Urgent Alert for Businesses: Avoid Penalties, Stay Compliant with New Corporate Transparency Act
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Urgent Alert for Businesses: Avoid Penalties, Stay Compliant with New Corporate Transparency Act


Long Haul with Covid-19

Posted on May 20th, 2021

I am sitting on a beach in Mexico as I write this article. Children are running up and down the beach and everyone is having a great time living it up with icy beverages in hand while the music plays. If you believe that, then I have some oceanfront property to sell you in Montana.

I look out my window in Bozeman and see a couple of inches of new snow and think, when the heck will Spring get here and the snow go away? The thought is a nice reprieve from everything crazy that is going on in the world.

All of our bar, restaurant, brewery, distillery, and winery clients have closed their doors, under the mandatory shut down order from the Governor’s office. Some of these folks are still trying to make a go of it by delivering or taking carry-out orders. So far, the word is that this isn’t working very well from a financial standpoint. For some, the difficulty is that their establishment is in a rural community and there aren’t enough patrons to keep the lights on with delivery. Other establishments aren’t suited for deliveries or carryout orders, and some establishments haven’t figured out how to adequately market in this brave new world.

Well, we all know that the worst thing you can do is pull the ostrich move. Sticking your head in the sand and waiting isn’t a viable method, and by the way, ostriches don’t stick their heads in the sand (this wife’s tail came from the fact that ostriches dig holes for their eggs and then the female puts her head in the hole to turn her eggs, which makes them look like they are putting their heads in the sand).

My team and I have been on the phone, almost non-stop, for the past couple of weeks addressing the concerns of our many business clients. The main concerns we have been asked are: 1. What do I do with my employees if we close?; 2. What do I do financially if we close or stay open for deliveries?; 3. Is there a way to make my business grow in these difficult times?

First, the state and federal governments are in the process of taking massive action to help employees and employers alike. Employees can immediately apply for unemployment if they have been fired or laid off. The normal one-week waiting period has been removed for all unemployment applications, but the number of applications is overwhelming most states’ ability to promptly review the applications. Please encourage your employees to be proactive and have their applications ready to file, just in case you have to lay them off in the near future. 

Second, many employers are asking us what they can do to secure their finances during the closure. We will probably know what the federal government is going to do for assistance, between my writing this article and its publication. We will post an update on social media as soon as the details are released. There is also a tax benefit if you are currently paying your employees to not come into work, due to the coronavirus (sick leave, family leave, or childcare). See https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-and-labor-announce-plan-to-implement-coronavirus-related-paid-leave-for-workers-and-tax-credits-for-small-and-midsize-businesses-to-swiftly-recover-the-cost-of-providing-coronavirus for more details. The SBA has a special disaster loan program that can loan up to $2,000,000.00 per business, at a 3.75% interest rate. We are also highly encouraging our clients to get an operating line of credit if they don’t already have one. Many banks charge a small fee for setting up the line of credit and the prevailing interest rates are between 4.5% to 6%.

The hardest issue to comprehend is how you could make your business grow in today’s environment. Well, that is going to take some good ol’ creativity. You are going to have to think about all the facets of your business and how you can reach clients. For example, with the governor’s recent order, all beverage licensees can deliver liquor, in the original packaging. One client, who will shoot me for giving away their secret, is currently promoting mixed drink packages. You can order the booze and all of their secret sauce mixers and they will even deliver a bag of ice to you. This way, their patrons can enjoy their favorite foods and adult beverages from their local tavern. It is this kind of creativity that will not only carry you through these difficult times but will make your business grow. 

If the health officials are correct, then we are in for a long haul. Take some time and put your thinking caps on to find the next way for your business to not only survive but thrive. 

If you would like to learn from other business owners, restaurateurs, bar owners, and hoteliers, then consider watching some fantastic business interviews at the Silverman Law Office’s YouTube channel. If you have any topics or questions to be covered in future articles, or if you would like to receive our monthly newsletter, then please email me at [email protected]. Silverman Law Offices are located in Helena and Bozeman.


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