Resources to help: COVID 19 and your small business

Is COVID-19 threatening your small business? The mentors of SCORE stand ready to help you and your business successfully wind your way through the pandemic. SCORE partners with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and provides a multitude of free resources. They offer free mentoring on a variety of issues including the pandemic as well as discussions on the disease’s issues and recovery in their Real-time Networking rooms. Register online for answers you may be looking for on the pandemic and how you can alleviate the damages that may be affecting your small business.

SCORE Resilience Hub set to answer your questions

SCORE’s Small Business Resilience Hub is set up specifically for successfully making it through the pandemic with their Resilience Resource Portal. The Portal offers links to more than 20 resources. Here are just a few:

  • SBA’s Lender Match Tool provides lists of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) – banks and credit unions, for example – that offer loans and other services to individuals and businesses in financially stressed communities.
  • Simple Dollar COVID-19 Resources is a blog that provides advice on all things financial.
  • Small Business Majority Resources posts daily tips, resources, and other information to help small businesses on the pandemic.

SCORE's virtual trade show

SCORE’s Real Time Mentoring page (requires free registration) is like a virtual trade show. Register online to find access to resources through their Mentoring Hall, Partner Resources, or Peer Networking links.

Their Partner Resources page connects you with various organizations ready to lend you a hand. For example. There’s Nav, a company with the mission of helping small business owners get access to funding. Their service is free. They aim to help business owners with credit and financing. Nav’s COVID-19 resource page lists tools, forgiveness steps for the government’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), and articles written to help you successfully keep your business running during and after the pandemic. Nav’s Small Business Grant  selects a business facing trials to receive $10,000. The grant is provided quarterly. Businesses must apply for the October grant by September 1.

Constant Contact's free blog on the pandemic

Connect with SCORE’s partner Constant Contact – a company established to provide the business community with online marketing support. Check out their free blog for a library of posts written to get you through the crisis. Type COVID in the blog’s search box for a list of more than 45 items.

You can also find an abundance of assistance in Constant Contact's Small Business Support Kit. There’s access to action plans with ways to protect your business. These plans are grouped by industry: community services, retail, restaurants, real estate, home and building, pet care services, and consulting and training, to name a few. You do pay for their service but there is a free trial period available. Constant Contact provides members with chat lines, video tutorials, user community interaction, and a knowledge base.

Fiscal Tiger's Guide to Business Continuity Planning

The private firm Fiscal Tiger has a great resource: “A Guide to Business Continuity Planning.” Continuity planning is meant to provide a course of action that can be taken to help keep a business afloat should an emergency or disaster strike. Different from but similar to a continuity plan is a disaster recovery plan, which is put into effect to cut back on any downtime that may be required after the event strikes. Visit the Fiscal Tiger website for more information. https://www.fiscaltiger.com/business-continuity-management/

The SBA itself provides free help, too

The federal government’s SBA also lists several sources of help. Go to their home page and you’ll immediately see the picture we all know all too well: the grey sphere dotted with red triangles and orange globs. It’s an image I abhor. I chose not to use it on this post because we’ve all seen it too many times. I feel threatened just looking at the image itself. Click on SBA’s big “Learn More” button and find details on funding options, business guidance, local assistance, and products and resources.

Resources abound – and you're at the top

You can no doubt find many more resources than those I’ve mentioned here. If you click on any of the links I’ve provided, you’ll see yet more links to other articles or websites loaded with information on how to run your business while in the midst of the pandemic.

You made the choice to go into business for yourself. That took a lot of spunk and shrewdness. Let that perspicacity, and the organizations that stand ready to lend a hand, assist you through these very trying times.

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