If you are a business owner during this challenging time, you are not just worried about staying healthy, you also have to maintain the financial viability of your business. Some industries have been hit harder than others, but most businesses are facing some type of change in how they operate.

There are a number of steps that you can take to shore up your finances and business, that can give you some peace of mind until things return to normal.

Evaluate Business Governance Structure
The reality is that any member of a business can become ill and unable to contribute. That becomes more serious when it is principal in the business who makes crucial decisions. You may want to review how your business governance structure transfers decision-making and responsibility in the event of illness. It is important to be very clear about this NOW, before there is an emergency.

Government Assistance Programs
There are a number of federal and state programs designed to help businesses stay viable during the pandemic, these include:

Paycheck Protection Program: designed to help you keep paying your employees, and it is technically a loan but may be forgivable if some conditions are met. It is best if you apply through your own local lender who then takes it to the SBA.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: The Small Business Administration always has loans available for qualified small businesses, and now has a special loan category for those affected by COVID. As of now, these are not forgivable loans, but have a low interest rate with a 30 year maturity.

Unemployment Insurance: This is not just for employees anymore, and if you are a self-employed sole proprietor the stimulus bills passed by Congress will cover you with a federal benefit in the event you contract COVID, care for someone who is ill or have a decrease in revenue.

Liability Protection: It appears the next stimulus bill will include some type of liability protection for businesses where COVID is transmitted to customers. This could be crucial for some industries where even a single lawsuit could upend a business.

Health and Life Insurance
Having sound policies to ensure the health and life of owners is an obvious step to take in a pandemic, and one way to protect your family and the future.

Review Estate Planning Documents
Recent events may have caused you to shift priorities when it comes to estate planning and your business ownership interests, so it may be time to have an attorney evaluate your documents.

If you have questions about how to access some of these programs and protect your business, please contact the attorneys at Shoup Legal, A Professional Law Corporation, at 951-445-4114 or visit their website at www.ShoupLegal.com.