Student Membership

Student Membership

Do you have a college student in the house who will be studying remotely this semester? If they need to go somewhere safe to get their studying and work done efficiently, you can send them to Level Two Coworking. We have started a student discount for college students ages 18+. They only have to pay $50/month or $200 for the semester to be able to study in a wonderful atmosphere with Speedy Wifi, Free Coffee, and Private Study rooms!  Level Two Coworking space is a great place to study.

Indiana Mask Mandate Coming Next Monday (Updated July 28th)

Earlier this week, Governor Holcomb came out with a new Executive Order that will require Hoosiers to wear masks beginning on Monday, July 27th.  While the exact wording of this order has not been released, we do know some details:  “Cloth masks and other non-medical face coverings are recommended for all people, both public and private, in interacting in their workplaces and community, such as shopping. The only exception is children younger than 2 years of age; they should not have face coverings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A mask or other face covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or improvised from household items such as scarves, bandannas(sp) and T-shirts. The mouth and nose should be covered.

The executive order requires face coverings for anyone 8 years old or older in the following places:
• Public indoor spaces and commercial entities
• While using public transportation or other vehicle services such as a taxi or ride share
• Outdoor public spaces when it’s not possible to socially distance from people not in the same household”

While there is a threat of a Class B Misdemeanor it is not clear who will enforce the mandate, and even the Governor stated, “please know the mask police will not be patrolling Hoosier streets…..We don’t want it to get to the point where misdemeanors come into play,” he said. “We don’t think we’re there yet.”  Also, in a twist, state AG Curtis Hill has announced that he thinks the Governor has overstepped in the mandate.  Hopefully, we will be able to see the order in detail when signed, and we will know a bit more before Monday.

Update:  The Governor came out with the actual Executive Order on Friday, July 24th.  This Executive Order did away with the enforcement guidelines along with any criminal penalties for not complying with the mandate.  We also have additional invoices that give us some clarity like the following:

  • It lasts until August 26th unless “rescinded, modified or extended”.
  • This mandate does not extend to “private offices, private workspaces, or meetings in which six feet of social distancing can be achieved and maintained between people not in the same household”

For more information, check out the executive order.  

At Level Two, we have been keeping track of all Executive Orders, and will continue to make sure our space is Safe for all of our Coworkers and their clients.  We do ask that our Coworkers wear masks when in public spaces such as the hall or restrooms, or when up and around members of the community.

Other Small Business News and Articles for Your Weekend Reading

Is a New Stimulus Package on the Horizon?:  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin recently released the Administration and GOP’s desires for the new Stimulus package, now we wait and see how they can come together with the House and Senate Democrats.

Micro-Stresses add up and can be leading to burn-out and exhaustion:  Stress is alive and well, and seemingly little things can build up and push us over the edge. These “micro-stresses” can have have an enormous toll on our productivity and well being, but “if we see them for what they are, we can build the support network, mindset, and constructive responses that we need to head them off.”

3 Oxymorons in Business You Must Understand: We think the first one is probably the most important.

How to Negotiate Via Email:  As more and more communication happens online and via email, it is important for us to be conscious of the message we are sending via electronic communications.

Why Mentoring is More Important than Ever:  Here are five mentoring practices to apply to your business.

Have a great weekend!

John C. Anderson

Level Two Executive Director

Are you interested in checking out webinars that could help you start or grow your small business?  We try and get the news out from our partners, so that you can have access to the information you need to help your business thrive.  From an outdoor Happy Hour for networking to an SBA Business Development program and the future of Technology and Business, here are some great ways to learn more about running your business this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SBA 8(a) Business Development Program Online Recruitment Summit – SBA

Tuesday July 21 at 9:00 am

Small businesses taking part in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program can become 8(a) certified and work to win sole-source Federal contracts of up to $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. They also qualify for specialized training, marketing assistance; and access to government surplus. Want to know more? During this online summit you will learn: What the benefits are to being an 8(a) certified firm If you qualify for the 8(a) program About the 8(a) application process This workshop is definitely for you if: You want to take advantage of federal contracting opportunities You have a service or product to sell to the federal government Your business has two (2) years in operation SBA 8(a) Business Development Program Recruitment Summit login information and access code will be emailed once registration is complete. Sign-up today!

Plainfield Chamber Lunch

Tuesday July 21st at 11:30 am at Hummel Park

Aaron Garner, Tetra Prime Consulting–New Rules of Networking

Catered by: The Coachman Restaurant and Lounge

The meeting will be held in the Hummel Park Charleston Pavilion, located on the west side of the park. Access you the Pavillion off via Sugar Grove Road.

July 21: Prepare to Persevere – The Future of Technology & Business – SCORE

Tuesday July 21 at 2:00 pm

The coronavirus crisis will be the catalyst for small businesses to make big changes now, and in the future, in order to persevere and thrive.

Join Steve Hoffman, investor, author, and CEO of Founders Space, as he discusses the latest trends in technology and how they will affect businesses. He’ll discuss new opportunities and where venture capitalists are focusing their attention and investments.

You’ll discover:

  • Where to find new opportunities
  • Technological breakthroughs that will shape industries and our economy in the coming years
  • How you can prepare to take advantage of this

Use Google Tools to Help You Land Your Next Job – Google

Wednesday July 22nd at Noon

Learn how to discover new job opportunities using Google Search and organize your job search experience using G Suite tools. In this workshop we also share strategies to improve your resume, tips to help you communicate effectively online, virtual interview best practices, and the latest resources from Google and other partners to help support job seekers.

Products:Job Search on Google, G Suite (Sheets & Docs), Google Meet
Difficulty Level: Introductory

 

Virtual Executive Women’s Forum – A Joint Event – Women & Hi Tech and Executive Women in Finance Indiana: Construction and STEM, The Perfect Career Combination!

Thursday July 23rd at 11:45 am

Please join us for this FREE event hosted by Women & Hi Tech and Executive Women in Finance. There are numerous industries and career paths that benefit from a STEM professional’s problem solving, analysis, project management and disciplined scientific skill and thought process. Gain insight into how STEM skills fit within the needs of today’s construction projects. Hear case studies from accomplished leaders within the construction industry where designing and building is their core business strategy.

Google Refresh – Claiming and Maintaining Your Listing – ISBDC

Thursday July 23rd at Noon

Join the West Central ISBDC to learn about Google My Business and all the updated tools to utilize within your business!

Retail Revelations – Strategies for Improving Sales, Margins, and Turnover – SCORE

Thursday July 23rd at 1:00 pm

This time presents unique challenges for retailers of all sizes, across industry and geographical boundaries. It’s more important than ever to be doing the right things that directly impact your retail business surviving and thriving – even amidst the most challenging of times.

In this webinar, presented by retail expert and SCORE mentor Ritchie Sayner, you will learn why retailers fall prey to the non-profit cycle and how to rise above it.

We will discuss:

  • The concept of inventory turnover and why it is vital to cash flow and revenue growth
  • How initial markup impacts profitability as well as strategies for controlling markdowns
  • The advantages and disadvantages to online selling that you MUST be aware of
  • And more….

Plainfield Chamber of Commerce Happy Hour

Thursday July 23rd at 4:00 pm at The Coachman on their patio

Join us on the Deck of The Coachman for a time to network in the open air, while getting to know a few of your Chamber Members and others.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

 

 

Due to legislation that was signed into law on July 4th, there is now an extended deadline to apply for the remaining $130 Billion in PPP dollars available to small businesses.  The new deadline has been moved to August 8th, which will get you past the July 15th extended tax filing date.

Client Meeting

More than 170,000 loans totaling about $38.5 billion have been canceled as of May 31.  These companies made the decision to pay back the PPP funds because they could find additional funding or due to the fact that there has been increasing clarity into their business future.

Yesterday, the Trump administration also released a list of companies that received the most money from the PPP loans, and were not canceled (paid back).  These businesses received more than $150,000 from the program, which is far less than the $2 million safe harbor released by the SBA.  These loans made up only around 13% of all loans, but accounted for almost 75% of all the funds disbursed.  For instance, after looking at all the data for Hendricks County Indiana, it appears that we had 194 loans of over $150,000 and 1,567 loans under $150,000.  If you would like to look at all of this data, you can find it via the SBA data dump here.   I have broken them down into spreadsheets.

The SBA also released some more information about the program.  This data includes that they had approved almost 5 million loans totaling over $520 billion.  This program supported more than 51 million jobs (when the loans were applied for), and the average loan size is $107,000.  The industries that received the highest share of PPP dollars included Health and Social Assistance, Professional, Construction, and Manufacturing.

We have written about the updated PPP Loan forgiveness guidance before, so you can check that out at your leisure, but according to the new guidelines you have until the end of the year to apply for your PPP forgiveness.  Also, if you have not applied for the PPP yet, but think you may want to, you should start on your application now.

Good luck, and remember to speak to your advisor or CPA before you take any recommendations.

Remote workers

As we look back over the past few months, and as many of us were tying to juggle e-learning, household duties, partners who also work from home, and some semblance of productivity, we understand that these experiences hardly resemble how remote work looked pre-COVID-19.

Now as Indiana continues to open back up, more and more employers are facing a choice of whether or not they want to adopt some type of work from home strategy for the future.  Study after study reports that working remotely increases productivity, and after discussing this with local business owners, this seems to be the case here as well.

We also know that when working remotely, it is important to put a division between family and home duties and work duties.  Setting up boundaries is key.  This is where a coworking space or shared office space can come in.

Coworking spaces can give remote workers several of the advantages of working from home, like flexibility in work schedule and cutting down on commute time.  They also can provide advantages over working from home, like providing private Meeting Rooms for conference calls, and allowing for a clear separation between work life and home life.

These spaces can also provide employers and businesses increased flexibility in overhead as many of the leasing contracts are short term down to as little as a month.  This way businesses can reduce their long-term leases and try out different local spaces on a month to month basis until they find out one (or more) spaces that fit their need.  Utilizing a coworking space will also reduce costs as many of these spaces, like Level Two, include water, coffee, and printing.

Level Two currently offers discounts of 20% to teams of 4 or more members, and has taken several safety precautions to make sure our coworkers are safe.  If this is something you might be interested in for your employees, give us a call at 317-932-0369 or email us at Info@leveltwocoworking to find out more details!

Photo by DISRUPTIVO on Unsplash

Level Two is proud to announce a program that we have been working on with the Town of Plainfield, with additional support from Home Bank and First Merchants Bank.  Due to our desire to help facilitate a healthy entrepreneurship ecosystem in Hendricks County, we have started an Entrepreneurship Scholarship program.  This program will provide $500 of the $750 total cost of annual memberships at our coworking space to an entrepreneur and up to three other members of their team, if they fit into 1 of these two categories:

  1. Your business was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and you need to find a new workspace for your operations.
  2. You have an innovative idea or product, and you would like a new workspace to operate out of while you turn this idea into a business.

The Town of Plainfield established a budget of $10,000 for the Entrepreneur Coworking Scholarship Program, which is a part of a bigger $340,000 COVID-19 Small Business Economic Response Plan.  “During this crisis, Level Two’s value is demonstrated more than ever as it has provided regular updates for resources, not just to members but to all small businesses, on navigating the restrictions, accessing funding options, and even how to maintain mental health during these trying times,” said Town Manager, Andrew Klinger. “Having a membership at Level Two is invaluable for many entrepreneurs. Our Small Business Crisis Response Grant helped businesses manage while their doors were closed for several weeks. This next roll-out is helping businesses relocate or gain access to resources to start their business or push it to the next level.”

If you are interested in learning more about this program, you can check out more information by checking out the scholarship page, give us a call at 317-932-0369, or shoot us an email at Info@leveltwocoworking.com.

 

Earlier this week, the SBA and Treasury issued new PPP Forgiveness guidance and new versions of the forgiveness application (including an EZ version) to take into account the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (Flexibility Act) that was signed into law on June 5th.

The Guidance is great for the Independent Contractors, Freelancers, and those who are self-employed.  According to the Treasury, they have “determined that it is appropriate to limit the forgiveness of owner compensation replacement for individuals with self-employment income who file a Schedule C or F to either eight weeks’ worth (8/52) of 2019 net profit (up to $15,385) for an eight-week covered period or 2.5 months’ worth (2.5/12) of 2019 net profit (up to $20,833) for a 24-week covered period per owner in total across all businesses.”  This means that if you do not have a lot of covered expenses like rent, business mortgage interest, or utilities, you opt for the extended covered period of 24 weeks (instead of the original 8) and will most likely receive full forgiveness.

The new PPP EZ Forgiveness Application applies to borrowers who fit one of the criteria below:

  1. Kept their employees wages within 25% of their pre-COVID-19 level and did not reduce the hours of their employees between January 1, 2020 and the end of the Covered Period.
  2. Kept their employees wages within 25% of their pre-COVID-19 level and the borrower was “unable to operate during the Covered Period at the same level of business activity as before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements established or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  3. Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, Freelancers, and any other business with no employees.

For some more details on these new rules, you can check out this great Forbes article from Brian Thompson

If you have not yet applied for the PPP due to fears that you might not qualify for forgiveness, now might be a great time to do so as you only have until June 30th to apply, and there is still over $100 billion in PPP funds available.  Before you do apply for the PPP, though, if your Indiana small business has been severely negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to the tune of 40% month over month loss, you can qualify for the Indiana Small Business Restart fund.  This fund will grant your business up to $10,000 depending on the revenue losses you incurred. You are eligible if your business:

  1. Is registered to operate in Indiana
  2. Had less than 50 employees at of 12/31/2019
  3. Had less than $5 million in revenue in 2019
  4. Was profitable in 2019
  5. Can demonstrate a monthly revenue loss of at least 40% compared to pre-COVID-19 revenues
  6. Did not have used funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), or Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Also note that on Monday of this week, the SBA reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance program to all eligible borrowers.  This is another great opportunity for small businesses, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to try and recoup some losses experienced due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Disclaimer:  As always, please know that we operate a Coworking space for independent contractors, freelancers, the self-employed and remote workers, we are definitely not CPA’s, so anything you see on our blog is just for your information and should not be considered advice as we do not know your specific needs or issues.  Please consult your CPA or Advisor.

After running out of money for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Grants in mid-April, and only reopening to Ag businesses after the second tranche of funding was passed into law on April 24th, the EIDL Grants are now open to all small businesses, and allow for advance payments of the EIDL loan of $1000 per eligible employee.  This means that independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers are eligible to receive a $1,000 grant that does not have to be repaid.  Also, you can qualify for the actual loan with some favorable terms.

sba EIDL small business Grant is reopen

This was the statement from the SBA, “To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.”

The Paycheck Protection Program still has about $100 billion left in it, and most businesses who would qualify for that program have already applied, so it is great that this additional resource has opened back up, and could give some much needed assistance to small businesses and self-employed individuals who are still looking for clarity on how their business will rebound as our economy reopens.

I do not know how long this program will last, as they only passed an additional $60 billion when they refunded the PPP.  So talk to your accountant and fill out the application if you think this may be a good fit for your business.

If you are looking for some more information on how to fill out the app if you are an independent contractor or self-employed, here is a great synopsis from a Forbes Article:

“If you are an independent contractor, freelancer, or gig worker, here are some tips on filling out the application:

  • On the first question, check the third box as you are applying as an independent contractor or sole proprietorship.
  • You must add your Social Security number if you are applying as an individual independent contractor, freelancer, or gig worker.
  • The form will ask you for the gross revenues for the last 12 months for your independent contractor business and the “cost of goods sold.” You can estimate this based on what happened in 2019. Cost of goods sold means the expenses incurred in the process of providing your product or service as a freelancer, gig worker, or independent contractor.
  • Where it asks for “Owner” put your name and “100” percent owner.
  • It will ask for the date the business was established. This is the date you started doing freelance, gig work, or independent contractor work. Just estimate if you don’t have the exact date, but make sure it was before January 31, 2020.
  • The form will ask for the bank account to which you want the grant money direct deposited. You need the name of your bank, the account number (the middle number at the bottom of your checks), and the routing number (the number at the bottom left of your checks). See the question below on direct depositing.
  • For your business phone number, it’s okay to give your cell number.
  • “Is your business owned by a business entity?” The answer is no since you are an individual owner.
  • When the form asks for your business name, just enter your individual name if you don’t have a business name.
  • You can ignore the question “If anyone assisted you in completing this application …” unless you have in fact gotten help.
  • Make sure to check the box that says you want to apply for the $10,000 grant (although it will only be $1,000 for independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers).

The form should take about 15 minutes to fill out. After it is completed and submitted, the SBA will give you a confirmation number, so keep a copy of that for any follow-up.”

As always, please know that we are not CPA’s, so anything you see on our blog is just for your information and should not be considered advice as we do not know your specific needs or issues.  Please consult your CPA or Advisor.

Hello everyone and Happy Monday.  There are a lot of small business webinars going on this week, from Protecting your business from Fraud to Reinventing your business and Raising Capital.  If you are interested in working on your small business, you may want to check these out and share with friends.

remote work
Google:  Enhance Your Project Management Skills with Google Tools – Part 1

Monday June 15 at 3:00

Learn how to create a successful project plan, organize your work, and track and share progress from start to finish using Google Docs and Google Sheets. Part 1 will focus on building an effective project plan.

Products: Google Docs and Sheets
Difficulty Level: Introductory

SCORE:  How Female Founders Can Innovate and Disrupt the World of Business

Tuesday June 16 at 1:00

In this webinar, four exceptional women entrepreneurs Laurel Delaney, Betsy Mikesell, Angie White and Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart will provide insights for women who want to innovate and disrupt the world of business – to grow faster, stronger, and soar globally for a better tomorrow.

StoryBrand:  The One-Hour Website Makeover

Tuesday June 16 at 11:00 and 3:00

Every Day You Don’t Fix Your Website, It’s Costing Your Business Precious Revenue
You know your website needs work. But you don’t know how to make it better. And you feel overwhelmed by updating it. You have enough going on as it is.

But there’s good news — it’s easier than you think to fix it.

This webinar will kickstart your momentum to help you transform your website so it makes you more money.

Indy Chamber:  Reinventing and Reimagining your Business

Tuesday June 16 at 4:00

Disruptions cause loss but also uncover opportunities. Reimagining your business in the midst of major uncertainty requires curiosity, determination, and experimentation — all while rebuilding existing operations. Not easy. In this session Senior Lecturer Fred Schlegel will identify steps you can take to reinvent and reimagine your business for a post-COVID 19 world. How can you discover, choose, design and deploy new offerings with limited resources and time, and how can you engage customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, and investors in creating opportunities and improvements? How can you motivate employees to actively participate and drive the changes your business needs, and how can you structure and implement a process that drives the innovation you want?

SBA:  COVID-19 Funding Options for U.S. Rural & Agricultural Businesses

Thursday June 18 at 11:00

The SBA Great Lakes Region, along with our partners at USDA Rural Development and USDA Farm Service Agency, invite U.S. rural and agricultural businesses to join us for a livestream overview of COVID-19 funding options.

SCORE:  Protecting Your Business From Fraud

Thursday June 18 at 1:00

Are you familiar with the basic principles of assessing fraud risks for your small business?

This webinar, presented by Deluxe Chief Brand Officer Amanda Brinkman and U.S. Bank Financial Services Veteran Morris Jackson II, will cover smart tips for auditing your business finances as well as ways to monitor for potential risks to keep your business safe from fraud.

TechSoup:  How to Develop a Nonprofit Website Strategy for the Road Ahead

Thursday June 18 at 2:00

Digital communications have become more necessary. Join marketing experts, Joe DiGiovanni and Kyle Barkins from Tapp Network, as they walk you through the vital components of a website’s strategy to help your organization smoothly and effectively adapt to a post-COVID world. From re-aligning your website’s goals to implementing automation, you’ll be ready to use your website in a whole new way to get the results you need.

SBA – Federal Contracting Readiness Webinar
Year-End Buying Cycle – 4th Quarter

Thursday June 18 at 2:00

SBA 8(a) firms and other Small Businesses (SB) including: SDBs, WOSBs, EDWOSBs, VOSBs, SDVOSBs, HubZone SBs, and all other eligible small businesses that can form SB Teams and strategically position their firms to be awarded fixed price, cost plus, and other contract type awards. How do we position our firm to procure 8(a) Sole Source, Competitive 8(a) Contracts & Other SB Set-a-Side Awards During Year-End Buying Cycle? What contracting vehicle should we establish? What marketing and negotiating strategies should we develop, implement, and execute?

Indy Chamber:  Repositioning for Growth and Raising Capital

Thursday June 18 at 4:00

In this session, participants will receive a practitioner’s perspective on how to best position businesses for success and growth in the post-pandemic era. Ron Laufer, Managing Director with Acuris Partners, will discuss useful tools to assess strategic, financial and organizational options for the near and long term. Finally, participants will engage in a discussion on how the Covid pandemic and the resulting global economic crisis is forcing businesses to reevaluate their business models and identify new opportunities for the future.

 

Good luck and let us know if we missed any!

While last week we wrote about the new legislation that would ease restrictions on PPP Forgiveness, the goal posts have been moved again.  This weekend, the SBA and Treasury came out with a joint statement that brought back partial PPP forgiveness if the new 60% threshold was not attained.  This is welcome relief, as the wording of the legislation made it seem like if you did not spend 60% on covered employee wage expenses, you would not receive any forgiveness at all.

Time will tell if this will change, but for now it is a bit of good news.  If you would like more information on this statement, and what it means, please check out this article from Forbes.