Planning for 2021 may feel like a daunting task. Your team is working remotely, and 2020 has thrown a wrench in your strategic plans. Is it possible to be successful this year? Absolutely, if you focus on your people, remain adaptable, and embrace a growth mindset.

1. Focus On People

Business has always been about people, and 2020 was no different. In many industries, employees were empowered by the flexibility remote work provided. Where and how people work has changed dramatically over the last few months. As you plan for 2021, consider remote work arrangements a top perk for in your retention and recruitment efforts.

While remote work opportunities have a lot of upside, they also present challenges including fatigue and fragmentation. It can be difficult to find ways to motivate team members while they’re physically disconnected. Make sure your leadership team is deploying strategies for keeping your workforce engaged and inspired. This may include remote social outings and finding opportunities to celebrate shared successes.

2. Remain Adaptable

2020 has not been a typical year in any sense. This is especially true for entrepreneurs and business owners. Some organizations experienced rapid growth in 2020, while others struggled to overcome daunting challenges. In either case, using 2020 data to budget for 2021 may be misguided.

Consider reframing how you approach your 2021 budget. Plan for the long-term but focus on short-term objectives. Toss out rigid goals and benchmarks and embrace a more flexible approach. Build in the ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities and adapt to changing external forces. Acting quickly on an opportunity where your competitors may hesitate could help you capture market share.

3. Embrace Growth

For companies that have the desire and ability to pursue new business, opportunities will abound in 2021. Cultivate a growth mindset at all levels within your organization. Focus on small gains and avoid becoming distracted by the fluctuations in the larger economy. Consider building formal or informal partnerships with other business leaders you trust. Meeting regularly to share insights will help you find solutions to your challenges.

2021 will reward executives who pursue an aggressive growth strategy. Small businesses have the competitive advantage of being able to fail fast and adjust without being bogged down by bureaucracy. Pour energy into your people, remain adaptable, and embrace growth and 2021 will be a banner year.

Looking for help pursuing new opportunities in 2021? Let’s have a conversation about how we can work together to grow your business.

On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration released initial details and guidelines for the updated Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Second Draw Loans. The full text of the guidelines can be found here. Second Draw Loans will be made to borrowers who already received loans in round one of the 2020 PPP process.

Final guidance has been issued, but the application has not yet been made available and banks will not be able to enter applications until January 13th at the earliest. We are monitoring for the application to be released and will make it available when the SBA publishes the document.

Below are some notable parameters we’re aware at this stage:

  • Maximum loan size for this round is $2 million.
  • Business may have no more than 300 employees
  • Business demonstrated a reduction in gross receipts of at least 25 percent in any quarter in 2020 relative to the same quarter of 2019.
    • Revenue reduction can also be the full calendar year of 2020 vs 2019.
  • Payroll is 2.5x of the average payroll based off one of the following:
    • 2019 calendar year,
    • 2020 calendar year, or
    • past 12 months
  • Businesses classified in NAICS code 72 (generally, accommodation and food services) will be eligible to receive 3.5x of their average payroll.
  • Applicants must have utilized the full amount of their 2020 PPP loan on or before the expected date of the second draw PPP loan is disbursed.
  • All applicants must submit documentation to substantiate a revenue reduction of 25% or more (i.e. tax forms, financial statements).
    • Loans under $150,000 do not require this documentation at the time of application but will be required for forgiveness.
  • Payroll documentation required in the first draw will be the same for second draw loans.

We’ll continue to share updates as they become available. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Relationship Manager to help you navigate the process.