NP Connects brings together leaders from a variety of backgrounds to share real-time perspectives on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On May 7, 2020, we were joined by guest speakers Azi Cohen, Co-founder and General Manager of White Source; Jason “Jay” Redman, Navy SEAL Retired Lieutenant and Author; and Morgan Nighan, Partner at Nixon Peabody.
With the second tranche of $310 billion in funding being disbursed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), many are awaiting loan forgiveness guidance from the SBA. More than $2 billion of PPP money has been returned and the deadline to return money penalty-free was extended to May 14. Many questions focus on sensational journalism, confusing guidance and the law. Things to keep in mind:
- The SBA’s FAQ 40 noted that an employer should document if and when an employee turns down an offer to be rehired so the loan will not be held against the business.
- The CARE Act waived the need to show alternate sources of capital and set a low bar for eligibility for PPP loans. Subsequent efforts by the SBA to establish higher hurdles have left borrowers confused.
- Any borrower who receives $2 million or more will be audited automatically and some smaller loans will be audited selectively.
- Without additional guidance at the moment, borrowers should spend as much of a PPP loan as possible on payroll in the remaining weeks before June 30. Some borrowers are having trouble convincing employees to come back to work because they are earning more from unemployment.
Cybersecurity has been significantly affected by remote work. Many companies struggled with access and connectivity issues to systems and hardware. Employee work patterns have changed to accommodate remote work — staff are logging in early or late at night, outside their typical 9–5 routines, and using personal computers and laptops to access company networks. If most of your business is done online, then application security risks have increased proportionately.
We all feel like we have been ambushed and are stuck in what Jason Redman, a Navy SEAL, calls the X, so now, focus on what you can control. Do not get stuck by saying there is no hope, things are out of your control, and nothing is positive. That thinking is counter-productive — the companies, individuals, and warriors that move off the X the fastest are the ones that will thrive.
Train yourself to REACT:
- R — Recognize your reality. In a crisis, humans deny what’s happening. Don’t waste time denying that it happened.
- E — Evaluate your assets and inventory. What can you leverage to start moving forward?
- A — Access possible options and outcomes. Pause a moment and double-check that you’re not going in the wrong direction.
- C — Choose a direction and communicate it. Too many people ruminate. Just choose and communicate your plan, which gives a sense of accountability and urgency to your team and family and creating hope.
- T — Take action. The X is quicksand. Create movement and momentum.