There’s still time for small businesses to locally secure funds to stay afloat, but The Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce President, Nick Hill III said that there are certain mistakes businesses may be making that are disqualifying them from such resources.
“You can’t do the normal thing you’ve been doing and expect different results. You have to think outside the box,” Hill said.
Hill said he’s seen his share of businesses struggling, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, he's hoping to help local entrepreneurs rebound and find success in the midst of the pandemic.
Many small businesses may be filing their personal taxes instead of business ones and are doing themselves a disservice by not keeping “an accurate monthly ledger that helps them forecast how their business is doing and how their business will potentially grow. without these two key components, they were ineligible to take advantage of some of these forgiveness loans and even grants,” Hill said.
He also points to the City of Bakersfield’s B-CARES grant for individual businesses as long as they file their 2018 and 2019 taxes and that their business license is legal with the City of Bakersfield. If you work out of your home, you also need to have an occupation permit.
Now, let’s say you do these things and still don’t get the loans.
Hill points to other ways to make ends meet: Small businesses that stick together can succeed together, whether by rent sharing or collaborating on business deals.
“Hair distributors should go out to all of the salons and the barber shops and say, ‘let us be a distributor, let us be a delivery source to you,” Hill said.
Plus for some, dropping brick and mortar may be the best option to forgo expensive inventory and reach more people on the web. Either way, Hill encourages businesses to push through and do what they do best: sell.
“This is the time of year when everyone is in a buying mode,” Hill said. “I don’t want you to sit back and later on and be like, ‘what could i have don't to make sales better when you can actually do that right now?’”
Here is a more in-depth breakdown of The City of Bakersfield programs available to local businesses.