Feb 12, 2021
Michael and Allissa discuss all of the things related to the new round of PPP, what you need to consider, and how to apply for it if you decide it's right for you.Listen to "E339: Should I Take the PPP loan?" on Spreaker.
- Should I Take the PPP Loan?
- PPP2 Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
- PPP Loan Forgiveness
- Should I Apply?
- Apply for stuff you are eligible for. (My grant example)
Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by Acuity, our software of choice. Acuity is the scheduling assistant that makes it easy for both traditional businesses and virtual businesses to keep their calendar full. Acuity is the business suite that takes hours of work off your plate so you can focus on the fun of your massage business. From the moment a client books with you, Acuity is there to send booking confirmations with your own brand and messaging, deliver text reminders, let clients reschedule, let them pay online so your days run smoother and faster as you get busier. You never have to say, what time works for you? again. Clients can quickly review your real-time availability and book their own appointments. You can get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.
Allissa Haines Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life. I am Allissa Haines.
Michael Reynolds And I'm Michael Reynolds.
AH And we are your hosts. Thank you for joining us. We have a thick topic today, thick and useful, so let's just jump right in. Michael, what're you reading?
MR [Laughing] Thick and useful, I like that. I'm listening to a podcast episode from the Wall Street Journal's Your Money Briefing entitled "File Your Taxes Early for a Bigger Stimulus Check." And the headline's a little bit one-sided, misleading because it's -- you may or may not want to, but the -- it's like a ten-minute -- like a nine- or ten-minute podcast episode. They're real -- I like these episodes. They're really short, really useful.
And it is a reminder that for the upcoming stimulus payment that is being -- kind of working its way through Congress right now, they will be taking either your 2019 or your 2020 tax return as the basis for if you qualify or not and what the eligibility is. So what that means is if you made less money in 2020 than you did in 2019, which is true for many of us, then you want to get your taxes filed earlier so that that tax return is in place before the stimulus bill passes because then they can use your 2020 tax return. If it's the flip, if you made less in 2019 than 2020, then you probably want to wait a little bit and make sure that you -- the stimulus payments go out before your 2020 taxes are filed. So the IRS will use whatever your most recent of the two tax returns are as the basis for your income for whether or not you qualify for the stimulus payments and how much. So it's a good reminder. Listen to the episode for kind of all the details, but that's kind of the gist of it. There's a link in the show notes.
AH Sweet. Thank you.
AH What I am reading is way less intellectual but still quite lovely and entertaining. I am reading along with the 6th grader a book called Dragons in a Bag. It's a middle reader, and it is a very cool, mystical story about a little boy who ends up spending the day with one of his mom's friends, and it turns into a magical adventure. So in case you're wondering where I've been at for the next -- for the last week or two, I've pretty much been immersed in 6th grade curriculum, including this delightful book by Zetta Elliott, and I will put the link.
So if you have a middle reader or -- oh, and kind of a pro tip here: We have learned that the children in my house absorb material much better when they are reading it visually and also hearing it via an audio book. They receive and retain information much better when it is given to them on a variety of mediums. We also always have the closed captioning on on our TV. And this has been monumental for me as well. I've found that I am retaining information much better when I am hearing it and reading it. So when we read books, we have the actual hard book in our hand and also are listening to the audio book. And the voices in the audio book are this -- are just so good. I wish I had thought to look up the name of the voice actor, but he's wonderful. And we are super enjoying -- my kid likes to read, but he doesn't like to read when he's told he has to read something and then he has to actually write down summary plot points and character development stuff because school sucks the fun out of everything.
AH So we have found that reading it and listening to it at the same time has helped us a great deal. And I'm just obviously really enjoying reading this book.
AH I tend to read a lot of young adult literature just because it's a little easier to process but also because there's so much really good young adult literature. But now I'm getting into the middle readers with him, and I'm just enjoying it. So that is my contribution to what I've been reading this week, for better or worse.
MR You know what? You've inspired me for next week because I'm going to share some of the chapter books that my almost six year old and I've been reading. Our family's been reading at bedtime, and they're really cool books. You've inspired me to kind of get less practical and more fun, and next week I'm going to share those books as well. So you've inspired me. I'm going to lighten it up a little bit next week.
AH Excellent. Have you guys started reading the Magic Tree House books?
AH Oh, they're very good. It's a really nice series. You would enjoy them. I'll send you a link.
MR Magic Tree House. I'm googling it as -- oh, you send -- you'll send me a link.
MR Save me the trouble of googling it. Thank you.
AH I will do so. Who's our first sponsor, Michael?
MR All right. Who's our first sponsor? Our friends at ABMP.
Sponsor message Thanks, ABMP, for being our sponsor. CE courses you'll love are available for purchase and included free with membership in the ABMP education center at abmp.com/ce. You can explore hands-on techniques, complete ethics requirements, discover trending courses like "A Detailed Approach to Low Back Pain" from Allison Denney. All ABMP memberships include 200-plus video-based, on-demand CE classes, and it is growing every day. If you're not a member, you can purchase access to a single course or a package. And if you want more from ABMP, you can also listen to their podcast available at abmp.com/podcast or wherever you prefer to listen.
And also, I'm going to pop a little note in here that ABMP has a huge wealth of partnerships with other companies. And I'm talking about companies that have software services for massage therapists and actual products and oils and lotions and PPE and discount on H&R Block if you use them for tax stuff. And they -- I think they may even have a deal with Verizon cell. So they have a huge number of partnerships to get you discounts, and that is available to you as an ABMP, I think, certified member. So that's something that they have not tooted their horn about, but they have a lot of really cool discounts. I know this because I was in there looking at them the other day and I wanted to make sure everybody knew, so you can go to abmp.com and learn more yourself. That's what I have to say about ABMP.
AH Michael, just dive in. Tell me what you got.
MR All right. So today we're going to talk about the question, should I take the PPP loan? We're going to talk about kind of some background and fundamentals and also kind of discuss from an opinion-ish standpoint -- addressing the question, should you or should you not take it? We're not going to tell you what to do, obviously, but we're going to give you some background to process it a bit. All right. So it's a big, heavy topic as Allissa mentioned. We have a lot of information here. I've got a full bottle of Cool Blue Gatorade here. I'm warmed up, and I'm ready to go.
Should you take the PPP loan? First, let's talk about understanding what it is as a refresher. So I know that a lot of us are kind of just overwhelmed with all that's going on this past year. There's a lot happening, a lot of legislation; a lot of things are going on. So let's talk about the PPP loan specifically. It is the Paycheck Protection Program, and it is designed for small businesses. It is a loan that small businesses can apply for and then, if all goes well, can get forgiven if they meet the requirements. It is designed to help people with continuity of compensation, so payroll -- we'll talk about the word "payroll" in a minute. Don't get hung up on payroll yet -- continuity of payroll, continuity of services. It's designed to, again, provide a bridge for small businesses to kind of weather the storm that is COVID-19.
It is a forgivable loan. I am pretty anti-loan and debt altogether in general, but this is different. This is a truly forgivable loan. It has been forgiven. I think -- I can't think of a single case in the people I have talked to and worked with where it has not been forgiven. It's been fairly reasonable from what I can tell. So it is a forgivable loan. There's been a Round 1 last year, and a Round 2 has just opened as of the end of 2020, beginning of 2021. So in Round 1, there was a ton of money set aside, about $350 billion -- well, I guess a ton's relative -- $350 billion, and it was dispersed in a couple of weeks. It went pretty fast. There is a Round 2 now with about $284 billion set aside for the second round of PPP.
There is -- there are a few differences between Round 1 and Round 2. So if you took Round 1 and you're thinking of taking Round 2, here are some of the differences. In Round 2, about $35 billion is set aside for small businesses that have never received PPP funding. So if you didn't receive a Round 1 or didn't apply for Round 1, there is money set aside just for those businesses to kind of get some of that as well if they didn't get it the first time around. An additional $40 billion is set aside for small businesses with less than ten employees or employers located in low-income areas seeking less than $250,000. So I would say that 99 point decimal places out of our listeners fall in the category of less than ten employees and seeking less than a quarter of a million dollars. That's pretty easy to say, I think, for our listeners who are solo massage therapists by and large.
So that's good news, I think, in my opinion, because the first round had some controversy because you had some really big brands applying for it that were really prominent in the news and were criticized for taking PPP money when it was really, in theory, designed for small businesses. So I think that has been somewhat addressed in Round 2.
The second PPP loan is only available to businesses that were in operation before February 15th, 2020. And if you are applying for the second round, you must have used up your initial PPP loan during your covered period, which is 8 to 24 weeks of using the money. And you have to have a 25% or more reduction in revenue in 2020 when compared to the previous year equivalent quarter. So in the first round, it was less -- less information was needed. It was more like, hey, I certify that I need this. Check a box. Okay, great. Round 2, they actually want you to certify or state, at least, on the application that you had 25% less revenue in your business year to year when comparing to quarter. So for example, let's say in 2019, you're taking the second quarter of 2019, and then you're comparing it to the second quarter of 2020 in your business. If your revenue in that second quarter of 2020 is 25% lower or more than 2019's Q2, then you are eligible for the PPP loan Round 2.
And again, this is revenue, not income, not what you brought home, not what you made in net income. This is revenue of your business, what you -- your gross sales of your business. So it's important to note there.
AH And I just -- can I jump in?
AH I just want to make note that, say you choose Q3, Quarter 3 that you compare from 2019 to 2020, and you have 25% less. We're talking, like Michael said, about gross sales. That does not include any unemployment income that you received because that's personal income. That's not business income. And also, if you got the first round of PPP, that number is also not included. That is not gross sales. That is a whole other thing. So when you're factoring this 25%, don't include anything except your actual massage or retail -- if that's what you do -- gross sales.
MR Yeah. Great points. Thank you. Another stipulation: You must have fewer than 300 employees. I think that applies to probably everyone listening. [Laughing] Compensation capped at $100,000, so you can make more than that, but your compensation that you're using for the calculations is capped at $100,000. So the amount is the same as last round, as Round 1. The aid amount is two and a half times your monthly payroll. Now, again, don't get hung up on payroll yet. I'm going to unpack that a bit more. So payroll, in our case, is going to be, for the most part, net income from your Schedule C. So we'll talk about that in a minute.
The deadline for application for the first round and the second round is March 31st, 2021. So if you didn't receive PPP money at all and you want to get it on the first round, which has reopened again, the deadline is March 31st, 2021. If you applied for the first round and got it and now want to apply for the second round, the deadline is March 31st, 2021, same as both.
All right, frequently asked questions. Let's talk about those. We've got some questions that come up. What counts as payroll? Let's unpack that. Payroll that most people think about is W-2 compensation. And for most non-massage businesses that are bigger and run payroll, that's pretty straightforward. For us, for most of our listeners -- now, really, some of our listeners do run payroll. But a lot of our Community is -- they are LLCs, sole proprietorships, which means they are Schedule C filers. What that means is you would use your net income on your profit and loss statement as a Schedule C filer. So that is going to mean you're going to take your annual income, divide it by 12, and that one month, from that division by 12, is going to be what you're going to use to multiply by 2.5 to get your number that you can use to apply. That is the loan amount that you can apply for.
So does that make -- I want to make sure we get that really clear. Does that make sense, Allissa?
AH It certainly makes sense to me. I've also done the math a couple times for my own PPP, so it makes sense to me.
AH But if you're struggling with that, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll help you with math.
MR And side note: I mean, I can't help but be pretentious here and use this opportunity to say, keep good records and good books. This is a really good opportunity to make sure that, going forward, you have bookkeeping employees -- you're using a proper bookkeeping method or system; you know what your gross revenue is; you know what your net income is. This stuff is important, so make sure you have that stuff.
All right. So again, LLCs, sole proprietorships, use net income. If you're an S Corp -- I know we have some S Corps out there -- S Corp will use your W-2 salary. And again, going on my pretentious soap box bandwagon again, as an S Corp, you need to be paying yourself through payroll. If you are paying -- if you're an S Corp but the bulk of your income is coming from distributions that you're just doing owner's draws, those amounts are not eligible. You can't use that as payroll calculations. It must be W-2, which is a good point to remind people that when you're an S Corp, you really need to be paying yourself mostly through payroll. Again, side note there.
What can the money be used for? All right. For the loan to be fully forgiven, at least 60% of the money has to go toward payroll expenses. Again, payroll also means your net income here or paying -- the compensation through your business. So the remaining 40% can be used to cover more stuff than Round 1. Round 1 was basically compensation, mortgage and rent payments, and utilities, I believe. It was kind of just a small list. PPP Round 2, 40% of it can be used, again, for those same things: business, mortgage or rent, utilities, also the cost of personal protective equipment and other expenses incurred to meet government-imposed COVID restrictions. So if you have to purchase PPE equipment -- that's so redundant; PPE is equipment -- PPE and you have to spend money to meet guidelines and restrictions imposed by the government due to COVID, that is fair game for spending PPP money.
Also, property damage and cloud computing and supplier cost is also included. That's pretty broad. So cloud computing is basically -- again, I think it's open to interpretation. But to me, I would -- this is not definitive; do your own research and get better advice than this podcast, but I -- Acuity and stuff like that and your schedulers. That's cloud computing. Those are cloud applications. That's potentially on the list. Supplier costs, anything that you pay for that is provided by a supplier, a vendor. It's pretty broad. So for the most part, most people use it for compensation, but the list is broader in Round 2 for stuff like that.
All right. Next, how should you apply? Same as Round 1, I would start with your business bank. The best path is going to be generally to work with a bank that you already bank with. So if you have a local business bank that your massage practice is banking with, start there. Local banks and credit unions are often really great at this stuff. They're personal; you're not just going to get lost in the shuffle. There's pros and cons, and sometimes they don't work out. But in general, I've heard a lot of good things about some of the local banks. So start there. If they are not participating in the program or you don't have much luck, then I've heard a lot of our members having a lot of success with Square, with PayPal, with Kabbage, with some of the online fintech companies. Fintech stands for "financial technology" companies that have programs as well. So if you use Square for processing your credit cards, you might try Square as well. So those are some sources you could try.
Allissa, are there any other kind of bigger fintech companies you've heard of that have been working well?
AH Not really. I got to say, my -- I want to send everybody I know to smallbusinessbank.com --
MR Yeah. Yeah.
AH -- because they worked for us as Massage Business Blueprint. We've had our business checking account there for years. And when my local credit unions were a hot mess, I opened my own business account at smallbusinessbank.com and applied for my first PPP. It was so simple and easy, and it has been just that simple and easy for the second round. And I even turned someone on to them for her second round as well because their bank was just a hot mess the first time, and it was just complicated and absurd. And she also has had a wonderful experience with the second round PPP. And it's pretty easy to set up a business checking account with them. You need like your DBA, your business certificate, and a couple other things, but it can happen within a couple of days, and then you apply for your PPP. And a week or two later, you have a whole bunch of money in your checking account. And the forgiveness application with them was really easy and great for my first round, and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
It's probably not going to be the best all-around business account for you because it's an online bank; you can't deposit cash. But as a secondary account for your business, it's fantastic. So that's my little plug for them.
MR Yeah. They've really won me over. I've -- and I frequently kind of poke fun at them because their technology is so '90s, and their web interface is just clunky and ridiculous. But I think, as little as they invest in their online web portals and technology, they invest the difference in their people and their customer service. [Laughing]
AH Yeah. And also, I mean, it's a little -- it looks like a website designed in 2000-whatever, 2002, but it works.
MR Yeah, it works. Yeah.
AH And I found that the only clunky part is setting up like the payout to transfer to another -- pay yourself or whatever. It's a little bit of a process, but I could also just order checks, but I'm too lazy to do that. But you call them, and someone there answers, and they're very helpful with their adorable Midwest accent. And I love them.
MR Yeah. Yeah. Same. [Laughing]
AH All right. So yes, I would say go with smallbusinessbank.com.
AH But moving on.
MR Yeah. Okay. Next, this is going to be applicable to a lot of people, I think: Am I eligible as a 1099 contractor? Yes. As a 1099 contractor, you are technically operating your own little business. I have so many pretentious soapboxes popping up here, so here's one more. A lot of times, Allissa and I rant about this a lot, 1099s are misclassified. And a lot of times, people think, oh, if I'm a 1099, I'm really an employee; I'm really working for someone. I mean, yeah, kind of. But you're really operating your own little business. So you have that independence, and you should be tracking those -- that money independently. And so yes, if you're a 1099, same as if you're an LLC or a sole proprietorship, you use your 2019 or 2020 net profit as reported on your Schedule C. And if you have 1099 people working in your massage practice, they need to apply individually. They need to apply for their own PPP because again, they are operating their own little business.
Does that make sense, Allissa? Is there anything you want to add to clarify that more?
AH Nope. That makes sense.
MR Okay. Good. All right. Can you get the PPP loan if you are not profitable? No, unless you're running payroll. So for the vast majority of our community who are sole proprietorships or LLCs, if you are not profitable, you are not eligible because you have to show net income. If you're an S Corp running payroll, and you're paying yourself through payroll but you're not profitable, then you are eligible because you use your W-2 payroll numbers for the application. So that's the difference there.
All right. Forgiveness. How do you apply for forgiveness? You apply through the same lender you got the loan through. For, I think, everyone in our Community, it's going to be a simple one-page application because the one-page application is available to anyone borrowing less than $150,000. It is truly simple. It is very straightforward. You apply after your covered period of 8 to 24 weeks of using the money. And again, you go to your lender, ask for the form, say, hey, I'd like to apply for forgiveness. They send you the form. You fill it out. And if all goes well, then it gets processed. So the forgiveness is the same as the first time around.
Okay. I'm going to pause for a minute because now we're going to move into the last part of our discussion, which is kind of opinion. But I want to kind of say, is there anything else you wanted to add from a technical standpoint or a fundamental, explanation standpoint, Allissa, that maybe we haven't covered or that maybe I didn't do a great job explaining?
AH No, I think that you covered it.
MR Okay. So --
AH You know what? I'm sorry.
AH I am going to pop in.
MR Go for it.
AH I have a couple of friends who applied for the first round of PPP when it first came out last spring. And then because it was such a mess -- they talked to their bank; they got the PPP, then they talked to their CPA, and their CPA was like, oh, you can't do this because of X, Y, Z. And I know a few people, literally more than one person, who got the loan and then gave it all back right away because they were so frustrated and confused and scared that it wouldn't get forgiven because at that point it was just a mess. They were writing the regulations as it went along. And I recognize that that was a big obstacle for a lot of people, but I do also want to note that -- and this is -- when I applied for my first one, it was August. It was the -- when they started reoffering it, they opened it up again. And I was worried about some of that stuff too. What if it doesn't get forgiven or whatever?
And I kind of came to, worst case scenario, it doesn't get forgiven, it's still the best loan terms I've ever had in my life. It's a 1% interest loan, and there's no penalty for paying it off early. So that was for me. Mine got entirely forgiven. I'm -- it was fine. I spent it the way I was supposed to, and it's been forgiven. But I do want to note if you got terrified and either didn't apply or applied and gave it back after that beginning because it was just so confusing, it's a very different ball game now than it was eight or nine months ago. So please let that information guide your decisions moving forward. It's probably a much easier process and less terrifying now if you're ready to dip your toe in it. Okay. I'm done.
MR Yeah. And you can apply. If you gave it back, you can apply again. You can apply now.
MR You're still eligible. Yeah. So let me ask you, Allissa. We've had some people in our community ask questions like, hey, I'm kind of torn. Should I apply? And specifically, a couple members have said things like, I don't feel like I'm in trouble or struggling. Maybe I have a partner that's making income, so our household is okay. My business is down, but I feel like we're okay. And they kind of express some guilt around taking the PPP loan. So what do you think?
AH I think that -- and actually, it's funny because this dives into my quick tip a little bit. But I think we should be applying for every single thing we are possibly eligible for, right down to SNAP food stamps. I think if you are eligible for any kind of assistance, you should take it. You should apply. You should try. And worst-case scenario is you don't get that assistance. But this notion -- and okay. I'm a fan of being very generous, and I am incredibly grateful for all the resources that have come my way. But I don't for one second feel guilty. There is plenty of money in this program. You're not taking it away from someone else. There is -- and if you have maintained your business in an appropriate way, if you have done good record keeping, if you can -- if all of that leads to you being able to get this forgivable loan, this free money that is being offered specifically because businesses like ours have been devastated by this global pandemic, take the money. Take it.
Even if you decide because your family doesn't super need it, you are going to write a check for half of it to the food pantry in your town, take this money. It's there for us. And it is pretty rare in our lifetime that the government has stepped up to support contractors and very small business owners and people who have been growing this gig economy for years and years but have never been eligible for worker's comp or lots of disability plans and don't get corporate bonuses, never been able to get unemployment. It is huge that the government has created this program for us because we have been neglected for pretty much the entirety of our country. So I think, take the money. That's what I think.
MR Yeah. I agree. Obviously, it's a personal decision. We can't tell you broadly in a general sense here because everyone's situation's different. But yeah. I think if you're eligible, there's a reason this exists. Is your revenue down? Is your income down? Has COVID-19 interrupted your massage practice? I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes. [Laughing] Who is the program designed to help? It's designed to help us, solo, small business owners or microbusiness owners like us. The vast majority of our Community are solo massage therapists running a solo practice. It's designed to help us. That's what it's for. So I would agree with that.
I also want to note that -- I'm going to go ahead and put a plug in for our Community here because we have office hours scattered throughout the month every single month. And we have members that pop in and hop into office hours and ask questions about this stuff. So if you are feeling confused, if you're still -- if maybe you applied for Round 1 and are not sure about Round 2, or maybe you haven't applied for PPP at all and you want to give it a try, and you want to go ahead and apply and you feel overwhelmed and stuck, we help people with this stuff. So feel free to hop into our Community. If you're not a member, join for a 30-day free trial. Come to an office hours; get some help; see what you think. And we're happy to help. We help in real time with stuff like this, helping people navigate things like the PPP program and all the legislation happening out there. So if you're not a member, consider checking it out. And at least join for a month or so and see what you think. We're happy to help.
MR All right. Anything else you would add?
AH No, that's it. That was thorough, and I hope that we have helped quell some fears people have. And we'll see how it goes.
MR Right on. All right.
AH All right. Our next sponsor. Who is it, Michael?
Sponsor message Thanks, Jojoba, for being our sponsor. You know this already, people, but I believe that we should be using only the highest quality products because our clients deserve it, and they're so happy when they leave a massage and don't feel greasy. And we're soaking it up in our own hands for however many hours per week, so it's super important. I also want to remind you that jojoba is nonallergenic, so I can use it on any client and every client, even those with nut allergies, without any concerns about a reaction. It's also noncomedogenic, so it won't clog pores. So if you have a client that's prone to acne breakouts, jojoba is a really, really good choice for them. You can get 20% off when you shop through our link, massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.
MR Yay. Thanks, Jojoba.
AH Yeah. All right. My quick tip. I already shared a little bit that I think you need to be applying for stuff that you are eligible for. And I want to give an example.
There was a business grant situation in Massachusetts, and they ran the first round of grants in the fall. And I wasn't eligible because it had to do with your percentage of income based on the median income of the town you live in. And so I wasn't eligible. And I was like, all right. Whatever. But they ran the grant again because they found that a lot of very, very small business owners like me kind of got shut out because of the weird requirements. So they specifically encouraged very, very small microbusiness owners to apply. And they did this online, and it was all over the Massachusetts governor's Twitter and Facebook, and it -- they even put it in the little text message alerts if you had signed up for the COVID alerts via text message. We get a text message every few days when the governor's going to have a press conference. We get text messages when some new portal opens up. We got a text message in the spring reminding people who had become unemployed to apply for SNAP food stamp benefits.
And through the text message system, they let people know, hey, there is this grant for small business owners; please check it out. And then for like a whole bunch of press conferences all through the end of December -- middle of December into January, every single time the governor was like, hey, if you're a small business owner, apply for this grant. If you know a small business owner, tell them about this grant; we specifically want to help very small microbusinesses -- people like us. They even had a list of the kind of people who should apply, and they were barbers and hair stylists and super small retail establishments and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
So I was eligible to apply, and so I did. And because of that, I have received a $10,000 state grant to cover everything from expenditures from March 20th on to cover rent, utilities, PPE, and also owner's draw. And there's a few other things that you can use it for. And I actually might not get the full $10,000 because it has to do with a proportion of your operating costs per month based on your previous income and blah-blah-blah. So I might not get the full 10 grand, but that's fine. I'm going to get 5 or 6 at least.
And when all of the information for this grant came out, I sent it to six or seven local colleagues, all people who I knew had business types very similar to mine and therefore were all eligible to apply. Now, one of my colleagues also applied, and they received the grant as well. They actually have a much bigger business, a much larger clientele than I did, and they received a higher amount. Another person didn't apply because they felt that other people probably needed it more even though their business has been -- is probably a third of what it used to be, and their operating expenses have gone up because of all the COVID regulations and things they have done to make their office safer.
Another one didn't apply because they misread the information and thought that it was -- you couldn't get unemployment and get this business grant and didn't call me to ask for help or a question that -- even though I was like, I finished the application; I can help you if you need help with yours. Another person didn't apply because they didn't have the right business certificate, like a DBA for their town because it wasn't required at the time they opened their business in their town, and they just never got it. And to get it, it was going to require a zoning inspection, so they just didn't apply. And another person didn't apply because you needed a copy of your 2019 Schedule C, and they still have not gotten their taxes filed.
So out of six or seven people, I've lost count now, that would've been eligible for this free money, only two of us did it. And we got it. We both got it. And it makes me bonkers. It makes me absolutely bonkers that people still haven't gotten their act together and the number of people who aren't getting very much -- or didn't get very much money from unemployment because they didn't report a lot of the cash they made in previous years, so their Schedule C net income was quite low, so unemployment was based on that, and the number of people who won't get much for a PPP loan because their 2019 Schedule C income was so low because they didn't report cash or they had terrible bookkeeping or whatever, whatever, whatever. It has made me bonkers.
So I guess this is two quick tips. If in the past, you haven't really gotten your business paperwork and bookkeeping and organizing together, please let this be a call to action for you to do that starting for 2020. And if you see that you're eligible for something, apply for it. If you buy your insurance through the -- your state or the federal marketplace, make sure you're going in there and updating your income if your income has dramatically lowered because you might be eligible for cheaper or free health insurance. If you're -- check around. Make sure you're subscribed to all the updates with your state and with your -- if you have a local business organization. The number of people who also were like, oh, I didn't know there was a grant available, when I posted online in the Massachusetts massage therapist group like three times about it and so did some other people, including, here's the application, here's what you need to have ready -- the number of people who after that were like, I didn't know, after the deadline, you didn't know because you weren't paying attention.
So that's my rant, my quick tip. Get your crap together and apply for stuff you're eligible for. I'm done.
MR I feel like we've talked about this, like bookkeeping, taxes, "get your act together" thing before. It sounds familiar.
AH I know.
AH And it's hard. I mean, the reason people don't do this is because it's tedious, and it can be scary, and it can be really hard.
AH I feel it. It is there but for the grace of whatever that I had enough years in business and had finally gotten my act together a couple years before this pandemic hit because if it had hit me five years ago even, I would've been a mess. So, I mean -- and there were other things in my life that were a call to action to get my crap together, so let this be yours. And if you need help, you email us at email@example.com, and we will find -- we will send you to the right resources to help you get it together.
MR And here's the thing. Hire a professional if you just can't get it done. It's fine. The 100 bucks a month you're going to spend working with someone like Kim and Julie, who are our favorite accountants, it's so worth it. It's just -- the value you get and the money you will make/save by hiring a professional is just monumental. So hire someone. It's fine. It's so worth it. All right. I think we've definitely wrapped up and put a bow on that rant. [Laughing]
AH Yeah. We've nagged people enough for that.
AH So thank you, everybody, for listening. Again, questions, thoughts, you want to tell me how wrong I am, firstname.lastname@example.org. We love getting your questions. If you have an idea for a future podcast, send us that too. And extra special thanks to our sponsors, Jojoba Company, Acuity, ABMP. And that's all I have. Everybody, have a really wonderful and productive week. Bye.
MR Thanks, everyone.