Important PPP update for 2021
On December 22, 2020, Congress passed a bill renewing funding under the CARES Act, including an additional $284 billion earmarked for America’s struggling small businesses. The rules and application process for PPP loans and forgiveness have been modified, with more businesses eligible for PPP loans, more expenses forgivable, and a simplified application process.
Please note, though the PPP application deadline is being extended, you only have until May 31, 2021 to get your application submitted to the SBA. After that, the SBA will only process existing applications that have already been submitted, until the PPP deadline of June 30, 2021. Start your PPP loan application now!
In this 5-minute read:
- What’s the impact of COVID-19 on gift shops and florists?
- Tips and ideas to keep your flower or gift shop business “open”
- Helpful resources and guides
Each day the COVID-19 pandemic affects more people and businesses. We’re not sure how long this will last, which is why it’s more important than ever to take action and plan for the future of your business.
Get your PPP loan or second draw PPP loan through Womply! Womply has helped over 200,000 businesses get their PPP funding. It’s free to apply for a PPP loan, and Womply can help connect you with an SBA lender that’s right for you! Start your PPP application.
With floral and gift shops typically listed as “non-essential” businesses, many across the country are having to temporarily close their doors to customers as states enact stay-at-home orders for their residents.
This guide is meant to help your floral or gift shop navigate the challenges that COVID-19 brings and provide some options to keep business going during this time.
How is COVID-19 affecting flower and gift shops?
The largest challenge facing flower and gift shops right now is generating revenue and maintaining cashflow as people are staying home and only shopping for essentials.
Another challenge has also been the number of employees who are impacted by the effects of the coronavirus. As schools are shut down, parents need to be home with their children and aren’t able to keep working.
The supply chain is also questionable right now, as wholesalers and warehouses in various states have been ordered closed, while some remain open. This makes for uncertainty as you move down the supply chain.
While current circumstances may seem daunting or even impossible, there are ways that your flower or gift shop can have a better chance of making it through this crisis and coming out stronger on the other end.
Tips for your flower or gift shop during COVID-19
These tips can offer some solutions for dealing with stay-at-home orders and the lack of in-store customers during this time. Take a look and consider whether any of these will work for your store, and keep your local and state laws in mind.
Offer curbside pickup, drive-through, or limited in-store access
If your state or locality hasn’t issued a blanket “shelter at home” order, curbside pickup and limited access to your store could be a great option.
For curbside pickup, allow customers to call in order or put in orders online, and then take their orders out to them in the parking lot when they arrive.
You can also offer limited access to your store by scheduling time slots for one or two customers to come in at a time.
Each of these solutions help keep with social distancing guidelines and allows customers to continue to do business with your shop.
Utilize ecommerce platforms
Start an ecommerce store to let customers place orders online. You’ll likely need a delivery service in place to assist with this, so see if any employees would be willing and able to deliver gifts or flowers during this time.
Vend is a great solution for helping retail businesses set up online stores and may be worth looking into if you’re not sure how to get started on your own.
Engage in marketing efforts
As you start offering different solutions for your customers, make sure you are keeping up your marketing efforts to spread the word.
Go deeper: 8 ways to promote your business on Facebook
Inform your customers
Make sure your current customers are informed of any changes that you’ve made to your shop. Update your website, send out e-newsletters, and share posts on social media that explain what your situation is and how you can still provide services.
Include information about how your employees are taking every precaution to provide a safe environment for customers to set their mind at ease.
Coronavirus resources for flower and gift shops
Several organizations have created online guides for small and local businesses to help them during this crisis.
General business resources for COVID-19
The SBA, CDC, and other business-minded organizations have put together resources to help your business find solace in regards to sanitization, financial assistance, and more:
- SBA Guide for Businesses during COVID-19
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: how to apply if you’re impacted by COVID-19
- CDC Guide for Businesses and Employers
- How retail shops can deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis
- Emergency funding options for small businesses
Flower and gift shop resources for COVID-19
There are also specific organizations for flower and gift shops that are taking action to keep their industry partners informed and protected.
Society of American Florists (SAF)
SAF is the national trade organization for the U.S. floral industry. Their website has resources for flower shop owners, including:
- COVID News and Best Practices
- A webinar for best financial practices during COVID-19
- Other helpful webinars to guide your through COVID-19
SAF has also sent letters to several state governors explaining that floral deliveries are essential during this time to help keep morale and spread joy and love to individuals who may be suffering from COVID-19 and their loved ones.
Learn more about SAF at safnow.org.
Retail Industry Leaders Association
RILA is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic to provide updates to the retail industry. They have webinars for business owners to work through the challenges they are facing during this time. Some of the webinars are on topics like:
- Asset protection
- General and legal counsel for employee pay, commercial rent, contract issues, and more
- Environmental compliance
- Energy management
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information or visit www.rila.org to learn more.
Vend, mentioned earlier, is a company that helps retailers create successful online stores. They are staying up to date on the impacts of coronavirus on retail businesses and provide daily updates in their blog.
Learn more at www.vendhq.com.
Let Womply help you apply for your PPP loans!
As you know, it’s free to apply for a PPP loan, and we know you have lots of choices. So why should you let Womply connect you with an approved SBA lender? Because we know what we’re doing and people love the help we provide. We’ve helped over 200,000 businesses, contractors, sole proprietors, and self-employed individuals get approved. Don’t wait! The application deadline is May 31, 2021.
Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!