Free, free and some loans

In the coming days you’ll be getting direct email from us offering up some free services. Today is our 20th anniversary which means that we’ve been through downturns and hard times before. When I was a young business owner I depended on the advice of more seasoned clients to help us understand how a business needs to act to survive Michigan’s particular economic cycles. As an economics student I’m good at grasping the big picture and the particulars. As a public affairs and law major I’m good at understanding the effects of policy. But running a business is a juggling act. And for that we have some help to offer.

Our focus is going to shift into helping you gain the most productivity from your remote staff. Businesses that don’t have home office policies need them and have to define what a successful home office environment looks like. Managers that haven’t managed a remote workforce need help learning how to do so. Workers that haven’t worked from home, need to learn new technical and communication skills. Many businesses have been thrust into 100% remote work without advanced planning to ensure the productivity of the business is preserved. Those that made the shift to the cloud and now have remote workers have a HUGE advantage over those that didn’t. We’re here to help you cross that bridge and get your people thriving.

We have some ideas to help you but in addition to that but we also want to make you aware of opportunities to take advantage of some free things to help your business.

  • Free Planning and Audit meetings. These will not be billed against your contract
  • Free 6 month long E1 licenses for temporary use. This is a Microsoft offer we can pass along there are some caveats with it, minimal security but if you are laying off staff this is worth a conversation. It’s not the same functionality as you enjoy today but some workers may be able to muddle through with it.
  • Free online end-user training with reporting so you know if your staff has taken it or not
  • Free in-person business strategy event (as soon as we are allowed to host one)
  • Free internal-only phone system via Teams including voicemail
  • We will also be moving all funds currently held in escrow into paying for outstanding invoices

Loans and a grant?

Last night our trade association, CompTia, held an emergency meeting in which they had a lawyer and a representative of the SBA present and they walked through applying for the EIDL. They pointed out a provision that offers a grant paid to you 3 days after application of up to $10K based on the size of your business. I really pressed them on the idea of free money on the basis that if it’s too good to be true then it isn’t true. What happens after you apply for this is that you will be offered a loan. Supposedly, if you decide not to move forward with the loan and spend the grant on payroll, then you won’t have to pay it back. Things are changing daily it seems so consult your own experts please. My word is not what you should base your decision on.

Here is the link to the application for EIDL. https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

I also received this helpful message from a client about the PPP loans.

The Department of Treasury has released the  Paycheck Protection Program application and supplemental information, all available on their website. We strongly recommend that you review these documents and contact your local banker to discuss the lender guide to ensure you are aware of program requirements. While it is our understanding that virtually all banks and credit unions will be able to process program applications, you should verify that your bank intends to support the program. 

Please note that for most small businesses, applications can be made as early as this Friday. 

As a reminder, funds from this program:

  • Can be used for employee salaries under $100,000, paid sick or medical leave, health insurance premiums, and mortgage interest, rent and utility payments;
  • In many cases will be 100% forgivable if used for the above purposes; and
  • Are available to businesses or 501(c)(3) nonprofits with less than 500 employees, including sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals.

Finally let me remind you of something that we say everyday. We care about your business.

About Harbor Computer Services

Harbor Computer Services is an IT firm servicing Southeastern Michigan. We work exclusively under contract with our clients to provide technology direction and either become the IT department or provide assistance to the internal IT they already have. We have won many awards for our work over the years, including the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2010. We’re the smallest firm to have ever won this most prestigious award. Most recently we were recognized as one of the top 20 visionaries in small business IT by ChannelPro Magazine (2015). And in 2016 as the top Michigan IT firm for Manufacturing. There are a few simple things that make Harbor Computer Services the best choice for your business. •We are Professionals •We are Responsible •We are Concerned About The Success of Your Business

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