Guidance for small business owners to stay afloat during the economic crisis

(WZAW) -- It’s no surprise that small businesses across the country have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis and are looking for guidance on how to obtain loans and pivot their business models in order to stay afloat. Considering that small businesses account for 99% of all businesses in the U.S. and employ a significant portion of the nation’s working population, it is essential to see them through this time. For those businesses that have been denied federal loans, it can be especially defeating. The good news is there are additional options and advice available.

Business owners are thrilled to have their doors open again. (KOTA)

On Thursday, small business experts Amber Colley and Joseph Pascaretta joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to talk about how small businesses can access financial assistance and ways they can remain savvy during this unprecedented time.

Amber Colley is the Senior Vice President and Business Credit Expert for Dun & Bradstreet, a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics. She has coached thousands of business owners on how to establish a business credit profile and leverage their credit to help get funding, improve cash flow, win contracts, and more.

“The stay-at-home restrictions aimed to slow the spread have directly affected 2/3 of all businesses in the United States,” Colley said.

Joseph Pascaretta is the General Manager of Credibility at Dun & Bradstreet. He’s responsible for the strategy, product development, and sales efforts for the company’s Credibility business and small to mid-size business portfolio. He was also a small business owner during the 2008 recession.

“The number one piece of information and tip I can give small businesses is don’t do it alone,” Pascaretta said. “And what I mean by that is a two-fold approach. One, seek advice from your financial adviser, CPA or your accountant. They can help you navigate your best financial option for keeping afloat in terms of capital for your business.”

The second tip he offered was to reach out to other small businesses to find out how they’re getting access to capital.

Colley said some types of funding that are available to small business owners. They include the Payroll Protection Program offered by the federal government, private funding through traditional loans, alternative lenders.

“They need to help their lender understand how they qualify as a business and why they’re asking for the loan, so they want to make sure they’re demonstrating they’re looking ahead to recovery and sustain longevity,” Colley added.

Here are some other tips:

- Do not give up hope. Any type of recovery program – whether natural disaster or economic recovery related, comes in stages. There is potential for additional rounds of funding from the U.S. government, and there are a growing number of private lending options.

- Come in with a game plan. When looking to secure a loan, always have a plan that is realistic. Help your lender understand how you qualify as a business and why you’re asking for the loan.

- Look for Opportunity. Reach out to your community. Others in your community are going through similar hurdles. By supporting each other, you may be able to keep yourselves afloat. Consider expanding your offering. Start looking at alternative opportunities and solutions that address the current market needs.