SAN FRANCISCO, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Small and medium-sized businesses have been hit hard with required closures and stay-at-home restrictions in place across the country. While the government has responded by passing the CARES Act and implementing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Coast, an all-in-one workplace messaging app, has seen the frustration and confusion of small businesses first-hand.
In response, Coast has created the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator available to small business owners for free.
Access the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator — https://coastapp.com/ppp-forgiveness/
From small businesses to corporations to hospitals, companies have been employing the Coast app to triage crisis management and communicate with employees remotely. From the start, the Coast team has been fielding questions specifically regarding the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program. Rohit Prakash, co-Founder of Coast, saw an immediate need and knew the team had the design and engineer skills to create helpful resources for small businesses.
"Two worlds converged on me at the same time. My mom, an immigrant, and the small business owner were struggling with understanding the PPP loan while handling the uncertainty surrounding her business and how to keep operating safely. At Coast, we were fielding questions on PPP loan from the many operators that rely on Coast and other initiatives our team had taken since COVID-19 shutdowns were in effect. Uncertainty plagued everyone around us, and we knew that through collaboration and a bit of technology, we could help provide a resource to enable people to make the best decisions for their businesses. At Coast, our mission is to help people focus on what they love. This was an easy choice for us to make," said Prakash.
Prakash began discussing with Coast client, Candace Combs, founder and co-owner of In-Symmetry Spa, Combs Business Consulting, and President of the Mission Creek Merchants Association and Kayleigh Henson, principal at Dogpatch Financial the frustrations facing small business owners. Within weeks, they collaborated on a free website that would act as a loan calculator and FAQ resource page.
"The thing that was so striking was how little guidance there was. I have about two dozen small business clients currently on my roster and every single one of them reached out to me that first week for help," said Henson. "I remember wondering how businesses without the luxury of someone like me were faring. If my primarily college-educated, financially literate, English as first language clients were utterly mystified by the process, what was the experience like for more marginalized communities? That really compelled me to want to share what I was learning with as many people as possible. A pandemic isn't the time to hoard knowledge."
According to Combs, "The PPP process was a nightmare for me and every other small business I know and I know a lot of them. Without Ro and his calculator, I would have gone mad." She continued, "Small businesses need grants! This will help them survive."
Prakash and the development team at Coast built two apps — the PPP Calculator and Takeout COVID — to address the needs of small businesses, their owners, and consumers.
Coast's PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator allows business owners to estimate the loan amount they would qualify for under the PPP. The process is quick and easy, with information updated regularly.
The PPP Calculator is free for anyone to use. Business owners answer a few questions regarding payroll expenses and immediately get a loan eligibility estimate.
Coast has provided an extensive list of frequently asked questions and up-to-date information for anyone accessing the site to better understand the loan process and what is or is not eligible for loan forgiveness within the eight week period.
Takeout COVID was developed in supplement to address consumer needs as non-essential businesses began to close. The free app connects consumers to local businesses in their communities who are still open for business.
The database provides a list of restaurants and bars in 26 cities across the US who are continuing to provide food, cocktails, wine, and beer for delivery or takeout. Cities and businesses are updated regularly as restrictions begin to ease.
PPP information is rapidly changing as the government lifts restrictions and continues to update financial relief programs. Coast continues to monitor and update information on the app as new information becomes available.
To learn more about Coast and PPP Loan Forgiveness, visit www.coastapp.com.