While some banks are beginning to accept PPP Forgiveness applications, others are still waiting for more information from the SBA.  Also, while some banks are allowing forgiveness applications to be submitted when the loan proceeds are spent (such as TD Bank), still others are waiting until your covered period is over (Bank of America), and there are even more banks that are only accepting forgiveness applications via email invitation in order to provide “better customer service.”  It is important to note that your particular covered period could be 8 or 24 weeks, depending on which election you choose when you apply for forgiveness, and your particular situation.  Due to the updated guidance for the Independent Contractors, Freelancers, and those who are self-employed issued in June, these individuals may wish to choose the longer covered period to obtain forgiveness more easily.  Here is a segment of the guidance:

The SBA and Department of Treasury had “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 can opt for the extended covered period of 24 weeks (instead of the original 8) and will most likely receive full forgiveness.

Keep in mind that banks may be slowly rolling out forgiveness due to the provision that once the application for forgiveness has been submitted, they only have 60 days to make a ruling on that application.  Here is where we get some good news.

Due to the potential log jam in making ruling on these smaller loans, on October 8th the SBA and Department of the Treasury issued a new streamlined forgiveness application that is only 2 pages.  This application (Form 3508 S) can be utilized by those companies who have received PPP Loans of $50,000 and less.  While you will still need to send in supporting documentation with this streamlined application, the hope is that the turn around time will be much much quicker, and your administrative headache will be much smaller.

If you are an Independent Contractor, sole proprietor or self-employed your documentation could also be much easier with this new streamlined application.  According to this Bench.co article:  “you are eligible to take owner compensation replacement (OCR). If you are taking OCR, you will have to provide your 2019 Schedule C (or a drafted Schedule C for January to February 2020 reviewed or prepared by a CPA if you started your business after June 2019). Your forgiveness amount will be based on the 2019 Schedule C or drafted January to February 2020 Schedule C provided. You can calculate this number by taking 8/52 or 24/52 (depending on your covered period) of the net income reported on line 31 of the Schedule C.”

We continue to get more information about this program, and as we do we will work to keep you all informed.  As always, please keep in touch with your bank to the extent that you can, and make sure that your CPA’s and other advisors are kept up to date.

Have a great week, and best of luck!

While Level Two Inc has a wonderful coworking space, we want you to know that we are more than that.  We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to foster entrepreneurship and cultivate growth in small business by providing space, networking, and educational opportunities.  I mean sure we have a great space with 5,000 sq ft of amenities at The Shops at Perry Crossing in Plainfield with private meeting rooms, speedy and secure WIFI, and a kitchen with coffee and teas, but we also have a community of peers here that can support you and help you through the difficulties of entrepreneurship.  Right now we are feeling more isolated than ever, and having a place to go to get work done in a productive and collaborative environment can do wonders for you.

Shared Office Space

Join Level Two

We also provide networking and educational opportunities.  For instance just last week we did a Happy Hour on the patio of Brew Link, a local brewery and eatery, in partnership with the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce and Junto (a local professionals club).  This week we are hosting the Plainfield Small Business Roundtable, which is open to our members as well.  We also provide educational opportunities for you to start and grow your business.  This week on Wednesday we are hosting a free Livestream directly from Google called Sell Online this Holiday Season, where you can learn how to set up an online store with Shopify and lest products directly on Google.

Level Two also serves as a source of much needed information.  Our blog (which you are reading now), newsletter and Facebook page sends out up to date information and resources for you.  These topics include great resources for you to be more productive, information on the PPP program and other legislation, and more.  For instance, did you know that there is new PPP forgiveness guidance out for PPP loans under $50,000 or that Indiana expanded its criteria for the Restart Grant to include small businesses who had received PPP or EIDL funds?  We put both of these out, and hopefully have had businesses benefit from them.

Finally, Level Two is a partner with other organizations.  We partner with the SBA and have contacts there to bring you information on small business funding.  Our partnership with the Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative allowed us to host a free business coach at Level Two pre-COVID-19, but we also could point you to their Microloans and other programs that they offer.  Our partnership with the Indiana Small Business Development Center can also let us point you to those with expertise in business coaching and valuations, as well as the strategy and market research your startup needs to thrive!  Finally, our relationship with SCORE can help give our local entrepreneurs access to the Mentorship they will need to get them to the next level in their business.

These are just a few things that the Level Two Inc organization has to offer.  If you know of anything else that may benefit our local entrepreneurs or startups, we ask that you contact us and let us know your thoughts, so that we can help make Hendricks County and our surrounding areas in Indy and Mooresville a successful hub of Small Business growth and entrepreneurship!

Small Business Grants

Here are some additional Grant and Loan opportunities for our Local Businesses, along with some new Webinars that you may want to check out.

Small Business Grants

LISC Small Business Relief Grant Round 5- Due by August 3.

Applicants may apply for one business only and must be 18 years of age to apply. For business owners with multiple businesses, please complete this application based on your largest business owned. Each grant is limited to one individual/business.

What are the size of the awards?
Grants will be made in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. LISC will use the funding to provide grants to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19.

What can the grant be used for?

  • Payables to include rent and utilities
  • Meeting payroll (to include the applicant)
  • Paying outstanding debt to vendors
  • Other immediate operational costs

The Grantee shall fully comply with all applicable federal, state, local (and any other governmental) laws, executive orders, rules, and regulations in connection with its use of grant funds.

Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission. Priority will be given especially to entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.

All awardees will have to certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Kiva 0% Interest crowd funded Microloans of up to $15,000

Businesses in the LISC network are eligible for matching funds from LISC that match loans from the crowd dollar for dollar through the platform.

Businesses can apply for both the LISC grant and the loans, and are encouraged to contact indianapolis@local.kiva.org to let them know of the LISC referral once an application has been submitted in order to be eligible for the match.

Upcoming Webinars

20 Cyber Topics in 20 Weeks Series – SBA

Thursday July 30th at 11:00 am

Under the leadership of the Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Purdue MEP and many Indiana cybersecurity providers have developed a series of essential cybersecurity topics. 20 cybersecurity topics in 20 weeks is an effort to provide Indiana businesses with the training needed to achieve CMMC Level 1/basic small business information security and to improve the Indiana DIB’s cyber-health. In addition to live webinars, all of the presentations will be recorded to create a library of cyber information that clients can view when they do have the time to focus on cyber health and defense acquisition regulation compliance. 20 weeks of cybersecurity training will begin this month and run through December 2020. These training sessions will be delivered by a wide-range of Indiana cybersecurity providers; Purdue cyberTAP, Sterlyn Group, TCC Solutions, Lifeline Data Centers, RevealRisk, AME Group, Sondhi Solutions, IU Health and more! Cost? This training is free!

3 Tips to Publish Your Website With Confidence – SCORE

Thursday July 30th at 1:00 pm.

With the world changing every day, publishing and updating your website can feel like a daunting task.

Even with a template that takes care of the look and feel of your website, you still need to create the content for your pages that reflects current events and COVID guidelines surrounding your business.

It’s easy once you know where to focus. You can publish your website quickly with just the essential pages you need to get yourself online.

Join us for this presentation led by Jenna Shaffer with Constant Contact, where she’ll show you the best practices on:

  • 4 questions your homepage must answer before you hit publish
  • The real purpose of your about page and how to create one your visitors want to read
  • How to make it easy for visitors to find and contact you
  • Tips for using images on these pages
  • eCommerce and shopping cart landing pages
  • And more…

Use Test My Site to Optimize Your Website – GOOGLE

Thursday July 30th at 3:00 pm

Join us for a deep dive on how to use Google’s free Test My Site tool to help optimize your website. In this session, we’ll be joined by Billal Qureshi, Performance Lead for Mobile Experiences at Google, who will take you through the process of diagnosing site issues using Test My Site. You’ll learn simple steps that have helped others increase conversions and lower bounce rates, all while creating the best user experience possible. No coding is required — just bring a healthy appetite for discovering new ways to make the best of your landing pages.

Products: Test My Site
Difficulty Level: Introductory

Thursday July 30th 6:00 pm

The Business Ownership 101 workshop outlines four critical stages of business development. It will help shape your business idea, share a variety of resources in each stage, and create next steps needed to launch and/or grow. The workshop will also give you time to ask questions and learn from others who are looking to launch a business. This is the first step on your path to becoming a successful business owner!

Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

New PPP Loan Forgiveness for Small Business Tool Released by AICPA

Recently, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants launched a new platform geared towards helping small businesses work on PPP forgiveness.  This platform can be found at PPPForgivenessTool.com.  “We are now incorporating our PPP calculation and process recommendations into a dynamic PPP Forgiveness Tool to help drive a simple and effective forgiveness process,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “Our broader goal with this tool is to also to help drive a common approach to this process with the payroll and lender communities.”

Hopefully this new tool will help our local small businesses and entrepreneurs fill out the PPP Forgiveness Application 3508 or 3508 EZ, while cutting down on the extra stress that paperwork can cause in this already stressful time.  You should also remember that “final Treasury and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) FAQs on PPP forgiveness are expected to be released soon, and the PPP loan forgiveness tool will be updated to reflect any new changes. Based on this, the AICPA recommends that borrowers and CPA firms wait for the final guidance before generating the final signed Form 3508.”