Coronavirus challenges for self-employed: Tips to survive

The U.S. economy has already begun to show signs of strain

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Many business owners are struggling to adapt to the regulations implemented by the federal government as well as state governments as the country attempts to prevent the spread of coronavirus throughout the U.S.

The virus has already begun to show signs of serious strain on the U.S. economy.

Initial jobless claims last week hit the highest level in recorded history at nearly 3.3 million.

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And the situation is likely to become more challenging.

James Bullard, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said during an interview with Bloomberg over the weekend that the U.S. unemployment rate could hit 30 percent during the second quarter. The Economic Policy Institute has predicted that as many as 14 million Americans could find themselves without a job by summer.

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And while the government has worked out a massive multitrillion-dollar relief package in an effort to prop up the financial situations of both individuals and businesses, there are some ways self-employed individuals can adjust their plans to shield themselves from at least some economic damage.

The first thing they can do is try to “pivot where their market has shifted,” L.J. Suzuki, founder of CFOShare, told FOX Business. For many businesses that means moving services online. For some nonessential wellness services, that could include telehealth visits. For gyms it could mean virtual classes. For the hospitality industry, it might mean making delivery available. Some bars, for example, have begun delivering cocktails since patrons are not allowed to visit.

“Most businesses can recover at least some of their revenue through a market pivot,” Suzuki said.

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Suzuki also recommends that self-employed individuals reassess their situations daily. Some steps they may need to take include asking customers to pay in advance, taking out loans, laying off employees and keeping remaining employees motivated.

And for those who are completely shut down because of the restrictions that have been put on businesses to stem the spread of the virus, there are myriad relief programs that can be looked into.

“From federal SBA loans to local city grants, there are dozens of programs designed to help businesses distressed by Covid-19,” Suzuki said. “Get ready to wait in line, though, there are lots of businesses applying.”

As previously reported by FOX Business, the Small Business Administration administers one program that can provide up to $2 million for eligible businesses.

And the coronavirus relief bill approved by Congress on Friday also contains $370 billion in funding for small businesses.

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