Dear Fellow IMA Members and Guests,
I’ve been sitting here for days trying to come up with a “President’s Message” for you guys. I wanted to focus on the positive but somehow the world has gone crazy. Who knew we would be contemplating a work from home (WFH) atmosphere and trying to take care of business without losing our jobs, our livelihoods. In business, a person prepares for the inevitable. There is a plan in place for when a natural disaster hits or a loved one is lost and the business must go on. Or how about the computers going down or a fire happening at your place of employment. However, never in my wildest dreams would I imagine a life where we are told to “shelter-in-place”. Don’t have face-to-face meetings for two months at least. Cancel all interactions with everyone, except your immediate family members. Luckily for us, we are in a field that will be most helpful during this time. We can look for ways to provide support to our businesses so that they too can survive and come back stronger than ever.
On March 24, Global sent out another message saying that all face-to-face meetings will be suspended through May. Initially we thought we would get back to normal in May and were excited about holding happy hours and our monthly dinner meeting. With that being said, for the month of May: both our face-to-face dinner meeting and happy hours originally scheduled will be canceled. However, don’t fret, your board is at work. We are working with Global to have our very first virtual meeting in May. Stay tuned for more details. Also, our Small Business mini conference that was supposed to be held in March is still on. We are just waiting from Global to give the word on when we can get back to normal. Once we are given the go ahead, we’ll be putting on the conference. Stay tuned for when that happens. It could be as early as July…
Did you know there is a Dues & Hardship policy in place that can help with membership renewals? I didn’t until now. For those of you who have IMA membership renewals coming up and are having a difficult time justifying the cost as a result of financial difficulties due to the COVID-19, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a policy in place that can help you. IMA is here for the long haul and wants to help our members. Just contact them. Don’t hesitate.
In addition, I have a colleague who is being proactive with all of her clients. She sent an email to her clients talking about the stimulus package that was signed into place. As early as this Friday April 3rd, businesses can start applying for loans to help through the turbulent times. Many loans will be forgiven and it’s important to note that there is money out there to help alleviate some of the pain. To get ready to start applying for the loans that will be offered, my colleague recommended having the following documents ready and in place:
- Articles of Incorporation/Organization
- By Laws/Operating Agreement
- Driver’s License for owners
- Payroll expense verification documents:
o 2019 Form 940
o 2019 Quarterly Forms 941
o 2020 Payroll Summary Report for pay period covering 2/15/20
o Bank Statement for pay period covering 2/15/20 reflecting payroll payments made
o Breakdown of payroll benefits
o Certification that all employees live within the US
o If Independent Contractor – copies of 2019 1099’s
- Trailing 12 month profit and loss statement as close to the date of application as possible.
- Most recent rent/lease statement
- If you purchased your office space, most recent mortgage statement
- Most recent utility bills
- Complete SBA Form 1919 – this is a simple form to complete. It is not clear if this is the form they will want, but there is talk that it is.
This is mainly for small businesses and some non-profits but there are numerous articles out there for businesses of all shape and sizes. This was a taste of what is to come and to get you guys thinking with regards to your own situation.
As employees, you too can get help. The Texas Workforce Commission has a lot of information out there ready for people to look at, to guide employees. Just go to https://www.twc.texas.gov/ to get information.
There is something for everyone. I hope to see you soon at an upcoming event. Until then stay tuned for more news, especially our virtual May meeting that is in the works.
Chapter President 2019 - 2020