UPDATED: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – what it is & how to apply

UPDATED: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – what it is & how to apply

Our friends at the Wefunder blog have broken down everything you need to know about the Paycheck Protection Program – apply today and, if approved, get a loan as soon as April 3rd!

Application form available here. 

Note: the application deadline is June 30th 2020.

To calculate your PPL loan amount, click here



  • Small businesses and sole proprietors began applying on April 3.
  • Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning on April 10. 


  • While the program is open until June 30, 2020, the government is advising borrowers to apply as soon as possible given the loan cap on the program.

Payroll can be calculated as an average number over the previous 12 months. 2.5x monthly payroll is granted if you spend it on qualified expenses

Countable payroll expenses: salary (up to $100k for each person), wages, tips, commissions, employee benefits, payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees, payment for vacation and leave

Not countable payroll expenses: salary beyond $100k for each person, FICA, federal tax withholdings, and Independent Contractors

Your 2.5x monthly payroll “loan” is forgiven if you maintain/restore staffing and it’s used on approved expenses (75% needs to go to payroll). If you end up owing money back interest rate is 1%, no payments for 6 months (can be extended to 1 year), loan is mature at 2 years (this is new).


What is it?

$349 billion is being loaned to small businesses to cover their payroll. Most (if not all) of this loan will be forgiven if you do not lay off employees.

In other words, this is free money from the government to cover your payroll.

Do I qualify?
You are eligible if you have under 500 employees or are a “small business concern” (as defined by the SBA).

Each industry has different criteria for what a small business concern is. Having a venture capital investor who can control your startup might be disqualifying, unless the SBA changes the rules for what is considered an “affiliate” in their definition of a small business concern.  You can read more than you ever want to know about affiliation rules on the SBA’s web site here.

What is the maximum loan?

Take your average monthly payroll expense over the last 12 months (excluding the amount in excess of $100k for employees that make more) and multiply it by 2.5. That is the maximum loan you are eligible for.  However, it can’t exceed $10 million.

How do I apply?
Loans are made through the SBA 7(a) program. Over 800 SBA-approved lenders are expected to be able to distribute loans.

You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool here.

That’s an aggressive timeline. We wouldn’t be surprised if there are delays. The SBA distributed $28 billion in 2019, and they are being asked to deploy over $400 billion in April.  Expect growing pains.

Do I need to personally guarantee the loan?

Do I need collateral to get the loan?

How can I use the money?
You can only use the money for payroll, health care, rent/mortgage/utilities, and interest on debt.

How much of the loan is forgiven?
The amount used for payroll (up to $100K for each employee), health insurance, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments in any 8 week period from February 15th through June 30th is forgiven, as long as you don’t lay anyone off.

The devil is in the details.  If you lay off people, it gets a little more complex (forgiveness is ratio of payroll reduction).  If you cut salaries of those who earn under $100K by more than 25%, less debt will also be forgiven.

If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30.

What is the interest rate and maturity date fo the amount that is not forgiven?
The legislation mandates that the interest rate cannot exceed 4% and the term not over 10 years.  SBA lenders may offer terms within those limits.

When is the application deadline?
June 30th, 2020


Still have questions? Visit here.

Protect your barbers with Apple’s new COVID-19 app

Protect your barbers with Apple’s new COVID-19 app

With all the news surrounding the pandemic, the formal public health policies often get lost in the noise. Apple has teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to launch an app dedicated to protecting individuals and providing information on the virus itself.

The app/website will include up-to-date information on the outbreak, and allow users to ask questions surrounding…

    • COVID-19 symptoms
    • Risk factors and exposure
    • Social distancing/self-isolation policies, etc.

In turn, they will receive CDC recommendations on the next steps. This is an invaluable resource for individuals, especially those with limited health care plans.

You can download app right now at the App Store or by visiting apple.com/covid19.


UPDATE: Verizon to waive late fees for 2 months

You read that right, the telecommunications company is waiving late fees incurred by any small business or residential customers due to their economic circumstances related to COVID-19 for the next 60 days.

The company will also not terminate service to any customers who are unable to pay their bills due to COVID-19, and is adding an extra 15GB of data to all consumer and small business plans.


For more info, visit verizon.com.

The CARES Act: what you need to know!

The CARES Act: what you need to know!

(UPDATE) The CARES Act has been signed into law; in addition to helping individuals, it has a number of components aimed at helping small businesses survive + recover from the coronavirus outbreak.

Most notably…

  • Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
          • A new lending program that allows businesses to borrow enough to cover monthly payroll costs for businesses for up to 2.5 months. If used for payroll, mortgage interest or other qualified expenses, these loans will be forgiven as long as the employer continues to employ its workers or rehires them when they reopen for business.
  • Business tax provisions
          • Employers can defer payment of the employer share payroll taxes.
  • Payments for individuals
          • It is anticipated those who make less than $75,000 a year will receive direct payments of $1,200 per individual ($2,400 joint return) plus $500 per child. This will phase out for incomes above $75,000 ($150,000 joint filings).
  • Unemployment assistance
          • If your business is closed because of coronavirus and your employees cannot work from home, or your employees are unable to work due to illness or the need to take care of someone who is ill with the virus, they can collect unemployment.

For more information on the CARES Act, visit the SBA COVID-19 page.

More info on IRS tax changes can be found here.


Your barbershop may be eligible for 10K from the government

The government is now awarding up to $10,000 in the form of a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster loan. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to the outbreak.

Eligible entities are those with less than 500 employees, and include the following:

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations
    •  Veterans organizations
    • Certain tribal business concerns
    • Eligible self-employed individuals
    • Independent contractors
    • Sole proprietorships

Watch a YouTube tutorial on how to apply below:

Does my barbershop qualify for federal aid? (Updated)

Does my barbershop qualify for federal aid? (Updated)

If government mandated, COVID-19 related closures are negatively impacting your business, you may be eligible for federal support. Before you panic, we’ve compiled a list of resources where you can find more information.


The SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Recent legislation (as of March 6) has enabled the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) to offer $7 billion in disaster assistance loans to small businesses impacted by the virus.

To find out whether or not your area has been officially declared a “Disaster” zone (potentially qualifying you + your business for support), reference this index here.

UPDATE: While the application requirements for an EIDL were originally more extensive, they’ve since simplified it, largely, to submitting gross revenues and your business’s COGS for the most recent year. More info here.

You can apply for a loan at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/, or call 1‐800‐659‐2955 for assistance.

 A week ago they were looking for extensive documentation including full 12 month P&L, monthly cashflows, listing of liabilities, etc… now it is largely submitting two numbers (gross revenues and COGS for the most recent year).

For more information regarding eligibility for…

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans
  • EDD For Business Owners
  • EDD For Business Employees 
  • Business Interruption Insurance 

Check out this this COVID-19 Relief page


For similar information, in addition to…

Check out the SBA page here.

***As of March 25, 2020, the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program – SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses – has been expanded to apply to businesses negatively impacted by Coronavirus. For more information, click here.

To learn if your business qualifies for one of the many Federal Stimulus Aid Programs currently being developed, click here.

The Federal Stimulus Bill Key Points:

  1. Focus on companies with fewer than 500.
  2. Cover employee pay for 6 weeks.
  3. No personal guarantee on the loans.
  4. Waive proving that owner has applied elsewhere.
  5. Individuals, Sole Props and 1099 people are qualified.
  6. Interest rate will be no more than 4%
  7. Max loan to value will be based on average payroll, rent/lease cost per month TIMES 2.5 includes benefits, paid sick leave. Max 10 MM.
  8. No collateral or personal guarantees required.
  9. Verify that business was in existence prior to 2/15/20.
  10. Some portions of these loans can be converted to grants AKA forgiven.
  11. After the 8 weeks Government will look at expenses, expenditures and it will be dollar for dollar waiver on ability to keep employees. The dollar value will be reduced by # of employees terminated or income lowered.
  12. Employer payroll taxes can be deferred 50% for 1 year and the other 50% for 2 years.
  13. Business can request an immediate advance of $10,000 which will be available within 2 weeks and will not have a repayment.


Additionally, this page offers daily COVID-19 updates for small businesses, centralizing both national and local support options, including on-demand, free webinars.



UPDATED: UK resources for barbershops affected by Coronavirus

UPDATED: UK resources for barbershops affected by Coronavirus

If you’re a business owner in the UK, here are some helpful links.

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

For more information on eligibility, etc. – click here.


The FSB page for “advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed” in the wake of COVID-19, including news updates, tips, and webinars. Click here.

Small businesses in the UK to be boosted by bounce back loans…

  • UK Gov would back 100% of the loan, freeing the arranging banks to release funds with minimum fuss in what we believe will be quick online application. 
  • The loan will be up to 25% of business turnover with a £50k cap. Loans will be interest and repayment free for the first 12 months & we don’t envisage these loans being dependent on the companies ability to service debt into the future. 

More updates can be found at https://ihorizon.co.uk/covid-19

What about my shop employees?

What about my shop employees?

Ensuring the survival of your business as well as supporting the livelihood of your employees is complicated.

Signed into law on March 18, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is designed to provide assistance to covered employees and households with eligible children affected by COVID-19. This affects small businesses in two key ways:

  • Paid sick and family leave. The law requires all private businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide emergency paid sick or family leave for employees affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Employer tax credits. The law provides employers with fewer than 500 employees with refundable payroll tax credits to cover the cost of providing the paid sick leave and the paid FMLA leave to their employees. Specifically, the law states that:
        • Employers will receive 100% tax credit against their payroll tax liability up to the capped amount of benefits they must pay.
        • Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
        • Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.If an employer is owed more than the capped amount and a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.
        • Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.

For the full text, visit Congress.gov here. For more info on the mandatory emergency paid sick leave, see this detailed guide provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

More information on filing for unemployment assistance can be found at the U.S. Department of Labor, though you or your employees will need to file through your state’s unemployment program.

What about my customers? Tools for outreach during the outbreak.

What about my customers? Tools for outreach during the outbreak.

Another crucial aspect of the outbreak is keeping your clientele in the loop. Here are some features that will help keep the communication channels between you + your customers strong.

The U.S. Chambers of Commerce released a Coronavrius Response Toolkit – which, we know sounds stuffy, but it’s actually full of great resources including…

    • Spread prevention techniques for businesses
    • Ready-made social media graphics
    • Business preparedness checklists, etc. 

Click here for a customizable flyer to alert your community to the outbreak.


UPDATED: Don’t qualify for formal aid? Alternative funding is also available.

UPDATED: Don’t qualify for formal aid? Alternative funding is also available.

Perhaps, your business isn’t a fit for federal or state funding, don’t worry – there are alternative avenues.


The social media company is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help struggling businesses during the outbreak. For more info, click here.


Verizon has launched a Small Business Recovery Fund, which is a direct grant program – round one has closed, but round two will open shortly.



Who is eligible?


      • Grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.

What can it be used for?



    • Paying rent and utilities
    • Meeting payroll
    • Paying outstanding debts to vendors


Click here for more info. 



In the wake of the outbreak, Google has unveiled a $340 million grant program to help small businesses.

    • $340 million in credits for Google Ads that can be used during 2020 across any of Google’s advertising platforms, “to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers.”

There’s no signup or application process. Instead, credits will automatically be added to active Google Ads accounts.


Launching their own Disaster Loan Program, they’re offering payments ($20K to $1 million) deferred until 2021.

For more info, visit their website here.



For financial consultation, you can chat with Lift Fund experts here.



Find out here if local banks in your area are taking steps to help during COVID-19.

For WHO resources, click here.


The SBA also has a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders within 48 hoursCheck it out here


We will update this post as more opportunities present themselves.