TUCSON, Ariz. -- Amid the pandemic, some business owners have quickly realized they may not qualify for certain loans.
Folks at the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce say they are here to help.
In fact, they have seen 70% increase in calls.
The majority of them--from business owners, asking what they can do to keep their business afloat.
Isabel Georgelos the Chamber Administrator says the last thing people should lose right now is hope.
“This is not the time to give up. This is the time to look for opportunities,” she told KGUN9.
She says many people were asking the following questions:
“The questions that were coming were, do I qualify, is this going to put me more in debt. Do I need a business license.Later it was, I don’t qualify, what do I do now,” Georgelos added.
So the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce got to work, holding virtual meetings and sending out emails to keep people informed.
It didn’t take long before Paul Mendoza, the Director of Economic Development noticed a pattern.
“The most common problem we see is definitely through payroll. A lot of the businesses pay their employees just with cash and there is no paper trail to validate how much actually they get paid,” Mendoza told KGUN9.
He says the government needs proof of expenses to be able to allocate the appropriate aid. An easy way to maintain a payroll system is opening a business account at a bank.
“Not put the money that you earn from your business, into your personal account because there’s no way to determine what goes where,” he added.
If you have not registered your business or are thinking of filing for bankruptcy, here are your options.
“Register your business correctly and start again. This is the time to cease those opportunities,” said Georgelos.
In terms of moving your business forward, here are Mendoza’s tips:
-Have a reopening strategy, for both your employees and your customers
-Change payroll from cash to checks
-Market your business as much as your can
“I think a lot of businesses right now that are closed never thought about the importance of having a website, social media, or a marketing campaign,” Mendoza told KGUN9.
Mendoza is also the co-founder of Vib'n, a company that can help direct you to the right professionals.
Meantime, as you are in the process of reinventing your company they ask you keep three things in mind.
“Be persistent, don’t give up, and if you need help, we are here. Aquí estamos para toda la comunidad (translation: We are here for all of the community),” said Georgelos.
The Chamber also hosts a virtual meeting every Monday, from 11am-12pm, where business owners can promote their business and learn from one another.
For more information on resources, click here.
Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
823 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85719Phone: (520) 620-0005
Fax: (520) 844-7071