge for small business or self-employed workers. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is providing $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to those who have lost their income due to COVID-19. Get the details and apply here.
Are you a small business owner with employees? The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is providing a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks. Find the details at canada.ca.
The Prime Minister recently annouced a new set of economic measures to help stablilize Canadian businesses. The Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian businesses.
The Bank of Canada cut the interest rate to 0.75% and The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced an additional $300 billion in lending capacity by major banks.
The Canadian Government is offering a Work-Sharing program to support employers with a recent decline in business activity of at least 10% – that has directly or indirectly been impacted by COVID-19. Work-Sharing is an Employment Insurance program that helps businesses avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business beyond the control of the employer. Get program eligibility details here.
To support small businesses facing revenue loss, the government is proposing to provide a temporary wage subsidy for a three month period. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to $25,000 per employer. The Canada Revenue Agency’s FAQs page can answer majority of your questions.
The Business Credit Availability Program will allow the BDC and EDC to provide more than $10 billion of additional support to small and medium-sized businesses. This can be an effective tool for helping your business remain resilient during this pandemic.
The Canada Revenue Agency is also defering tax payments until August 31, 2020, to help your business with cash flow.
There’s a lot changing every hour, and it is a little too easy to panic right now. BUT there’s a lot of support out there and we will make it through. Have you heard of something we should add to the list? Let us know! In the meantime, it might be just the perfect time to reflect, to plan and to keep the conversation going with your customers and clients on social media.