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Make These 5 Money Moves to Help Your Business Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic

We’ve all felt the impact of COVID-19 on our personal lives, both financially and emotionally. But for small business owners, the pandemic packs an extra punch. According to a survey performed by the National Federation of Independent Business , about half of small business owners said they’d be unable to continue operations for more than two months without help. Impacted entrepreneurs are experiencing slower sales, supply chain disruptions and, of course, concerns about employees contracting the illness — and that’s all on top of figuring out how to keep their doors open. Fortunately, there are steps small business owners can take to help their companies come out of this quarantine on the right side of the proverbial dirt. Just as you use masks and hand sanitizer to help you survive the pandemic personally, here are some tools to help your business make it out alive, too. 1. Apply for emergency funding The coronavirus has led to unprecedented economic pressures — which is part of...

Jul 24, 2020

14 Black Financial Experts You Should Be Following

When it comes to personal finance advice, it can often feel difficult to find information that is relevant to the black experience. Black Americans often face financial hurdles such as pay inequality, predatory lending and hiring discrimination, all of which have contributed to a racial wealth gap. “People are working hard, but if every part of their life is discounted, how can they catch up?” says financial educator Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche. According to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve, as of 2016, the median black household net worth was just over $17,000, while for the same year the median net worth for white households was over $170,000. And while the median household income for black Americans has risen between 2013 and 2018, it is still 33% lower than the national average . Marcus Garrett, co-host of the podcast “Paychecks & Balances,” says the answer to closing the wealth gap between black and white Americans is multifaceted. “First, we must address what...

Jul 23, 2020

Side Hustle Tips to Help You Earn Money from Charging Bird Scooters

Whether you’re trying to make a little extra cash to help you get by until payday or you want to boost your savings to get one step closer to a major purchase, there are a host of opportunities in the gig economy to find a side hustle that fits your talents and schedule. Yet it’s important to remember that side hustles typically involve some expenses. For example, if you’re charging Bird scooters, that’s your electricity that you’re using to do so. Before getting started, it’s smart to tally up your total expenses and look for ways to maximize your time and funds. Not sure how to determine the costs of a side hustle like charging Bird scooters? Here’s everything you need to know. How to make money charging Bird scooters Charging Bird scooters is a gig that appeals to a lot of people because you can mostly be in charge of your own schedule — you pick the scooters up, charge them and drop them back in high-traffic areas between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. per Bird’s app. Bird refers to...

Jul 15, 2020

Can’t Pay Credit Card Bills Because of the Coronavirus? Make This Call

Have your finances been rocked by the coronavirus? Your credit card issuer might be willing to offer a helping hand, but you’ll likely have to ask for it. As America and the rest of the world wrestle with the COVID-19 pandemic, more daily lives are being upended. Lockdowns, self-quarantines and other drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus are becoming more common here in the U.S., leading to missed paychecks and unpaid time off from work and other hardships. For many Americans, whose financial margin for error is tiny even in the best of economic times, these disruptions can be a really big deal. They can make it hard to pay your mortgage, car loan or credit card bill, for example. The good news is that these disruptions will likely only be temporary, but that doesn’t make things any easier in the short term. Fortunately, you can take steps right now to help your situation: the simplest step is to call your credit card issuer and ask for help. Many credit card issuers have...

Apr 22, 2020

Places Where Taxpayers May Wait Longer for Their Stimulus Checks

The CARES Act stimulus checks may offer some relief to taxpayers amid the coronavirus outbreak, but distribution may pose a problem for the millions who don’t use direct deposit to receive their tax refunds. In 2019, 19.8 million taxpayers waited longer for their tax refunds to arrive via paper check. Today, these same taxpayers will have to wait longer again — potentially up to an additional three months — for their stimulus checks. MagnifyMoney looked at the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. to determine where taxpayers used direct deposit the most (and least) to receive their 2018 tax refund. Cities with the highest percentages of check-receiving taxpayers are where people will likely wait longer for financial relief to arrive. In this review, we’ll cover: Key findings Where taxpayers may have to wait longer for their stimulus checks What to do if you didn’t use direct deposit File your 2019 tax return as soon as possible Provide your banking information to the IRS online Open...

Apr 9, 2020

How to Create a Small Business Marketing Budget

A marketing budget for small businesses can keep spending on track as you promote your business . “Assuming you have a good marketing strategy and plan in place, it can truly fuel your growth as a business in a way that outbound sales cannot,” said Lyndsey Maddox, from Digital Third Coast, an online marketing firm. Continue reading to learn how to create a marketing budget and strategy for your small business. How to create a marketing budget Sample marketing budget for small businesses Maximizing your marketing budget How to create a marketing budget The amount of money you spend on marketing depends on the results you want to achieve, such as growing your revenue by a certain percentage. Before you start pouring funds into a campaign, follow these steps to create an effective strategy as you set a budget. Set up your marketing strategy To expand your reach, you first need to understand your existing — or prospective — customer base, said Maddox, who is director of business...

Jan 23, 2020

Study: More Than 1 in 3 Credit Cardholders Ended 2019 With More Card Debt Than They Started With

Let’s be real — some of us might not have made as much financial progress as we would have liked in 2019. Thankfully, it’s a new year, and we have another chance to do better. CompareCards commissioned a survey of almost 800 credit cardholders and found that nearly 1 in 5 cardholders with credit card debt didn’t make any progress towards paying off their debt last year. On top of that, 35 percent of cardholders entered 2020 with more credit card debt than they had in the beginning of 2019. In this article: Key findings Many cardholders started the new year with card debt Nearly 1 in 5 indebted cardholders didn’t make any payoff progress in 2019 The credit card debt gender gap continues How to prioritize paying off credit card debt in 2020 The bottom line Key findings Nearly 1 in 5 cardholders with credit card debt didn’t make any payoff progress this year. 35 percent of cardholders have more credit card debt now than they did on Jan. 1, 2019. On the other hand, 34 percent now have...

Jan 10, 2020

Tips to Help Keep Yourself and Business Protected from Social Media

Social media platforms have become a bit of a double-edged sword for businesses. In one sense, they’re essential for marketing your business and driving new traffic to your website and services. Alternatively, any bad press or bad reviews on social media can turn online crowds against you and cause significant reputational damage to your business. Just last year, the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, VA, received thousands of negative online reviews within days after the owner asked press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave . It also resulted in a ripple effect on the town’s local economy, forcing the city government to spend money on digital marketing to boost tourism in the wake of the controversy. The damage went even further. Multiple restaurants by the same name and unconnected to the event also received negative social media attention as a result. Small businesses have some major watch-outs when it comes to social media: Not only can negative attention spread quickly on...

Jan 7, 2020

Small Business Insurance: The 10 Types You May Need

Purchasing insurance for your small business may seem like a daunting task. It’s important that you buy the right amount so you’re not underinsured if problems arise or paying too much for coverage you don’t need. To determine what’s essential, consider the value of your company’s assets, including property, equipment and inventory. Several types of insurance policies exist to help you protect what’s most important. You also may be legally required to buy certain kinds of insurance based on state laws. Continue reading to learn about common types of small business insurance that entrepreneurs should consider purchasing. We’ll help you figure out what’s right for your business. 10 types of small business insurance When lining up insurance for your small business, consider choosing from the following types of policies. 1. General liability insurance General liability insurance provides coverage that protects businesses from property damage and bodily injury claims, as well as certain...

Jan 6, 2020

How to Prepare Your Small Business for Tax Season

As the calendar year ends and business tax season looms, entrepreneurs must start gathering documents and calculating their income, expenses and deductions to determine how much the IRS expects them to pay in taxes by the April deadline. A small business tax preparation checklist could help ease the process. Whether you’re getting ready for your first business tax season or you’re an experienced veteran, continue reading to brush up on what you need to prepare. When is business tax season? Small business tax preparation checklist Steps to take next tax year When is business tax season? Personal tax returns are due in April every year, and springtime is often thought of as tax season, especially for pass-through entities, which we’ll discuss in greater detail, below. But business owners may need to pay taxes throughout the year. Because business owners don’t have an employer who withholds tax from their earnings, they typically make quarterly estimated tax payments.   Self-employed...

Jan 3, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Loans

For business owners who need help funding their venture, loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration can be a popular financing option. The SBA aims to help small business owners who have trouble qualifying for traditional business financing , said Terri Denison, SBA Georgia district director. However, that doesn’t mean everyone with less-than-perfect credit can receive SBA loans. “What we’re looking for is that middle section — the borrower that has a good, solid business plan and idea, but maybe there’s something that’s not quite meeting all the requirements of a lender’s conventional loan,” Denison said. If you fit that description, keep reading to explore the pros and cons of SBA loans. We’ll dive into the benefits of an SBA loan, as well as some downsides you could expect. What are SBA loans? Pros and cons of SBA loans The bottom line What are SBA loans? The SBA doesn’t directly lend to small business owners — rather, it backs loans made through partnering lenders,...

Dec 17, 2019

21 Small-Business Grants for Women

There are many small-business grants specifically catered to women business owners, and we’ve compiled a list of our top recommendations. The number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has grown 45 percent since 2007, which is five times faster than the national average. As the number of women entering the small-business scene has increased, so have financing options specifically for women business owners. We know how much time can be put into grant applications, so we’ve done some of the research for you. Recommended Databases and Foundations for Women We recommend you leverage free databases and search tools to ensure your search is entirely comprehensive. Although we analyzed more than 100 small-business grants, other grants may fit your business perfectly. is the one of the most comprehensive search tools for grants and challenges specifically for women. The site doesn’t have the easiest filtering tool, but it does list dozens of grants...

Dec 4, 2019

How to Refinance Your Student Loans, Even If You Didn’t Graduate

People enroll in college anticipating that a degree will lead to better job prospects, higher salaries and more opportunities in the future. But for a range of reasons, including college costs and life circumstances, some students have to drop out. After leaving school, you’re still required to make payments on your student loan debt. Refinancing can help many people manage their student debt, but refinancing student loans without a degree can be difficult. Here are your options for refinancing student loan and coming up with a repayment strategy if you didn’t complete your degree. Can you refinance student loans without a degree? For many people, refinancing and consolidating student loans makes their debt more manageable. They may qualify for a lower interest rate, different repayment terms or even a lower monthly payment. That can free up money in their budgets for other financial priorities. If you didn’t complete your degree, finding a lender who will refinance your loans with...

Dec 2, 2019

Six Ways to Still Save for Retirement, Even When in Debt

Whether you recently took out a mortgage, you’re saddled with student loan debt, or you’ve overextended your credit cards, you may be one of the millions of Americans working to pay off their debt obligations. However, just because you’re paying off debt doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about your future. Saving for retirement now (even if it’s just a little) means you can reap the benefits of compound interest , allowing your investments to grow exponentially over time. It’s a strategy that pays off — a 25-year-old who contributes just $250 per month toward his or her retirement ($3,000 per year) with a return of nine percent would have more than $1 million by retirement age. Below, you’ll find a handful of strategies for saving for retirement, even if you’re in debt. 1. Consider Refinancing Your Student Loans Whether on your own or with a qualified cosigner, refinancing your student loans can free up some extra cash. The annual federal student rate interest amount is...

Nov 26, 2019

Business Loans for the Holiday Season

Holiday shoppers and wintry weather could have a positive or negative effect on businesses, depending on the industry. Retailers, for example, could experience a rush of customer traffic during the holidays, while business could slow down for weather-affected companies, like oil well drillers who can’t work when the ground freezes. Because the winter months can put a strain on small businesses of all kinds, it is a prime time of year to secure financing. Seasonal business loans could make it easier to keep up with the demands of the holiday season, or help you cover regular expenses if business slows down. Before you find your business in a tight spot, keep reading to find out how you can obtain a seasonal business loan or other types of holiday financing. In this guide, we’ll cover: Types of seasonal business loans Business line of credit Accounts receivable financing Inventory financing When to apply for holiday financing Is seasonal financing right for your business? Types of...

Nov 25, 2019