Once your loan is completed there are several areas of your business that you can and should invest in.
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The CARES bill, passed by Congress in March, was a much-needed lifeline for thousands of American small businesses. Of the many programs it has created, the Paycheck Protection Program has done more than any other to keep businesses alive. According to a survey by payroll service provider OnPay, 52% of all small businesses received a PPP loan.
While some PPP loans were eligible for full forgiveness, others had to be repaid in full depending on the size of the loan and the purpose for which it was used. For the companies that manage to repay their PPP loans, the final payment can feel liberating. But the question needs to be asked: what can a company do when the loan is repaid?
Some sectors are booming, while others are still on shaky ground. No matter what sector your business is in, the freedom you have after repaying your PPP loan can be used for a variety of purposes. Here are some of the best.
Related: 5 Strategies for Avoiding PPP Legal Error
Even the best PPP loans could not prevent all companies from cutting their workforce: By April this year, 21% of companies had already laid off a significant number of their employees, and another 64% are planning to do so in the near future, according to a study by Kenan-Flagler Business School of the UNC. As soon as the repayment obligation on your loan is lifted, give it back by hiring it back.
Weekly unemployment claims are increasing, unemployment benefits are running out and workers need help. Investing in your workforce again now can ensure that your team is wired and strong after the pandemic ends. By hiring some of your former employees again, you can improve morale and strengthen your business in the process.
2. Invest in new technology
Just because Covid-19 slowed things down doesn't mean the world is no longer moving forward. Globalization continues unabated, technology is getting more powerful every minute, and companies that fail are demanding to be left behind.
A survey of Fortune 500 CEOs published in the Harvard Business Review found that 63% of them plan to accelerate their investments in technology despite the financial burden caused by the pandemic. Even if you don't invest in new technology, your competitors will. The money you used to repay your PPP loan can now be used for the latest research and development that your business needs to be competitive.
3. Rethink the office
During the unknowns of a pandemic, selling your office or giving up a lease is never easy, and regular PPP repayments can make the prospect of it even more daunting than it normally would be. Once a loan is repaid, the managers have several options: New office? Smaller office? No office?
If you want to redesign the workspace, first listen to your co-workers. According to a survey conducted by PwC, almost three quarters of employees say they want to work from home at least two days a week. Whether it is a completely virtual office or just one that allows large numbers of employees to work remotely, your team is ready to transform the office fundamentally. With your newfound financial freedom, you can do just that.
Related Topics: 5 Ways Your Business Can Benefit From A Virtual Office
4. Run a flagship campaign
A study conducted by SurveyMonkey found that more than 40% of companies cut their marketing budgets in the face of Covid-19. While marketing is almost always one of the first parts of a business to get leaner when things turn south, it should also be one of the first to be spiced up when things change. Getting your company out there is more important than ever, and now is the time to do it.
In times of economic downturn, consumers look for alternatives to their normal purchases: things that are cheaper, work better, last longer, or just feel better overall. With the right advertising campaign for the right groups, your business can fill that niche in ways that others just aren't. Don't cut costs – this could be a breakthrough for your business.
Paying back a loan feels great, but sending that final check to the PPP is something entirely different. It shows that your company went through the worst and appeared on the other side, battle-tested and ready for more. Take your newfound financial freedom and make the most of the day with it.