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Thank you to all who joined us on Thursday, April 3 for our COVID-19 Stimulus Package and Your Flooring Store: Roundtable Q&A watch party in the Beat the Box Stores Facebook Group. We received an excellent response, including many specific questions from flooring dealers across the country.

With that in mind, we’ve asked our industry experts—Bob Saunders and Marjorie Benson—for help compiling this follow-up Q&A to address those concerns. We hope it will help answer your specific questions relating to the CARES Act and what it means for your flooring business. To watch the original roundtable discussion video and accompanying blog post, visit The COVID-19 Stimulus Package and Your Flooring Store: Roundtable Q&A. You will also find updated guidelines (released last night) at the top of that post.

Q: Unemployment applicants are being told they can’t file until two weeks after their last check—and my staff will not be able to go two more weeks without a check. If this is true, should I pay them for two weeks (in advance of their pay dates)? And if so, is that when the waiting period would start?

A: Unemployment benefits vary in each state. However, under the new law, the federal government is enhancing benefits so that you can claim them earlier, get a greater amount, and for a longer period of time. The problem is, most states have yet to coordinate with the federal government to start issuing these benefits.

Q: My accountant retired last year. He filed our 2018 tax return and finally mailed it out to me Monday, so I still don’t have it. We have not filed 2019 and our Quickbooks has not been reviewed by an accountant yet. So our P&L and Balance Sheet have not been cleaned up yet for 2019. How do we proceed with an SBA loan based on this?

A: Sorry, but you need to clean it up ASAP! Accounting records are not just for taxes, but for running your business better as well. They should be the backbone of your business decisions and should be up to date at all times so you can make better decisions and ensure better outcomes. (Update 4/8/20: Here’s how to count your employees for a PPP loan application).

Q: Washington State just extended their “shelter in place” order until May. Many others will follow. Looking into a murky crystal ball, would it be safe to look for loan distribution in June—or even July—assuming that our bank offers flexible funding dates?

A: The downsides to delaying your application are that:
a. They could run out of funds.
b. That your 12-month average running payroll will be lower, so you won’t get as much.

We would apply for the loan soon, and once approved, drag it out as long as you can.

Q: Some types of advertising require pre-payment annually. Will any advertising losses be covered?

A: Not from the CARES Act.

Q: If subcontractors are included in our payroll, will it affect their ability to apply for loans for their businesses or file for unemployment?

A: Based on the new guidelines which came out after the Q&A (and which can be found at the top of the COVID-19 Stimulus Package and Your Flooring Store: Roundtable Q&A blog post), subcontractors can not be counted.

Q: You referred to the “fine print” on rent payments. Could you elaborate?

A: Rent also includes utilities, but we don’t know what is considered a utility. Definitely gas and electric, but maybe phone and internet as well. Luckily, we have time to figure this one out.

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