Author Archives: C. DAY

COVID Startup Survival Guide & Resources.

The realities of COVID-19 present new challenges for almost every business on the planet – some lucky companies are challenged only to scale-up their solutions to meet newly increased demand – but most startups today are facing challenges that will require them to make substantial changes to their businesses.

Times of rapid change and market disruption are often when epic startup journeys begin, and when a new cohort of great entrepreneurs are forged. The world now faces a torrent of new problems, and so it is time for entrepreneurs to build the future.

To help founders navigate the flood of new resources available, the Founder Institute has created new guides categorizing lists for topic-specific guidance on startup Funding; Grants and Emergency Financing; Talent Availability; Business Development; Team Management; and General Resources. Each resource list consists of different startup articles, websites or tools – but all of them provide topic-specific guidance or resources that have been published post-COVID-19, and that address challenges most common among entrepreneurs right now. CLICKING BELOW OPENS THE LINKS:

How to think about Startup Funding Post-COVID-19

COVID Startup Grants, Loans, and Emergency Financing Programs

Startup Business Development Guides for the COVID-19 World

Startup Management: Resources & Guides for a COVID-19 World

COVID-19 Small Business News, 2nd Relief Etal.

Congress approves measure to replenish halted coronavirus small-business loan program

The Senate approved a measure Tuesday that would revive a program geared to keep small businesses from shuttering and their employees from going on unemployment because of the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The nearly half-trillion-dollar  measure, which was approved through voice vote, would provide more funds to the Paycheck Protection Program, which was halted last week after it ran out of money.

The $484 billion bill would inject the program, which provides loans to small businesses, with more than $320 billion. Of that, $60 billion would be set aside for community-based lenders, smaller banks and credit unions to assist smaller businesses that don’t have established relationships with big banks and had a harder time accessing the funds in the first round of loans. About $10 billion of that  would also be allocated for administration fees. The measure would also bolster the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan and grant programs, which dried up during the coronavirus crisis.

‘Life may change for us all’: How we respond to the coronavirus crisis will be defining, historians say.

Is this like the 2008 financial crisis, 9/11, World War II? Or perhaps, as some economists predict and news that 3.3 million people applied for unemployment last week suggests, will this be remembered as a period of deep loss and poverty, something like the grim 1930s when unemployment hit 25%?

“This will be very economically disruptive, and an analogy to the Great Depression is the closest to what we may face,” says Stanford University economics professor Matthew Jackson. “These huge events can have profound changes on the views and beliefs people have.”

That we are in for difficult months and perhaps years ahead seems commonly accepted, as virus deaths mount, hospitals are overwhelmed and a decimated service-based economy spurs a $2.2 trillion wartime-scale bailout package in Washington, D.C.

But if there is cause for optimism in these bleak times, historians, economists and writers say, it is born out of the fact that we as a nation can choose to seize this moment to create an even greater society better poised to protect its citizens from future crises.

There are precedents for bold responses to watershed American events. The Depression gave rise to the Social Security Act, which promised citizens financial safety in their later years. World War II drew women into the workforce and minorities into the military, leading to the equal and civil rights movements. And the 2008 financial meltdown gave rise to banking regulations and renewed scrutiny of illicit financial tools.

A report from Deloitte and Salesforce released this month presents four scenarios for the “New Normal” the next three to five years

 The end result: An intentionally fuzzy picture of several possible futures, varying based on how several unknowns — such as the duration of the pandemic — unfold. Those possible futures highlight trends that may soon define our times.

On one end of the spectrum: A short-lived pandemic that will batter small and medium-sized businesses. It leaves consumers — grateful to once again gather with friends, loved ones and coworkers in person — reevaluating some of their pre-pandemic habits. On the other end: A prolonged, nearly impossible to contain virus that leaves the world isolated, distrustful and suffering.

What might life be like in this future? Corporations would play an even bigger role in our lives than they currently do — and Blau suspects we would come to embrace that, since those companies helped us through the crisis. The report says this future could lead to an era of greater corporate responsibility and trust.

It’s an expansion of a trend seen to some extent in the today — public-private partnerships where big corporations step in when governments can’t handle the crisis alone. There’s threads of this in the daily news of today: Tech companies fixing broken ventilators for the governmentApple and Google developing apps to help fight the pandemic.

Lone wolves. This is the future “no one wants to happen,” Blau said. This scenario could happen if the virus proves impossible to contain and spreads in long-lasting waves around the globe.

“Mounting deaths, social unrest, and economic freefall become prominent,” the report says.  Nations turn inward and limit contact with the outside world in the interest of national security. It’s a future where even allies feel like they cannot trust each other.

The good news: The future isn’t written yet, and we have a say in how it plays out. Report authors listed how citizens of nations responded to the crisis as one of their top unknowns. Nations that work together and “think big and act fast” will fare better, they predicted.

While our local entrepreneurs and small businesses are struggling, we hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We have a greater opportunity than ever before to get policymakers to listen to what entrepreneurs need to start and grow their businesses. Doing so will not only stabilize the economy in the short term, but it could also help bring down unemployment rates in the long term, granting greater access to entrepreneurship than we’ve ever seen.

So that malaria drug Trump has repeatedly touted as a treatment for the coronavirus? The one made by a pharmaceutical company in which several Trump allies, and Trump himself, reportedly have a financial stake? A panel of medical experts convened by the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommended against its use by Covid-19 patients as part of a drug combination. Also, the Food and Drug Administration advised there’s yet another reason to quit smoking: It makes you more vulnerable to Covid-19, both getting it and dying from it.

Reopening Plans for COVID-19 Quarantine + Miscellany

Tracking Reopening Procedures Across Nation

Various social distancing orders across the USA helped slow the spread of the coronavirus, but states are feeling increasing pressure from protesters and at times the White House to relax restrictions. Some are outlining their plans to do so.

President Donald Trump, who announced guidelines Thursday for states to start opening their economies, cited a handful of states taking steps toward a “safe, gradual and phased opening,” including Texas, Vermont and Ohio. He is pushing to relax the U.S. lockdown by May 1, a plan that hinges partly on more coronavirus testing.

Several states announced plans to coordinate their response with neighbors: California is moving forward in coordination with Washington and Oregon; governors from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island announced plans to form a joint task force.

Before beginning the three-phase process, Trump recommends that the states must meet the following criteria:

  • A downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-19 syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period.
  • A downward trajectory of documented cases or positive tests as a percent of total tests, within a 14-day period.
  • Hospitals are treating patients without crisis care and have a robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing.

Some restrictions have already been lifted. On Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave some municipalities the green light to reopen beaches with restricted hours for walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing. In Jacksonville, people enthusiastically flocked to beaches when they reopened, drawing criticism on social media. On Saturday, DeSantis said schools would remain closed through the end of the academic year.


Vulnerable individuals should continue to stay at home and members of their households should be aware that returning to work where distancing isn’t practical risks passing on the coronavirus to the vulnerable person.

The guidelines define vulnerable people as “elderly individuals, individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy.”

Employers should continue to encourage their employees to work remotely, when possible, and return to work in phases. Additionally, employers should close common areas, minimize non-essential travel, and consider special accommodations for vulnerable employees.

During phase one, schools, daycare centers, and camps should remain closed, and visits to senior living homes and hospitals should be prohibited. Large venues, like dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues can reopen under strict physical distancing protocols.

Gyms can reopen if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols, but bars should remain closed.

Additionally, elective surgeries can resume on an outpatient basis at facilities that adhere to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines.


During phase two, vulnerable individuals should continue to stay at home. Individuals should continue to social distance, but social settings of more than 50 should be avoided. Non-essential travel can resume.

Employers should continue to encourage their employees to work remotely, should keep common areas closed, and should continue to consider special accommodations for the vulnerable population.

In phase two, schools, daycare centers, and camps can reopen, and bars can open with reduced standing-room occupancy.


Vulnerable individuals no longer have to stay at home but should practice social distancing and minimize their exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical. Low-risk populations should minimize their time spent in crowded environments.

Employers can allow their workers to return to work in phase three.

Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals can resume, but those who interact with residents and patients must maintain high standards of hygiene. Large venues, like movie theaters and sports venues, can operate under limited physical distancing protocols. Bars can operate with increased standing room occupancy.


Scientists say US long way from CDC conditions for reopening country

Federal health officials warned leaders on the White House’s coronavirus task force this week that reopening the nation will require a massive capacity to test, track and treat people for the ongoing threat of the new coronavirus.

Recommendations under development by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, copies of which were obtained by USA TODAY, largely follow a playbook that public health experts have been advocating for weeks. In conversations with a dozen scientists, USA TODAY found that states are falling short of the measures laid out by the CDC, high among them access to testing.

“I don’t see a path to reopening unless the testing issue is fixed,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “We have been complaining about testing for at least a month and nothing happened.”  Michigan and Illinois are among states reporting the most confirmed coronavirus cases.

Penn State Launches COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Study

Convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients — an experimental approach of giving a transfusion of plasma collected from a donor who has recovered from COVID-19 to a patient with an active infection — is the focus of a new two-part research initiative at Penn Medicine. Researchers will first collect plasma from people who have recovered from their infection under a donor research protocol. The second part involves conducting clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of giving that plasma to moderately and severely ill hospitalized patients.

“People who have recovered from COVID-19 rapidly develop antibody responses. Early reports suggest that these plasma antibodies can boost the immune response in severely-ill patients,” said Katharine Bar, MD, an assistant professor of Infectious Diseases in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. “By developing and implementing these research protocols in tandem, we will be able to use scientific and evidence-based methods to learn if, and how, convalescent plasma therapy helps patients. We’re working to start our clinical trial as soon as we possibly can, because we urgently need to determine if this approach works and if it is safe.”

Drinking Alcohol May Heighten Risk of Getting Coronavirus (WHO)

Alcohol sales have risen drastically nationwide during the nation’s stay-at-home experience, but booze may put individuals at increased risk for the coronavirus, the World Health Organization warns. Alcohol can weaken the body’s immune system and put drinkers at risk for other behaviors that could increase the likelihood of contracting the coronavirus. Upside: Alcohol does work as a disinfectant on surfaces.  “Alcohol compromises the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes,” the WHO’s regional office for Europe reported.

Additional $300 Billion Relief Very Close

The White House and Congress were “very close” to a deal on Sunday for a $300 billion relief package for small businesses, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. The money would replenish a loan program for small businesses, which already depleted an initial $350 billion in less than two weeks.

Too Soon?

Too much, too soon. Most Americans are worried about lifting stay-at-home orders too quickly, a WSJ/NBC News poll showed. Almost six in 10 people were concerned about moving too fast to loosen restrictions. About 3 in 10 said waiting too long was the greater worry. Additionally, 49% said they’d support Joe Biden head-to-head with Trump.

Expert Opinions Reported in N Y Times

  • The lockdowns will end haltingly. Putting safety first could mean reopening only after coronavirus cases declined for 14 days, 90 percent of contacts of infected people could be traced, infections of health care workers were eradicated, recuperation sites existed for mild cases — and many other hard-to-reach goals.
  • It is not clear whether recovery from the virus and antibodies confer immunity. If they do, or are believed to, America could be split into two classes: those protected (or thought to be) and those still vulnerable.
  • The virus can be kept in check, but only with expanded resources like widespread testing. And treatments are likely to arrive before a vaccine.



The coronavirus crisis: A catalyst for entrepreneurship

Throughout human history, crises have been pivotal in developing our societies. Pandemics have helped advance health-care systems, wars have fuelled technological innovations and the global financial crisis he … like Uber and Airbnb. The present coronavirus pandemic will arguably not be an exception; entrepreneurs can be expected to rise to the challenge.

Businesses play a key role both in helping society get through an economic crisis and in creating innovations that shape society after a crisis. So one key question is: how will the ongoing crisis influence future society?

While it’s hard to predict the future, we can develop an understanding of what is ahead by analyzing current trends.

Businesses show citizenship, resourcefulness

The global pandemic and associated policies restricting people’s movements have caused major disruptions to many businesses. We’ve already observed major shifts in . Working from home is the new norm, while many personal meetings and conferences have been replaced by video meetings and other virtu … rms of communication.

Some businesses —especially restaurants, tourism operatorsand movie theatres —have come to a complete stop. Others, like manufacturers of consumer goods, have seen a sharp drop in demand as consumers are either unable to visit shops or lack the spare cash for nonessential purchases.

The short-term impact is likely di … the long-term impact. Consumers may simply postpone the purchase of a new car or washing machine —but they may not want to buy the same types of services in the future.

Many firms have initially responded to the crisis not only by cutting costs but by engaging in new entrepreneurial activities. Around the world, we see examples of resourceful responses to the crisis: Distilleries in the United States, Canada and Australiastarted to produce hand sanitizers.

Courtesy of by Klaus Meyer, Carsten Lund Pedersen and Thomas Ritter,

The Future of Work & Guidelines for a Restart.


How America’s Stunning Lack of a Coronavirus Response is Producing Economic Disaster Unseen in Modern History


Another 5 million or so people filed for unemployment last week. That’s 22 million in one month. How much is that, in real terms? The US labour force is 165 million people or so. That’s 13.3% of the labour force unemployed in one month. That’s more than a rate of about 3% a week, as I predicted at the beginning of all this. At that rate, by the end of next month, more than a quarter of the US economy will be unemployed.

We are watching an economy die. There’s simply no other way to put it.As I and most other good economists cautioned, Coronavirus is a shock like we’ve never seen before — ever. Not even a war produces a massive shockwave like this, which is one reason war metaphors are inadequate. But it’s a shock like we’ll again and again in the near future, as climate change and mass extinction and ecological collapse bite — so this is a chance to get our house in order, to make preparations for an age of such shocks.

The first thing you need to understand about watching the economy die like America’s is is that it’s needless: it never needed to happen. The second thing you need to understand about this particular event — a gigantic shockwave of unemployment — is that it’s like the plume of a volcano, or the crest of a tsunami: just a front, which carries a massive wave of destruction right behind it. That damage is yet to come, but it is now on the way, inevitable. So: this massive shock front of unemployment is just the beginning. The nightmarish consequences it will have — depression and what that produces, which I’ll get into shortly — never needed to happen at all, and yet those effects, now that the shockfront is exploding before our very eyes, are going to last, and have dramatic, ruinous consequences of their own. A cascade, a chain reaction of ruin has now been set off.

How and why?

As I pointed out a few weeks ago, the stimulus was woefully inadequate. It provided businesses and households the equivalent of just one week of support…amidst an historic crisis that was going to last months. If the ante wasn’t upped, and fast, the results were going to be catastrophic. Well, here are the results — and they are catastrophic. Of course there’s a massive wave of unemployment, when the government’s only supporting the economy for one week…but it’s already been several.

What’s happening is simple, on one level: businesses are closing their doors, as people stay home. But on a deeper level, as Keynes, the great economist of depressions explained a century ago now, what’s happening is this: a massive loss of confidence. Anticipating no real support, businesses are laying people off. Anticipating no real help, people are cutting back dramatically. The result is the shock front of unemployment mounting at the surreal rate of 3% a week — or about six million people. If that keeps growing — as it’s likely to — what’s going to happen?

Unemployment in America isn’t like other countries. Because of America’s ruinous, obsolete social contract, most forms of social insurance and benefits are tied to “jobs.” As people lose whatever jobs they had, the effects are therefore going to be catastrophic. They’re not just going to lose their incomes. They’re going to lose their healthcare, retirement, childcare, and so forth.

Guidelines for Restart

President Donald Trump issued guidelines to states Thursday aimed at easing social distancing restrictions and reopening parts of the country as it grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House strategy, provided to all 50 governors during a phone call, outlines a three-phase approach to gradually bring back parts of public life such as schools, restaurants and theaters in certain areas based on evidence the virus is waning.

“We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time,” Trump said at the coronavirus task force press briefing Thursday.

Each phase requires a 14-day period of “downward trajectory” of COVID-19 cases in order to move on to the next phase. Qualifying for each phase will be judged on certain criteria for widespread testing for patients and health care workers, contact tracing and hospital capacity. Vice President Mike Pence said the guidelines to lifting restrictions could be implemented statewide or by county.

The first phase of the “Opening Up America Again” plan requires states or regions meet the criteria and continue practicing social distancing guidelines currently in place. The phase suggests:

  • Requiring vulnerable individuals to continue sheltering in place.
  • Practicing physical distancing in public, avoiding socializing in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Minimizing nonessential travel, continuing to encourage telework.
  • Shuttered schools should remained closed.
  • Prohibiting nursing home and hospital visits.
  • Elective surgeries can resume, on an outpatient basis.
  • Bars should remain closed, but gyms can open under physical distancing and sanitation protocols.

The second phase, under which states or regions with no evidence of resurgence that meet certain criteria a second time, can begin easing some of the social restrictions.

  • Schools can reopen.
  • Nonessential travel can resume.
  • Bars could operate with “diminished standing-room occupancy.”
  • Vulnerable people would still be encouraged to stay home.
  • All people should maximize physical distancing in public.
  • Continue to encourage telework.
  • Gyms and bars can remain open.
  • Visits to nursing homes and hospitals are still prohibited.
  • Movie theaters, sporting venues and churches can operate under moderate physical distancing.
  • Elective surgeries can resume on an outpatient and in-patient basis.

The third phase, in which states and regions with no evidence of a resurgence and meet the criteria a third time, lifts most restrictions. Vulnerable people may return to social settings while practicing physical distancing and visits to nursing homes and hospitals can resume.  Trump emphasized the strategy is a “gradual process,” with some states opening sooner than others. The guidelines, he added, focus on “sheltering the highest risk individuals.”

COVID-19 Miscellany

7 Predictions for a Post-Coronavirus World

Remote work, automation, and telemedicine could soon become the new normal  –

Medical Experts:  Cautious. Hopeful. Realistic.

Those are words that medical experts are frequently using to describe results of a recent test of the drug remdesivir for patients hospitalized with severe infections of COVID-19.

More than half of the patients were so ill that they were on mechanical ventilators, while another 8 percent were on a treatment that uses a pump to oxygenate blood outside the body.than half of the patients were so ill that they were on mechanical ventilators, while another 8 percent were on a treatment that uses a pump to oxygenate blood outside the body.

After receiving remdesivir once a day for up to 10 days, two-thirds of patients improved their support status, and nearly half were discharged from the hospital, researchers reported in an article published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Seven patients died from the disease after completion of remdesivir treatment, including six who had been receiving invasive ventilation.

How Business Should Act Now

We are entering new and uncharted territory for business. What will consumer behavior look like after we all re-emerge? How can companies manage through such a disastrous “inflection point”? What does this moment mean for corporate digital transformation?

Few have a more informed and nuanced understanding of such questions than Rita McGrath, Professor of Innovation at Columbia Business School. Her most recent book is Seeing Around Corners. Don’t we all want to do that right now? McGrath recently joined the inaugural digital roundtable from Techonomy’s CDX forum for corporate digital leaders.

The conversation started with some historical context for the crisis, and a hint at what awaits us on the other side of COVID-19. McGrath says it will be “the end of the Second Gilded Age.” The term was coined way back in 1873 by Mark Twain and co-author Charles Dudley Warner in their novel “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.” At the time the U.S. was experiencing a period of unprecedented economic growth. and unprecedented inequality. The book expressed disdain for the impact of great wealth aligned with great power.  Amazon’s description says the book “satirizes greed and political corruption in post-Civil War America.”

Today McGrath sees similar issues, with a growing gap in wealth as citizens are increasingly dissatisfied with the status quo and workers are growing restive. Instacart and Amazon workers have gone on strike during the COVID-19 crisis, for example.  And government is starting to push back against corporate excesses, as we saw in the recently-passed California law extending employee classification to “gig workers”. McGrath says the end of today’s Gilded Age will set the stage for a new consumer economy and force a re-alignment of corporate strategy towards more social responsibility. Ultimately she foresees a new wave of innovation, founded on a healthier relationship between companies and their stakeholders. “People are waking up,” said McGrath, “to the fact the modern-day worker has no voice and that there is something fundamentally unfair about the fact that the billionaires are hiding in the Hamptons and the Amazon worker and the nurse are on the front lines risking their lives.”

Frugal Innovation

When Frugal Innovation Meets Reverse Engineering

We are beginning with a simple yet intrinsically complex question: how can we innovate with limited resources in a way that will create products and services that are accessible to all? In taking a step back, we might see the solution more easily; that being, we must do better with less. In introducing the concept of frugal innovation, we can begin to think about how SMEs can escape the volatility of crisis and change, and eventually start finding solutions that uplift the values of ingenuity, empathy, and resilience.

The inspiration for this concept came from the personal experience of Mr. Navi Radjou in his book Frugal Innovation that he shared with me in a very enlightening webinar (link below), and how he experienced and learned about scarcity. Confrontation with limitations, such as that of water, led to an understanding of the real importance and preciousness of resources. In a mission to use less of these scarcities, we can become suddenly and creatively emancipated. When we remember that having less does not equal being less, we can transition from a world of limits to one of the innovative opportunities.

Exemplifying the boundless ends of frugal innovation, we can look to China, who, ten years ago, shifted to telemedicine, initially to care for its citizens who had limited access to medical care. In doing this, China’s medical professionals were able to adapt to the needs of their consumers, or patients, including a population of nearly 500 million senior citizens. In shifting to a business model that meets customers where they are, remote doctors were able to consult patients in villages and create treatment plans for their patients’ chronic diseases, with which community workers could assist, thus building local and global solidarity. Demonstrating the power of a collective, communal level for frugal innovation, China was able to capitalize on this preset system, in the wake of diagnosing and treating patients infected with COVID-19. This keen example demonstrates how those who work to promote the inclusion and participation of their entire community can stand stronger and adapt more smoothly during times of crisis.

Frugal innovation is not just a method, nor a set of principles, but more so a metaparadigm, which is an entirely new way of thinking about innovation and value creation. Returning to our main point of doing better with less, we are directed to two essential truths: it is necessary to focus on creating more value, in addition to minimizing scarce resources and maximizing the intangible ones. Our question, then, develops to how can we optimize the delivery of value, while using all the available tangible and intangible resources.

There stand six key principles of frugal innovation. Those being to engage and iterate, to flex your existing resources, to co-create regenerative solutions, to shape customer behavior, to co-create value with ‘prosumers,’ and to hyper-collaborate with atypical partners. In looking more closely at three of these principles, we can more definitively comprehend the importance of value-based businesses in the realm of SMEs.

When flexing existing resources, we are challenged to step outside of the scarcity mindset in which we so often find ourselves during moments of crisis. Instead, by celebrating and valorizing what we already have, we can leverage our existing resources immediately to then convert that into what our business might need. By using what we already have, we ask ‘why not’ instead of just ‘why.’ Co-creating regenerative solutions is another essential part of frugal innovation. With the current climate crisis becoming ever more pressing, we need to decide if it is sustainability or regeneration that is more important to us. Sustaining our current business models, supply chains, and political systems will only lead us to the same place of deficit in which we currently sit. However, in regenerating, we can imagine a shift from a linear to a circular economy, one which includes a continuation of interactions between usage, the end-use, materials, and production distribution. This allows us to act on our social, ecological, and economic priorities all at once, instead of choosing only one value to the target. Lastly, hyper-collaborate with atypical partners encourages us to think outside our predetermined box to find new and more significant solutions. By substituting a scarcity of resources for resource sharing, we can exemplify the radical nature of frugal innovation. If this B2B (Business to Business) sharing economies and marketplaces could spread all over the world, we would be able to increase transparency, resource utilization, all while focusing on multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This also holds the potential to create partnerships that allow the expertise of SMEs to work with the backing of big companies to respond to the world’s most pressing issues.                  Courtesy Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy, Ex. Director of ICSB



New Solutions and About a Re-Start from the Coronavirus Quarantine.

The economic shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges for small businesses. “I think if you talk to any small business owner, we all have the same pain point, and that’s cash flow, full stop,” said Erin Andrews, owner of Indi Chocolate, a Seattle-based chocolate factory. Andrews spoke during a recent episode of our Exchanges at Goldman Sachs podcast, in which we talked with graduates of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program. “Everybody is pretty shaken up,” said Matt Jozwiak of Rethink Food, a New York City-based nonprofit. “The people who drive the trucks, the people who cook the food, our partners, and also my family and my fiancée.” But on a more positive note, Jozwiak said he’s encouraged by the increased sense of community, a thought echoed by Andrews. “We’ve had so many people come out to help, including our customers who have bought online,” Andrews said. “That really helps us keep our doors open, and I’m extremely thankful for that.” Also in this episode, Margaret Anadu, head of Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group, explained the firm’s recent announcement to commit $500 million in capital for emergency loans to small businesses, which raised the firm’s total commitment to COVID-19 relief efforts to $550 million.

In a recent episode of Talks at GS, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon spoke with Jovita Carranza, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration about the federal government’s most recent relief efforts for small businesses (listen here). Carranza pointed to federal relief offered through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan program to help small businesses keep workers on their payrolls. “We say ‘small’ business, but you are such a vitality in this economy, you represent half of the GDP,” she said to small business owners who dialed into the call. “That’s why we are so dedicated and focused on making this PPP a success.”  Podcast: 


Coronavirus Help for Small Business Update No. 2

SCORE, Senior Corps of Retired Executives, Small Business Resource Hub

PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) Q & A

Q: As a one person LLC, I don’t do payroll, and am hoping you can go over how to apply. It looks like I’m supposed to wait until April 10th to apply? True? Also since I’m the only employee and I do have some subcontractors do I and they count towards loan forgiveness if I’m able to rehire them or not let them go?

A: You do not have to wait until April 10 to apply as a one person LLC. Reach out to your SBA Approved Lender, many are accepting applications before April 10. The bank cannot submit the applications for self-employed businesses to the SBA until April 10.

You cannot file for subcontractors. Subcontractors will file for themselves, as they are essentially their own separate business. The only differences in your application from what we’ve talked about in the webinar are:

  • you are filing as a sole proprietor (you are a sole member LLC and a real LLC but you do taxes on IRS 1040 -Schedule C) your Legal name/DBA is … LLC but you’re filing as a sole proprietor
  • instead of providing IRS Form 941 to substantiate compensation, you’d either submit your 2019 -1040 Schedule C for net earnings (which is your compensation as a self-employed payroll)

Q; I am a sole proprietor/owner and do not have payroll, but all regular business expenses. What types of assistance, loan or grants can I apply for?

A: You are eligible for both the EIDL and the PPP from the SBA, which is the scope of this webinar series. We suggest doing your own research to uncover other opportunities for your particular business. What you may not be aware of is that for the purposes of these relief loans, self-employed owners can count themselves as 1 employee and their owner’s draws (or all of their net earnings) is your annual payroll for the “payroll cost” computation.  PPP applications for self-employed starts April 10 but banks are taking applications now to be able to submit to SBA at 12:01AM Friday.

Q: Curious if you can collect unemployment while waiting for the Paycheck Protection Program loan to come through or if we should continue to wait it out? Thank you!

A: It is unclear from this question whether you are asking from the perspective of an employee or an employer. The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to allow employers to bring back employees off of unemployment, and keep them working for 8 weeks. Think of it as extending unemployment benefits for an additional 8 weeks. Yes, you and your employees can collect Unemployment but if you get approval for the PPP, you must suspend your Unemployment (and for your employees that you ‘rehire’ for eight weeks) and when PPP money is spent or the eight weeks is over, resume Unemployment.  Hence the concept that PPP can extend your unemployment benefit weeks by eight weeks.  What you cannot do is simultaneously take unemployment and also pay yourself for the eight weeks (no double-dipping).

Q: I’m a single member LLC with employees, but I pay myself as self-employed when funds permit. When I turn in the payroll amount, how do I include and calculate my portion of that?

A: Include the owner draw amounts that you paid yourself, along with all other allowable payroll expenditures. We suggest downloading the slide deck at this same site, slide number 10 details allowable and unallowable expenditures to be included in the average monthly payroll calculation. What’s also acceptable is provide documentation of your annual net earnings, divide by 12 to get the compensation portion of the “payroll costs”.

Q: If we had 10 employees on our payroll (on avg) in 2019, and I laid 8 off last month, the way I understand it is that by June 30 I need to bring all employees back to have the loan completely forgiven. So, I get the PPP loan, take everyone off unemployment and start paying everyone on payroll again, what happens on Jul 1 if my business cannot keep going at full capacity? Can my employees go back on unemployment again?

A: Yes, they will be again eligible for unemployment, if, at the end of 8 weeks, you cannot retain them. They would “resume” their unemployment until they use up the balance of the state (26 week) and CARES Act relief (13 more weeks) that they have not previously use.  And to be clear, you need to bring them back for the PPP eight-week period so actually no later than May 5th to employ them eight weeks, ending no later than June 30.

Q: Question on the forgivable portion of the loan (employees to be brought back by 6/30): If I had 10 employees and I could only bring 6 of them back due to the nature of their position, but I overall paid the same AMOUNT of payroll – is it still forgivable? **30k paid to 6 ppl instead of 30k paid to 10 ppl. I can have office and marketing staff work, but not servers and bartenders due to the obvious.**

A: If you do not use at least 75% of the money on payroll, there may be forgiveness issues. There are also forgiveness issues if you cut pay. The scenario you describe above is likely NOT going to be forgivable, as it in effect gives raises to 6 people. Essentially, you are required to keep the same staff at the same rates as pre-Covid. And, in your loan application besides payroll costs, you indicate number of employees, so maintaining employee count (in terms of Full Time Equivalents) is also a forgiveness criteria.

Q: I am a single owner operator LLC in my second year of business. My first year I purchased all my equipment with any earnings. I paid myself zero and in fact am owed approximately $20k from my business in personal start-up loans currently. I had intended to start drawing a salary this year however in January & February I again decided to take all business earnings to order equipment. So zero payroll and negative yearly income means … I do not now qualify or can I in someway value my equipment?

A: It will be difficult to substantiate your personal payroll/draw as you describe above for the purposes of acquiring a PPP loan.  The EIDL may be more appropriate for your needs. Talk to your local bank about what they will accept as documentation on the PPP.

Q: As a Single member LLC would we start by selecting LLC or Sole Proprietor? I’ve seen this done both ways on different applications.

A: Depends how you file your taxes which as a single member LLC is probably as a disregarded entity, on personal returns, 1040 Schedule C.  If so, then you select Sole Proprietor and under the field for DBA you would put your LLC name.  If you’ve elected with the IRS to file as an S Corp and you fill out corporate federal taxes returns then you would indicate LLC.

Q: Once all forms are complete How should they be submitted? Do we upload the application and support documents to the bank’s or SBA website? Print and drive to the bank? Mail them in?

A: Check with your local SBA approved lending institution. Different banks use different forms/processes for application.  For instance, Central Pacific Bank does everything online and accepts e-signing, you only have to go in when they have the money for you… Bank of Hawaii and First Hawaiian Bank has you upload the application and forms and then have to go in, to sign before your application is complete.  This should all be explained on each banks’ respective websites. It is also a changing process as each bank gets caught up on their backlog.

Q: Thank you for hosting this webcast! I am hoping there will be information on execution, once a loan has been granted. I.E. does the loan apply to all of the EE’s wages, whether they were actually working or if there was “no work” and we paid them to keep on payroll? And how much do we pay them (especially those who had varied hours during a work week? Need definitive guidelines to how to carry out the logistical side.

A: It is irrelevant for the purposes of the PPP whether the employees actually worked or were just kept on payroll. You are expected to maintain the same number of employees at the same hourly rate as pre-COVID. You would essentially rehire your entire staff at the exact same rate for 8 weeks. Recall the goal of PPP is to keep people employed by paying them for eight weeks -there is not going to be any guidance in terms of what are they going to do for the company during those eight weeks that totally up to the company… PPP simply gives you money to pay payroll and benefits for eight weeks.

Q: My wife and I are established as an LLC-partnership. We applied for the SBA loan on March 30th. Do we need to reapply as the process seems to be changing constantly? Also, what about unemployment compensation. Of course, I realize that normally this wouldn’t be an option for us, but given the unprecedented nature of our developing crisis I am seeing where other states are offering 1099/sole proprietor types some kind of unemployment assistance. Thanks!

A: You must be referring to the EIDL here, not the PPP, as the PPP was not available until April 3. Did you go through the streamlined all web process with no form uploads and receive a confirmation of any sort on your EIDL application? If so, follow up with a call to SBA utilizing the confirmation number. Contact 1-800-659-2955 or (TTY) (800) 877-8339 and have your federal EIN available. If you have not been contacted or do not have a confirmation number, consider reapplying for the EIDL and advance at:

We are looking into unemployment compensation and will provide updates when guidance is clearer. As self-employed you most likely are eligible for Unemployment. There is a federal mandate that increases the benefit amount and increases the number of benefit weeks -most significant for you is that self-employed individuals now qualify for Unemployment. The ‘wrinkle’ is that it is a federal mandate but individual states must do the implementation and payments. Hawaii’s Dept of Labor and Industry Relations (DLIR) is struggling with just intaking the 200,000 new applications from traditional clients, they have yet come up with a way to intake/process the self-employed. So right now, there is no process yet to intake self-employed.

Q: If we’ve applied for EIDL and receive the advance, will that amount be deducted from PPP amount. Will the full amount still be forgivable if spent appropriately?

A: The guidance says, yes, EIDL advances will be deducted from PPP, however many are questioning that because 1) the implementation is such that so far, PPPs will be processed BEFORE the advances start wo how can you deduct something that has not been granted yet…  2) EIDL spending is very broad but PPP spending is restricted to payroll so it doesn’t make sense to lose payroll money because you received general working capital assistance.

Full amount still forgivable? Yes if spent appropriately with the caveat that Forgiveness is a separate process from loan application and the guidance details of forgiveness have not been published yet

Q: Will the 1% interest be forgivable, too?

A: Interest accrues only on unforgiven amounts.

Q: Are LLC and S Corp included in the self-employed category?

A: LLC and S-Corp are legal entities. It is possible for self-employed individuals to have LLC or S-Corp status. It is possible you are looking at an older version of the application, please check the SBA website for the most current PPP application.

Q: OK so if business is not in business, and employee is not working but collecting unemployment, this loan is to pay them from US rather than from the unemployment? Do employees then get taken care of by us and they don’t work, and we get the loan to help them. Who helps us?

A: The PPP is forgivable, meaning you don’t have to pay it back, as long as you are in compliance. Think of this as extending unemployment to your employees by 8 weeks.

You have a valid question…  PPP as the name implies is designed to keep people working and only by inference does your business benefit because if your workers don’t leave you don’t have to try to recruit them back and if/when the economy comes back you’ll recover faster because you have experienced workers… that’s a lot of assumptions.  PPP is not a direct relief for small businesses as the EIDL is, the goal is to keep employees working by Protecting their Paycheck (for eight weeks).

Q: To complete the employers IRS 941 form for my PPP application, can I use average owners draw from 2019 income tax returns – adjusted gross income divided by 12? also How do we figure out what portion of my estimated taxes went to SS, Medicare, etc. for this form?

A: Have you filed taxes from 2019? It appears so. Average owners draw from your 2019 tax return is acceptable in calculating self-employed pay, as would be net profit or a combination of the two.

For the application form, it is not necessary to break down taxes by category. We suggest downloading the slide deck, slide 10 details costs that can be included in the eligible monthly payroll expenses.

Note – IRS Form 941 is not a form that you fill out for a PPP application it is a verifying document that a company with a traditional payroll uses to verify purported past compensation because traditional federal payroll taxes are reported quarterly to the IRS on this Form/Return. Form 941 is a form you would already be submitting quarterly to the IRS reporting your payroll. Since you are reporting Owners Draw as your “payroll” you’d submit something that verifies the draw amount you’re calculating -probably submitting your IRS 1040 Schedule C to show net earnings as what you ultimately got “paid” last year.

Q: Because we are considered an essential business and are still in operation, but had a quick decrease in our business, we would like to be prepared to continue our operation and are wondering if our business currently does not have any layoff, has no payroll deductions, we’ve continued to pay our expenses including rent and utilities, but as of Apr 3 has seen a 30%+ decline in gross revenues — will my business still qualify for the PPP loan?

A: PPP eligibility has no reference to “essential” or not.  Its goal is purely to protect Paychecks so if you had some sort of payroll last year, you could apply for eight weeks of the monthly average of that payroll to continue to pay employees and/or yourself for eight weeks.  If you have no payroll to protect then PPP is not for you if you are counting on forgiveness.  Some businesses are submitting for what they can, plan on just paying bills and not worrying about forgiveness or ‘authorized expenditures’ -it’s a great loan at 1% with first payment not due until October and 2 years to pay back.

Q: I own an LLC with no payroll employees, my partner and I pay ourselves when funds are available. Can we include our rent/utilites for consideration of loan amount.

A: No. When applying, you will not include rent/utilities in your monthly payroll calculation. Only payroll.  PPP really has two stages.  Stage 1 is application for loan amount calculation and is purely last year’s avg monthly payroll costs and number of employees.  Once you get your money it’s a 1% loan for 2 years.  After eight weeks, you enter stage 2, applying for forgiveness so it’s not a loan (but like a grant). Only if you want to try to get forgiveness will you document that you spent the money appropriately on payroll and there’s a bit more that might go to rent and/or utilities and still be forgiven.

Q: If we can’t open our business by the end of the 8 week period, do we need to keep paying employees through June 30 in order for the loan to be forgiven?

A: No. You would pay employees for 8 weeks. Paycheck Protection means just that, money to pay payroll for a defined eight week period… goal: keep workers getting payroll money….nothing related to being open, utilizing workers, or even getting anything done.

Q: Can the adjusted gross income on individual tax returns be used to determine the average monthly income the owner earned?

A: Yes. Talk to your lending institution to see what exact documentation they will accept.

Q: Can a sole proprietorship with no employees apply for this loan.

A: Yes. But to be clear, it’s not the form of organization, it’s that self-employed can count themselves as 1 “employee” of a business and whatever you pay yourself is “payroll” for the PPP -quite a great expansion of the traditional meaning of those terms.

Q: What if I applied for the EIDL, but have not heard back yet. What would I put in under the average monthly payroll?

A: Do not include any EIDL amounts in the average monthly payroll calculation. We suggest downloading the PowerPoint presentation on this same website. Costs that are allowable and unallowable in the average monthly payroll calculation are detailed on slide 10.  EIDL and its advance come into play as you multiply the calculated avg monthly “payroll costs” by 2.5 times.  Pragmatically, no one has gotten the EIDL or the advance yet so it’s a moot point -no one has gotten an EIDL yet (lots of applications but you don’t count that because you haven’t been approved for anything yet).

Q: If you haven’t received the EIDL advance how can you accurately fill out that section?

A: If you have not received an EIDL advance then do not include it on the PPP application. If you receive an EIDL and a PPP, they will become connected in the future, guidance to follow.  As stated above, pragmatically, no one has gotten the EIDL or the advance yet so it’s a moot point to not worry about -no one has gotten an EIDL yet (lots of applications but you don’t count that because you haven’t been approved for anything yet).

Q: If we pay employees through a PEO (Employee Leasing) do I include them in number of employees? Because legally they are employees of the PEO.

A: Yes. Check with your PEO for documentation. There’s a lot of confusion about whose employee are they.  All the PEO’s have figured this out with the SBA so contact your PEO and they’ll supply you with the correct documentation for the payroll costs and employee count that you can then just add to your non-PEO employees, if any. Do not try to get numbers from the PEO invoices as there’s charges in there that don’t qualify.  All the PEO’s are on this.

Q:  I have a weekly independent contractor do I count his weekly payment as part of my expenses?

A: Independent contractors will file on their own, do not include them.

Q: So for sole proprietor, can I take owner draws and/or distributions (K-1) when I calculate eligible payroll.?

A: Yes

Q: I pay a consultant once a week as an independent contractor for several years. We had to stop operating March 16 due to the virus. Do I need to keep paying him? We have plans to start up again when it is safe.

A: No directive says you need to keep paying someone. You cannot include an IC in your payroll calculation because the IC would file PPP on his/her own company.

Q: How do I put together a Payroll Summary Report?

A: If you use a payroll service, they can probably provide one for you. Your accountant may be able to provide one for you. Speak to your lending institution to determine their requirements.   The banks all have their own ideas of what “proof” they need for your calculation or last year’s average monthly payroll costs. That’s the number you provide, and the banks ask you to provide documents to prove that (banks vary).

Q: I filled a pp loan today it did not ask about rent or utilities .  Is that not on this loan .. is it another loan

A: The PPP does not ask about rent or utilities on the application. The EIDL application takes both rent and utilities into account as liabilities in the application process.

A portion (not >25%) of the PPP may be used to cover expenses like rent and utilities but that only comes into play when you decide how to spend the PPP money in the eight weeks and when you ask for forgiveness.  Rent/utilities has no bearing on the application nor the loan amount.

Q: If the amount of forgiveness we can receive is roughly equivalent to the EIDL $10K grant, should we still apply for the PPP or just go with the grant and EIDL Loan?

A: That is up to you based on your unique situation. Check with your accountant and lending institution to find the right package for your individual business needs. You may qualify for both EIDL and PPP. Keep in mind that the two programs serve distinctly different purposes, the PPP is primarily to cover payroll for eight weeks, the EIDL is for any working capital need including recurring liabilities like rent, utilities, etc.

Also note that there is NOT an EIDL $10,000 grant… If you apply for an EIDL loan, you can ask for an advance on the loan that is calculated at $1000/#of employees on payroll on Jan 31, 2020 up to a maximum of 10 employees.  If you end up not getting approved for the EIDL loan, you get to keep the advance, but it is an advance on the full EIDL.

Q: What is the timeline from application to funding? is it based on credit score?

A: This is a moving target that is a combination of application volume and individual bank processing.  For PPP the process is this:

  • banks take applications (some electronically others manually -which affects speed),
  • bank electronically submits application to SBA E-Trans system (at launch it was returning accept or deny in hours, that now has become days),
  • if accepted by SBA and Loan number assigned, bank start processing a promissory note package for client signature and figure best way to get signatures and disburse funds (some banks are automated, allows e-signature and puts funds in a new checking account which I’ve seen done as quickly as 1 day, other manual bank processes I’ve heard banks say that after SBA approval takes 3-5 business days.)

Q: I’ve already applied, should I expect an email response from CPB? How to guarantee all docs were received?

A: Each lending institution will have their own procedure and timeline. Keep in mind that the heavy workload from thousands of applications may cause some processing delays.

Q: We are a small organization, and we hire out much of our work to independent contractors. They don’t count for payroll, but I would like the loan to help us continue to hire them for landscaping, bookkeeping, cleaning, building maintainance, etc. Is that possible?

A: Independent contractors are eligible for the PPP themselves. You cannot count independent contractors in payroll costs calculation nor your FTE employee count number.

Q: I’m an independent contractor paid via commission only. How do I figure out my payroll?

A: Were you given 1099’s last year? Use them. Have you filed taxes for 2019 yet? Divide net earnings by 12. If not, use net income from the taxes you filed in 2018, divide by 12. Include owner draws.

Q: Is the expense of the outside payroll service be eligible to include in the loan amount?

A: Essentially NO, “Payroll costs” for PPP are compensation, benefits and state and local taxes (no federal). The cost of your payroll service is the company’s burden and not related to compensating the employee. We suggest downloading the PowerPoint presentation on this same website. Costs that are allowable and unallowable are detailed on slide 10

National Resources and Policy Updates for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19       COVERS :

Anti-Fragile MIT Entrepreneurship Excellent Webinar Speakers






Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

Antifragile: Making the Ethical Decision

In descending order:

Decision Making in a Crisis – Jocko Willink (Navy Seal) and Billy Campbell (Miracle on the Hudson)

How to Stay Mentally Strong – Arlan Hamilton (Backstage Capital), Brad Feld (Co-Founder Techstars), and Kathleen Stetson (CEO of Rational Confidence).

Making Ethical Decision: Principled Entrepreneurship – Tom Byers (Stanford Entrepreneurship), Laura Dunham (Schulze School of Entrepreneurship), and Jon Fjeld (Duke Philosophy professsor).

Creativity in a  Crisis – What the Opportunities on the Other Side?  – Tina Seelig (Prof of Practice, Stanford) and David Morris (TEDx speaker and Improv instructor at StartMIT).

Overall series website link.