Small Business Triage FAQs


Covid-19 and the ensuing economic crisis has had a profound impact on small businesses. This FAQ sheet will help small business owners navigate common issues and concerns occurring as a result of COVID-19. FAQs

 

1. Who can I call for loan assistance?

The Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration are implementing the CARES Act, which provides loans to eligible small businesses and non-profit corporations. Funds may be used for payroll, leases or other expenses in order to weather the pandemic long enough to ultimately return to normal business conditions. As of May 23, 2020, over $4 billion has been loaned to Nevada businesses.

For more information click here.

Although the first round of funds has mostly (or completely) been spent at this time, most observers believe additional legislation may be passed in the near future.

The SBA website states that several loan options are available, including: Paycheck
Protection Program, EIDL Loan Advance, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief.

For more information about SBA loans click here.

 

2. What are some of the requirements for obtaining SBA loans?

The SBA website contains information regarding loan availability and requirements. Click here for more information. 

Small businesses, non-profit corporations, sole proprietors, independent contractors, selfemployed persons and others are eligible for loans. The SBA has its own resource page.

 

3. What are the state requirements for re-opening?

The Governor’s office provides timely updates of the various restrictions related to the Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 crisis, including requirements differentiated by type of business.

Click here for more information.

 

4. When will the next phases of re-opening occur? How will the requirements change?

Governor Sisolak is expected to address each phase of re-opening as conditions change and new facts are analyzed. It is important to closely follow communications and reports from the Governor’s office in order to adjust quickly as restrictions are slowly and safely lifted.

For more information click here.

5. How can I keep my employees and customers safe?

Several agencies continue to compile data in order to implement public health decisions.  The CDC continues to update its COVID-19 guidelines as the facts on the ground evolve.

Click here for more information about the CDC guidelines.

Declaration of Emergency Directive 018, issued from the Governor’s office, states that employers must comply with social distancing measures set forth by the Nevada State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NV OSHA).  Employers also need to follow the sick leave policies and other relevant postings required by the Nevada Labor Commissioner.

Click here to read the Declaration of Emergency Directive 018

Click here for updated guidelines.

The State of Nevada, Health and Human Services Department and the Governor’s office have created the following website, which has several links addressing many public health concerns and categories.

Click here for more information.

 

6. How can I avoid getting evicted from my commercial space? What are my options?

The Governor issued a moratorium on both residential and commercial evictions during the state of emergency, with some exceptions. See Emergency Directive 008.

Call your lessor to discuss options, such as temporary forbearance and/or temporary rent reduction. Since so many businesses are in the same dire position, there may not be another commercial tenant capable of moving into your space and signing a new lease. Lessors will not gain much be evicting tenants where there are no other tenants to replace them. This might give you a little leverage.

 

7. What if I am financially unable to re-open, even when the restrictions are lifted?

You should speak to a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the different types of bankruptcy protection: Chapter 7, Chapter 13 and Chapter 11. If you can still generate some revenue, plan to be able to do so going forward, and you tend to generate a moderate to large amount of revenue, you might be able to reorganize your business in a Chapter 11. But keep in mind that Chapter 11 bankruptcy can be an expensive and time consuming process.  If your business is fairly small and you do not anticipate generating much revenue in the next few quarters, you may need to consider a Chapter 7 liquidation. Chapter 7 is much less expensive and much faster than Chapter 11. However, this is intended for permanent closure.

 

8. How can I begin planning for bankruptcy protection, if permanent business closure becomes inevitable?

The types of planning will depend heavily on the type of bankruptcy filing. For example, in a Chapter 7, each state, including Nevada, has a long list of exemptions. These are assets that are not included in the bankruptcy estate, which creditors are unable to execute upon, or take away from you. In Nevada, the exemptions are listed in NRS 21.090.

Do not start changing or moving assets without first speaking to a bankruptcy attorney!

 

9. Which type of bankruptcy protection should I consider?

This depends upon your individual situation and projections. If your business brings in fairly high revenue under normal business conditions, your projections indicate that it will recover sooner rather than later, and the business has continued to function, even during the pandemic, you may want to consider filing a Chapter 11 reorganization. However, if your business is smaller, your revenue has greatly diminished and you do not anticipate a modest recovery within the next couple of quarters, you may want to prepare to file for a Chapter 7 liquidation.

You should speak to a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible.

 

Updates and Resources

If you would like more information about a specific topic related to Covid-19 click here. Please reference the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada if you wish to contact Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie with any further questions.