Paycheck Protection Program

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Guarantee and Forgiveness

Program Overview 
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.  SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.  The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.  

Who Can Apply 
This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.  Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.  Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers. This means each store location could be eligible.

How to Apply
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.  

Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.  

What Do You Need to Apply

  • Application
  • 3 Years Business Tax Returns (Signed and Dated)
  • 3 Years Personal Tax Returns (Signed and Dated) If 2019 is not complete, send copy of extension and W-2.
  • Interims (if you don’t have 2019 taxes done, make sure you have P&L and Balance Sheet for 2019 and copy of the extension
  • Interims for this year (January – March)
  • Mortgage Statement or Lease Agreement
  • Utility Bills
  • SBA Personal Financial Statement
  • Details on the costs outlined below. Monthly data here for expenses incurred prior to February 15, 2020. They are looking for the average monthly costs from the last year.
    • Payroll information:
    • 1099 (If you have independent contractors)
    • IRS Forms 940 and 941
    • Payroll Summary
    • If you are a business where employees get tips and they include in their tips in their W-2’s, copies of those W-2’s

Please continue to visit our websites for updates to resources for your small business:

Florida SBDC at UNF Coronavirus Small Business Resource Page

Florida SBDC Network COVID-19 Business Disaster Assistance Page 

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Activated for COVID-19

Florida small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may now apply for short-term, interest-free loans through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program.

The purpose of the loan program, which was activated by Governor DeSantis, is to help business owners bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other longer-term resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Through the program, qualified small businesses with two to 100 employees affected by COVID-19 can apply for loans up to $50,000 for one-year terms. To be eligible, a business must be located in Florida, have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic injury as a result of the virus.

To complete a bridge loan application by the May 8, 2020 deadline, and for more information about the program, please visit

Connect to other resources for your small business here.

Recession-Proof Business Planning

A strong economy can mask underlying problems at a small business. When the next recession hits — and historically speaking, it’s already overdue — will your business be healthy enough to not only survive, but possibly even thrive? It can be — but only if you have the right plan in place.

Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks
Every small-business owner says they want to grow their company. But how many are really prepared for the challenge?

Often, a vital step in growing your business is being able to raise cash quickly to capitalize on a sudden opportunity. Oddly enough, a recession can present some prime opportunities for growth, as some of your competitors might decide to sell off their assets at an attractive rate when faced with financial distress.

And the first step in raising cash is to have a lender-ready business plan.

SBA Loan Basics
Anytime you apply for an SBA loan, your package must include a business plan that meets the underwriter’s requirements. Those minimum requirements include 12 to 36 months of:

  • Profit-and-loss projections
  • Balance sheet projections
  • Cash flow projections

And that’s just the financial portion. You’ll also want to include an executive summary with notes on market size and demographics.

A word of warning: When writing a business plan or applying for a loan, it’s not a good idea to describe your potential market as “everyone.” That’s just a sign that you haven’t done your homework.

A dentist, for example, could reasonably argue that everyone in the world needs dental services. But the bank could just as reasonably counter that one dentist can’t possibly treat everyone in the world. So it comes down to the dentist defining the geographic area their practice will encompass, explaining why that area isn’t already saturated with dental-service providers and defining what sets the new practice apart. Continue reading here.

Opportunities for Black-Owned Businesses Are Thriving

By Ashley D. Bell Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration, White House Policy Advisor for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Black History Month is celebrated every February; a federally recognized, nationwide celebration that calls on all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans have played in shaping U.S. history.  I am honored to highlight the significant role that African Americans have made in shaping our economy through entrepreneurship and community investment.

The Small Business Administration has helped to power the American dream for many African American entrepreneurs across the nation and in the Southeastern Region. The SBA backed $210 million in loans to African American owned small businesses across the 8 Southeastern states last fiscal year. $2.3 billion in federal contracts were awarded to the SBA’s 8(a) certified firms; small businesses that have proven to be economically disadvantaged. Over 100,000 start-up and existing entrepreneurs last year were counseled and trained through the extensive resource partners we work with such as SCORE, the Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. The SBA has driven entrepreneurs successfully to the website LenderMatch to help connect a lender to the specific loan needs of a small business owner. We are reaching more entrepreneurs today more than ever before; and this is just the beginning.

Last year, I was humbled by receiving the Drum Major for Justice Award from the President of the Perry County Civic League, Albert Turner, at the historic Marion Baptist Academy located in Marion, Alabama. During the ceremony I explained, “I accept this honor on behalf of our lost loved ones whose deaths have paved our path. I know without any uncertainty that I would not be here today without the sacrifices of those like brother Jimmie Lee Jackson who was killed organizing for voter rights here in Marion. And for the life and legacy of Marion’s favorite daughter Coretta Scott King.”  I mention this award and this occurrence, because it helps to show just how important history is and it ties right into this year’s theme for Black History Month:  African Americans and the Vote, recognizing the struggle for voting rights among both black men and women throughout American history.

We have come so far over time, and yet we have a lot more work to do. My job won’t be finished until each and every African American owned small business has knowledge of what opportunities exist for them towards their success from the programs and services of the SBA to the multiple growth options made available through Opportunity Zones, through supply chain demand, through public and private contracting opportunities, access to capital, and the list goes on. I look forward to continuing to deliver services and opportunities to black-owned businesses across the nation through my role as Regional Administrator for the SBA and as a Policy Advisor on Entrepreneurship & Innovation for the White House office of American Innovation.

Give Your Taxes Your Attention 365 Days a Year

Numerous tax experts agree that addressing your tax liability effectively requires planning throughout the year. Those business owners who reap the most benefits consider their taxes year-round, rather than waiting to focus on tax payments just a few weeks before the filing date.

A typical small business qualifies for roughly a dozen tax deductions. For example, you may be able to claim deductions on the following:

  • Cars operated for business purposes
  • Business-related travel expenses
  • Purchases of office supplies, furniture, equipment, and software programs
  • Telephone expenses
  • Contributions toward insurance policies, retirement plans, and pension funds

It’s surprising how many small businesses never take advantage of these deductions, mainly because they suffer from the “tax-planning-happens-but-once-a-year” syndrome. To fully benefit from these deductions, it’s important to maintain your expense records throughout the year. Click here to continue reading.

by Brent Ross, CPA of Ross, Hughes & Associates, CPAs, PLLC & SBRN Member

Creating Clarity in 2020

What do you most want to accomplish in 2020? Business growth? Better health? Less stress? Make a written list so you can see it in black and white.
There! You have taken your first step in creating clarity for the New Year! Believe it or not, that’s quite an accomplishment. Many people say they want to do something but never take the first action step. Now the fun begins!
So, how long is your list? Do you have just a few key items, or does it resemble your holiday grocery list?  Either way, I am happy to say that you CAN accomplish everything on your list! Yep, seriously! First, though, let’s review and fine-tune it.
In my Time Management Tool, you are taught to prioritize your To Do list. Since this is a pretty important “to do” list, we’re going to apply a similar process to your 2020 goals by aligning them with your values.
  • WHY do you want to accomplish this?
  • Do these fall under things you “Should do,” are “Expected to do,” or things you “Want to do”?
  • HOW will accomplishing this benefit you?
  • If you don’t accomplish this, what will happen?
  • If you don’t accomplish this, how will you feel?
Now, review your list again:
  • Cross off anything you marked that wasn’t “Want to”
  • Circle the items that bring you the most benefit
  • Highlight the items that will make you feel good/proud/successful

Click here to continue reading.

by Karen D. Nutter, CBK Coaching & SBRN Member

S-Corp Reasonable Compensation

Our last post helped you choose which entity is most suitable for your business. So what if you are an S-Corp? Are you confused about salary rules?

Is This Your Situation: Confused About Salary Rules in an S-Corp

You’re in business to make money to feed your family, send the kids to college or drive the sports car of your dreams. But when you’re a shareholder in an S corporation, how and how much you get paid can be controversial and a red flag for the IRS.

What is an S corporation?

Businesses are organized in many ways. In an S corporation, business income and losses pass through the business and become part of each shareholder’s personal tax return.

Why is that a good thing?

S-corp shareholders, who work as owners and employees, can save money on Social Security and Medicare taxes. The money they retain can be considered a distribution of earnings, which is exempt from payroll taxes.  Even better, S-corp officers and board members decide how much (or little) actual salary shareholders receive. If you own the S corporation where you work, you make that salary decision.  Continue reading here.


by Brent Ross, CPA, CFE, CPEC & SBRN Member

Which Legal Structure is Best? Choosing which entity is most suitable for your business

business people holding question marks in front of their facesWhich entity is most suitable for your new or existing business?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has changed the landscape for business taxpayers. That’s because the law introduced a flat 21% federal income tax rate for C corporations. Under prior law, profitable C corporations paid up to 35%.

The TCJA also cut individual income tax rates, which apply to sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, including partnerships, S corporations, and LLCs (treated as partnerships for tax purposes). However, the top rate dropped from 39.6% to only 37%.

These changes have caused many business owners to ask: What’s the optimal entity choice for me?

Entity tax basics

Before the TCJA, conventional wisdom was that most small businesses should be set up as sole proprietorships or pass-through entities to avoid the double taxation of C corporations. A C corporation pays entity-level income tax and then shareholders pay tax on dividends — and on capital gains when they sell the stock. For pass-through entities, there’s no federal income tax at the entity level.

Although C corporations are still potentially subject to double taxation, their current 21% tax rate helps make up for it. This issue is further complicated, however, by another tax provision that allows noncorporate owners of pass-through entities to take a deduction equal to as much as 20% of qualified business income (QBI), subject to various limits. But, unless Congress extends it, that deduction is available only through 2025.  Continue reading here.

Meet Rhonda Stansberry, founder of A’tilob

woman sitting in a chair posing

A’tilob is a company formed by Rhonda Stansberry that serves as a vehicle for her original writing. Her first book is already in stores and on Amazon. She is currently working on several other projects including a screenplay.

Tell us about the book you have written.

The story portrays the unvarnished truth of the life and times of my father, numbers runner, racketeer, policy maker, gentleman, husband and father Frank Price “Chico” Baker. The book Numbers 35 & 53: The Case of the Brown Paper Bag gives readers a personal look as I travel back over fifty years, to when Frank’s dream of becoming a catcher in major league baseball was closed and another door opened. That door was opened to a world of unimaginable wealth, women, fast cars, and a mound of legal troubles. It give the readers an opportunity to feel his actual heartbeat as I tell this riveting saga of right, wrong, and the American Justice System.

How has the FSBDC at UNF helped you?

As a seasoned professional, Kevin Monahan of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has virtually acted as my very own divining rod. As a new business owner and author, the SBDC has provided me with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions and prosper. They have provided no-cost consulting services to help me grow my business to the next level. Kevin has supplied me with the tools to help market my book as well as my company. He has provided face-to-face business consulting on topics including business planning, accessing capital, as well as marketing strategies and who’s who to talk to, to sell and promote my book. His knowledge and connections are endless, and we are not finished yet.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an author?

Writing allows you to be creative, share a story, and educate your reader. It is self-expression.  Anyone wanting to write a book should be prepared to give their all to their story. You must believe in the project and know that what you are giving the reader is important.  Be proud of your work and be willing to accept criticism. You will become stronger with advice from outside parties.  ALWAYS REMEBER WRITE A STORY WORTH TELLING. Know the difference between a writer and an author.  If you have to make time to sit and read a book, then when will you have time to write a book? But if it is truly your passion, then keep your focus and consider it your plan “A” and do not have a plan “B” in place as it will only take the focus away from plan “A”.  Remember, writings never published means you remain a “writer” and not an “Author.”

What’s New in Digital Marketing Statistics and Trends:

Marketing Trends written on clapperboardHere is a quick rundown on what’s new in digital marketing statistics and trends from Mary Fisher, founder of Fisher Design Advertising and Public Relations, a Jacksonville, Florida marketing professional whose business just celebrated 30 years of success.


  • 68% of American adults are using Facebook, 2.4 billion users worldwide. 243 million in the US and Canada
  • Facebook audiences are skewing a little older: 65% are 35 or older.
  • 30% of the audience is 25-34 years old.
  • The average Facebook user is 40.
  • 2.23 billion users log on each month.
  • The average person is on Facebook 58 minutes a day.
  • 43% of Americans get their news from Facebook.
  • The average Facebook user clicks on eight ads per month.
  • The average price per click on an ad is $1.72
  • Facebook is the 3rd most visited website, after #1 Google and #2 YouTube.
  • People spend 20 times as much on TV ads to reach 2 times the audience as their Facebook video ads and you can target your audience on Facebook.
  • If you have a business Facebook account, and are regularly posting but not boosting posts or running ads, only 2% of your audience will see your posts.
  • 24% of business Facebook accounts are running ads.
  • Facebook ads are powerful and work well, if the campaign is set up properly.

Facebook Messenger: Can be installed directly on your website and act like a chat module. The person you are chatting with must have a Facebook messenger account.  See or for examples.

Chatbots: Facebook messenger is the most basic chatbot. Siri and Alexa are also advanced chatbots (artificial intelligence). Chatbots can provide information on your website while you are away. Chatbots can help with customer service and tie into your various systems to answer repetitive customer questions like: “When will my package be delivered?” “What time is my appointment?” “Where are you located?” What is my tracking number? It asked all the questions that a human would ask and was designed to include emojis to make the conversation sound more natural. They have scripts they follow. And if you wish, they can pass the call to a human to answer more in-depth questions.

Instagram (owned by Facebook):

  • Younger audiences.
  • 35% of American adults use Instagram.
  • You can place ads on Facebook and Instagram at the same time.

Twitter: 24% of American adults use Twitter. The news media does use it often, if you are trying to reach them.

YouTube: Advertise on Youtube with videos. Or put an informative video on YouTube and allow Google to place ads on your video.

Yelp: You can advertise on Yelp. The price is about the same as Google Adwords. However, I don’t recommend it for a service-based business unless you are doing pest control or something similar. Yelp is appropriate for restaurants, hotels, plumbers, etc.

Google Maps: Are critical for Google search placement. The Google maps listings for businesses are outranking the organic listings. And the number of 5 star review listings helps the maps ranks you.  You can now advertise on maps. It is part of Google Adwords.

Nextdoor website:  Also, a great place to personally recommend businesses and be recommended.  $100-$1,000 to place a real estate ad. Otherwise, it is very expensive to actually place an ad, $15,000 per month.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): This is the art of making your website rank on the most popular search engines. SEO includes behind the scenes coding, plus copy on the website. Articles linked to your website from other websites. Directories like Google Maps, Bing Maps, Yelp, White Pages, Yellow Pages also need to be linked to your website. A website with very little copy is unlikely to rank well.

  • SEO for audible search (Siri, Google, Alexa) as well as desktop/laptop.  Optimizing your website for search engines has become even harder. Remember you need to optimize for a Siri and Google assistant’s audible search as well.
  • If you ask Siri who “the best orthopedic doctor in Jacksonville is,” it will use Yelp and rank by the number of stars in the reviews.
  • If you ask for an “orthopedic doctor near me”, it will use Apple Maps from your iPhone. It does not rank by reviews like Yelp.
  • iPhone combines the Apple maps listings with Yelp reviews to serve up answers.
  • If I ask Siri for “orthopedic doctor in Jacksonville”, it did not show the one with the best reviews or the closest one. It showed the website that was optimized for the search engines best and had the fastest load speed on the phone.
  • To optimize your site for an audible search, build an FAQ section that asks questions and answers them.

Website tracking software:

  • Install software on your website to tell you what companies are coming to your website. See Leadfeader. Cost: $59 per month. It will not track personal visitors from their home. You can also track your competitors coming to your website. Then you call to follow up with a call, an email, or postcard.
  • Most importantly, track all prospect phone calls to your business. Ask them where they heard of you. Many times they will say a Google search. In reality, it is typically more than one channel. They may have met you in a networking meeting, saw your ad, got a referral from a friend and then finally they searched you on the internet.


by Mary Fisher, founder of Fisher Design Advertising and Public Relations & SBRN Member





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