What Can Small Businesses Do Now

While federal, state, and local lawmakers mull over additional aid, Karen G. Mills, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School and former member of the Obama National Economic Council, recommends that small business owners:

Apply for the Small Business Administration loans. In addition to the disaster loans, which only apply to businesses in states that have declared emergency status, some state governments are offering aid packages.

Explore private sector programs and fintech products. Facebook said it would offer $100 million in grants to small businesses. And fintech companies such as Kabbage and Fundbox, which specialize in loans to small businesses, are also considering ways to support the sector.

Renegotiate terms of contracts and debt. Owners should ask landlords for more time to pay their rent, for example. They should also ask banks to temporarily defer interest payments on outstanding debt.

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