Credit Card Company & Financial Institution Accommodations for Small Businesses

Today’s featured Spread Your Sunshine Trail Blazer, employment lawyer Terin Barbas Cremer, totally inspired us with *all* that she is tirelessly doing to assist local businesses during these difficult times. Thus, in follow-up to our March 18th and March 23rd Resources to Fund & Support Small Businesses articles, we are providing additional resources to financially assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. If you, or your business, are in need of help, read on for ways you can potentially benefit from accommodations that provide financial relief presently being offered by credit card companies and lending institutions. 

Waiver of Monthly Interest, Late Fees and Minimum Payments: In response to the financial hardships faced by small businesses, many major credit card companies and financial institutions are extending payment deadlines, lowering annual percentage rates (APR), and waiving monthly interest, late fees and minimum payments. To determine whether one or more of these accommodations is available to you, contact your lending institution(s). Be sure to understand the period of time applicable to the accommodation, as each institution is different. For example, some are backdating accommodations to February 2020 whereas others are granting prospective relief, some require a monthly waiver whereas others may grant the accommodation for an extended time period, etc. To make the best decisions for you and your business, be clear on the terms available to you and their associated deadlines.

Waiver of Merchant Processing Fees: To ensure small businesses retain a higher percentage of the funds paid to them at this critical time, some financial institutions may waive, or lower, merchant processing fees. Contact your provider to determine if such an accommodation is available to your business. 

Pause and Re-Start Options at No Cost: Lenders may also stay loan payments owed during the crisis at no cost to the borrower. To find out if you are entitled to waive payments owed during the pandemic at no penalty to you, contact your institution.

Free E-Commerce Payment Tools: Financial institutions are also assisting small businesses with free e-commerce tools. If your business previously made physical payments and can no longer do so, consult your banker or lender about free e-commerce payment tools they may be willing to offer you free of charge. Such resources can help your business track its spending, adjust its budget, and otherwise manage its finances during this time. 

Small Business and Personal Loans at Reduced Rates: Most financial institutions are offering reduced-rate loans to customers with small business accounts. Loan types include quick loans for general business purposes ($5,000 to $250,000 with terms from 12 to 84 months at a 2% interest rate, lower than the standard rate for which most businesses would qualify) and cash flow manager loans (secured and unsecured on demand lines of credit for $10,000 to $250,000 at a 1% interest rate, lower than the standard rate for which most businesses would qualify).

Mortgage Relief: Financial institutions are also working to assist struggling homeowners and small businesses affected by COVID-19 by suspending mortgage payments for eligible borrowers. Those affected by this crisis and struggling to make payments are urged to contact their loan servicers about forbearance on loans. Forbearance allows mortgage payments to be suspended for up to 12 months due to economic hardship caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.  

While Spread Your Sunshine cannot guarantee the accommodations your specific institution may extend, based on various offers presently available in the marketplace, it is worthwhile to check with your lender about what relief it may be able to provide to you at this critical time. Click here for an article summarizing offers by various institutions as of this date to get you started.

Hopefully the forgoing ideas and those in our March 18th and March 23rd articles help you fund your business. In addition to these financial ideas, if you have questions or want to learn more about employer obligations to employees in response to COVID-19, register for this Thursday’s State of Business with COVID-19 webinar for which today’s Trail Blazer Terin Cremer is a panelist. Additional information on this webinar and how to register can be found here

You know what, though? We want to help even more! If YOU have additional information to share with the SYS community, email Spread Your Sunshine Founder Melanie Griffin at melanie@spreadyoursunshine.com or message Spread Your Sunshine on Facebook or Instagram. Together, we can have the greatest impact on our communities and those whom we love most.