How Your Small Business Can Qualify For COVID-19 Relief

The United States Senate legislated the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), geared toward providing financial support to the American public and American businesses in light of the economic fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

A principal component of the CARES Act is the allowance of $349 billion for small businesses through federally supported loans under an amended and broadened Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan guaranty program known as the Paycheck Protection Program.

Below, the tax experts at Donohoo Accounting Services address some of the fundamental elements of the CARES Act.

Critical Aspects of the CARES Act

Eligible businesses comprise:

  • Businesses with as many as 500 employees or which meet the appropriate size standard for the industry as stipulated by SBA’s current requirements.
  • Businesses in the food services and accommodation industries that exceed one physical location but contain less than 500 employees at each location.
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Approved sole proprietors and independent contractors.
  • Loans will be accessible across SBA and Treasury accepted banks, credit unions, and select nonbank lenders.
  • Borrowers can withdraw loans 2.5 times their monthly payroll expenses, not to exceed $10 million.

Which businesses are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program?

Based on the wording of the bill, typically, any business active on February 15, 2020, with less than or equal to 500 employees (or that meets the appropriate size benchmark for the industry as required by SBA’s existing regulations) qualifies.

What is the maximum loan value that a business can accept through the Paycheck Protection Program?

Each business can accept the lesser of $10 million or a total of 2.5 times the average total monthly payroll expenses for the previous year.

What can a business use loans for?

Businesses can leverage funds from the Program loans to meet costs involving:

  • Payroll costs, including remuneration to employees; disbursements for vacation, family, parental sick or medical leave; payments due to termination; payments necessary for group health care benefits, retirement benefits, and local and state employment taxes
  • Interest payments concerning any mortgage obligations or additional debt obligations sustained prior to February 15, 2020 (excluding any payments or prepayments of principal)
  • Rent
  • Utilities

How does a business apply for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program

Businesses can visit an authorized SBA 7(a) credit union, bank or lender, apply for a loan and be approved that very day. While there is no cost to apply for the loan, businesses will be charged a fixed interest rate.

What are the terms and conditions of Program loans?

The terms and conditions for a covered loan are identical to the relevant terms and conditions for conventional SBA 7(a) loans.

What documents must a lender require to provide a borrower loan forgiveness?

Documentation that confirms the number of full-time employees on payroll and pay rates for the periods designated under the reduction for loan forgiveness above. For example:

  • Payroll tax filings to the IRS, state payroll and SUTA filing
  • Financial statements corroborating payment on debt obligations sustained prior to the covered period
  • And, any additional documents the SBA may request

Ready to discover what tax credits you or your business qualify for? Call Donohoo Accounting Services today at 513-528-3982 for a FREE consultation! For more tips and our latest updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

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6 Tips For Working From Home

Because of the need for physical distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, many of us are required to work from home. While for some this may be a new challenge in a difficult time, adjusting to working from home can be easily done when armed with the right information helping you quickly develop a routine that helps you stay productive. These tips are designed to help you make the most out of working from home, allowing you to stay safe while staying focused on your work.

Maintain Regular Working Hours

While you may not be required to go into your office, working from home doesn’t mean you should let it disrupt your regularly scheduled work week. Setting a regular schedule with designated working hours helps maintain a healthy work-life balance that can help maintain productivity.

Get Dressed for a Regular Workday

While it may be tempting to work in your pajamas, getting dressed for a regular work day can go a long way in helping you stay focused on your work. Developing a regular morning routine that involves professional grooming habits can help put you in the right mindset for the work day and make you more productive.

Designate Working Space

One of the challenges many people face when working from home is keeping your work life separate from your home life. But designating a specific room or area to work from that’s comfortable, with plenty of natural light can help you stay focused and on task is essential for working from home.

Socialize with Coworkers

While it’s important to maintain social distancing to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, that doesn’t mean you still can’t interact and socialize with your coworkers. While you may be working out of the office texting, emails, phone calls and even video chats help you combat feeling isolated while maintaining personal and professional relationships while you work from home.

Take Regularly Scheduled Breaks

Knowing your company’s break policies can be an essential part of working from home, as taking time away from your computer and phone helps avoid fatigue and keep you focused. Many workplaces offer employees an hour for lunch along with two 15 minute breaks for an eight-hour work day, so make sure to take full advantage of your breaks to give yourself time to relax.

Give Yourself Time to Adjust

Easing into working from home can be difficult and if you’re used to a busy office environment, the adjustment might take longer than you think. While it can feel stressful, frustrating and lonely, don’t be hard on yourself and know that it takes time to adjust.

At Donohoo Accounting Services, we’re also working from home and understand its challenges. From interns to CEOs, adjusting to this new normal is taking its toll on all of us. Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, one thing is certain — we could all use extra attention to our finances. If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes, give us a call at 513-528-3982 for a free consultation and let us find every deduction possible to reduce your tax burden. For more tips and our latest updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

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3 Tips To Save For Vacation Without Touching Your Savings

With this weather, it’s normal to find yourself occasionally daydreaming of sandy beaches and drinks with little umbrellas. It’s time to start today to make that dream a reality, without digging in to your existing savings. Follow these tips below and soon you’ll be digging your toes in the sand relaxing your cares away.

Form a Budget

If you’ve already decided where you’d like to go on vacation, when you will go, and for how long, establishing a budget is easy. You can go about forming your budget in two ways: First, research via the internet to find the best flight fares, hotel packages, transportation, restaurants and other expenses. Then plug those numbers into a vacation budget planning form that will help organize and calculate your expenses. Second, form a budget by outlining your vacation destination, travel dates and the estimated amount you’ll have to spend. Then, have a travel agent find you the best deals based on the vacation packages they have available.

Look for Ways to Save

We’re all familiar with the traditional ways of saving money for vacation, such as having a change jar or piggy bank, or opening a savings account with a local bank. Those ideas still work and may be useful in helping you save for your vacation. But in today’s world there are even better means of helping you reach your savings goal. First among the modern savings tools you can use to help you are the many smartphone apps that automatically transfer a set dollar amount – at pre-determined times – from your checking account into an account for your vacation. In addition to saving money from your paycheck each month, you can create sources of additional income by selling household items and collectibles online on sites such as eBay or Etsy or Amazon.

Also, consider what you can give up to go toward the expenses. Making coffee at home can save $20-$50 per week. Packing lunch instead of eating out during the workday can save $50-$100 per week. It won’t be easy at first, but these funds can easily make up the difference between a basic vacation and a luxury vacation.

Make Your Goal Tangible

While your spring or summer vacation may only seem like a dream until you actually leave for the trip, there are things you can do to make it tangible now. Print off some color pictures of your vacation destination and hang them up where you’ll see them daily. Additionally, you may consider purchasing a few small items that you will need for your trip, such as sandals or a bathing suit. Put these items out where you’ll see them regularly to remind you of why you’re saving.

The professionals at Donohoo Accounting Services have even more ways to help you save. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation or call 513-528-3982. And don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates!

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7 Habits Of Successful People

We all have areas in which we can improve, so why not borrow a few habits from highly successful entrepreneurs when possible? Researchers have found that successful people have certain routines or habits they carry out daily that help to make them successful. Check out these seven habits to see which ones you’re already doing and which you might seek to imitate!

Read Every Day

From helping improve your memory and analytical skills to reducing stress and expanding your knowledge, taking time to read every day offers a wide range of benefits that help us on the path to success. Whether it’s the classic American novel or industry-specific publications, reading for as little as 15 minutes a day has far-reaching benefits.

Plan Your Communications

How often throughout the day do you check your email or social media accounts? If you’re like most people, you check or reply each time you hear a ding or a buzz. The problem is, those interruptions keep you from finishing what’s most important. The habit of successful people is to have particular times to respond to non-urgent communications, such as in the morning, for an hour in the afternoon or before bed.

Schedule, Don’t List

When you have something specific to accomplish, such as returning a call, writing it down is a good idea. However, putting it on a to-do list is not as helpful as you think. The better choice of successful people is to schedule that return phone call on your calendar for a specific time and date. Then, it won’t be brushed to the wayside in favor of something else. It becomes a commitment.

Let Go of Control

Many people who’ve worked just about any kind of job have encountered micro-managers: those who not only give an assignment but also provide specific instructions on how to do the job and then supervise — and slow down — your work. Micro-management leads to wasted time and energy, so be sure to remember your past work experience as an entrepreneur. Giving up control over details will free you to go on to the next thing with vim and vigor. That’s why successful people don’t micro-manage.

Deal With It

When a document comes to you for your signature or for your review, taking care of it in the moment saves you future time. That’s why successful people have the habit of dealing with important things right away. They know that time is a commodity that can’t be replaced, so they create time in the future by dealing with the key items first.

Do It Again

Successful people have routines, especially related to how they start their day. Why? Because when you know what to expect, you’re free of anxiety, which is a time-waster. Also, having a morning routine sets you up for success by eliminating anything that would throw you off course and give you an excuse for getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

Keep Your Values

Among the many activities and events that successful people plan, they don’t forget their values and incorporate more than simply business impact into what’s most important to them. That’s why successful people plan according to their values, making sure that each bucket – e.g., business, family, lifestyle – is given focus and attention each week.

What’s most important to you? If it’s meeting your financial goals, you can count on the experts at Donohoo Accounting Services to help you every step of the way. Call us today for a free consultation at 513-528-3982. And don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest tips and updates!

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