Yelps ‘Racist Business’ Alert

Yelps ‘Racist Business’ Alert

Yelp has taken a broad step. Some praise the social activism, many wonder how this will impact affected businesses. The label first ask questions second approach yelp is taking is problematic. By Yelp’s statement is that the advisory will go up while Yelp is investigating. It is also made clear that this doesn’t have to be an issue with the business directly because it can also be with ‘someone associated with the business’. So if an off duty employee creates this issue…. And the business gets labeled, then what? 

My concern for businesses is that Yelp will label first, and it’s unclear how businesses can get these alerts removed. What we know about the court of public opinion is that it doesn’t matter what Yelps investigation finds, it matters that the accusation was placed on the business in the first place. 

Per Yelps blog;

“At Yelp, we value diversity, inclusion, and belonging, both internally and on our platform, which means we have a zero-tolerance policy to racism. We know these values are important to our users and now more than ever, consumers are increasingly conscious of the types of businesses they patronize and support. In fact, we’ve seen that reviews mentioning Black-owned businesses were up more than 617% this summer compared to last summer. Support for women-owned businesses has also increased, with review mentions up 114% for the same time period.

The new Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert is an extension of our Public Attention Alert that we introduced in response to a rise in social activism surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. 

So far in 2020, we’ve seen a 133% increase in the number of media-fueled incidences on Yelp compared to the same time last year. Between May 26 and September 30, we placed more than 450 alerts on business pages that were either accused of, or the target of, racist behavior related to the Black Lives Matter movement. We have maintained around-the-clock support over the last few months to ensure that we’re maintaining the trust and safety of our users and business owners.

If the business takes public corrective action, such as firing an offending employee, the alert will be downgraded to a Public Attention Alert, which warns users that “someone associated with the business was accused of, or the target of, racist behavior.”

What do you think? Do the problems outweigh the benefit here?

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Stay safe out there and if you want a more in-depth exploration of this topic and others check out the Get Legit Law & Shit podcast

 

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Badass Lawyer for Online Business

Emily has been running business for 15 years and has ove 13 years of legal experience. She spent 10 years at the Los Angeles County District attorney's office where she truly learned to be a solopreneur. Emily has built her consulting and speaking business from the ground up, in her garage jamming out to 90's music. She specializes in no BS practical advice for the starting and scaling online entreprenur. Emily will tell you what the business gurus can't in a way that is both hillarious and empowering.

The CDC guidelines for school to reopen.

The CDC guidelines for school to reopen.

I am sure you have seen the Meme on Facebook at this point… You know the one, it’s blue and starts with “here we go New CDC Guidlines for reopening schools” (sic). Since it’s release and moment of viral fame it’s since been marked as ‘partially untrue’ by Facebook and fact-checked by multiple sources….including me.  I knew that Facebook was cracking down on information that may be untrue but this meme is the first time I saw that in action. I am including below both versions of the meme to show how Facebook is alerting individuals to the fact that something had been fact-checked and determined to be false or partially false. 

Either way, the CDC released its Guidelines for schools, and people immediately reduced them into this crazy meme. However, the guidelines are just that, they aren’t rules or mandates. “These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which schools must comply.” emphasis in original. CDC Considerations for Schools, May 19, 2020. 

CDC Risk Assessments 

I thought it was helpful that the guidelines broke activities down by level of risk, and gave suggestions for schools to make the best of what they can do. The Centers for Disease Control suggested that for schools to reopen they needed to consider Lowest risk, Moderate risk, High risk and describes them as follows:

Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.

More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., hybrid virtual and in-person class structures, or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).

Highest Risk: Full sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities.

I appreciate that the CDC went on to break down different situations and considerations because with everything COVID these situations will be determined on the local and school district level. Schools in large metropolitan areas have different considerations than more rural schools, private and religious schools may be able to make different accommodations than large public schools.  The discussion of how schools should and will reopen needs to happen sooner rather than later. Without clarity on what will be happening in the Fall for schools makes it very hard for parents and employers to make plans for moving forward.

Why schools reopening is critical for parents

I have felt trapped in that holding pattern as well, not knowing when our daily rhythm will resume, creating a new rhythm without school and after school activities. Though I suspect when school does resume it will look different. Bake-sales for one will be a thing of the past for quite a while, are you slightly relieved like I am….is that terrible to say. Also stricter regulations for when students and teachers must stay home when sick. For most schools it’s already 24 hours fever free but I think we will see stricter enforcement of those rules, which is tremendously difficult for working parents. 

With that being said accommodating the new rhythm of school employers will have to also understand and accommodate parents taking care of sick children. If your home is anything like mine then it goes something like this…one child is sick, you take time to care for said child, they recover and resume school, the other child gets ill, you take time to take care of  said child…and then you get ill as well and go to work sick because you have already taken so much time taking care of your kids.  Every flu season this is our life. Early in my career as a District Attorney as my husband was building his business I regularly was the one who took time off and it was a challenge. Now that I work from home I find myself balancing child care and working from my laptop which is also a challenge. 

For more on this topic the last few episodes of my Get Legit Law and Sh!t podcast break down everything from the societal shift needed to help parents, the college admissions scandal and more of the CDC guidelines for reopening schools.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Badass Lawyer for Online Business

Emily has been running business for 15 years and has ove 13 years of legal experience. She spent 10 years at the Los Angeles County District attorney's office where she truly learned to be a solopreneur. Emily has built her consulting and speaking business from the ground up, in her garage jamming out to 90's music. She specializes in no BS practical advice for the starting and scaling online entreprenur. Emily will tell you what the business gurus can't in a way that is both hillarious and empowering.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness.

UPDATED

May 28, 2020

Congress passes modifications to PPP!!  The Senate still needs to pass and implement these changes but keep your eye on this as you are figuring out how to implement and use your PPP funds…this keeps changing.

NOTABLE CHANGES FROM THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM FLEXIBILITY ACT

RATIO  The 75/25 rule has been changed to a 60/40 ratio. Meaning 60% to payroll and 40% to other expenses. This will be a huge help. Remember the original law creating the PPP didn’t have the 75/25 rule the SBA created that as their rule interpreting and implementing the PPP).

TIMELINE The eight week period has been extended to a 24 week period. This eases the stress of business owners to allow them to use the money as they re-open rather than forcing them to spend it when reopening is still unsure.

Original Post

The SBA has finally released guidance and an application for Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness. This means PPP borrowers can now use the Loan Forgiveness application to structure how they spend their loan funds. The application provided will be submitted to the bank that lent you the PPP funds and not through the SBA. I imagine most lenders will create a digital version of this but having the ability to look at what’s required should help you start to plan how to use your PPP funds. 

Worth noting in the SBA guidance is that businesses can adjust the 8 week period to match their payroll schedule. So if funds are released to your business in the middle of a payroll cycle you can start the ‘alternative payroll covered period’ on your next payroll date. This will help businesses make sure that they are maximizing their use of the funds. 

A Note for Sole Proprietors, Partnerships and the Self-Employed

Sole Proprietors, Partnerships, and Self-Employed please make sure that you go through this application. The SBA has now made it clear that contributions to retirement funds or health insurance costs are not eligible for forgiveness under the PPP. Yes, if you were taxed as an S-Corp then you would be able to deduct these expenses but if you are not a formal business entity then you cannot. I don’t like it weather…but rules. 

Forgivable Payroll Expenses

The guidance from the SBA breaks down that Eligible Payroll Costs incurred during the 8 week period after the loan was funded, and for each employee must not exceed pay of $100,000 per year (less than $8,333.00 per month).  ‘Eligible Payroll Costs’ include:

“Compensation to employees (whose principal place of residence is in the United States) in the form of salary, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips or the equivalent (based on employer records of past tips or, in the absence of such records, a reasonable, good-faith employer estimate of such tips); payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; an allowance for separation or dismissal; payment for the provision of employee benefits consisting of group health care coverage, including insurance premiums, and retirement; payment of state and local taxes assessed on the compensation of employees; and for an independent contractor or sole proprietor, wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, or similar compensation.” SBA Interim Final Rule 13 CFR Part 120

Forgivable Non-Payroll Expenses

Businesses may also have non-payroll expenses forgiven so long as those expenses are less than 25% of the total amount sought to be forgiven. If you want to have $100,000 forgiven then no more than $25,000 can be spent on the following non-payroll costs: 

(a) covered mortgage obligations: payments of interest (not including any prepayment or payment of principal) on any business mortgage obligation on real or personal property incurred before February 15, 2020 (“business mortgage interest payments”); 

(b) covered rent obligations: business rent or lease payments pursuant to lease agreements for real or personal property in force before February 15, 2020 (“business rent or lease payments”); and 

(c) covered utility payments: business payments for a service for the distribution of electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet access for which service began before February 15, 2020 (“business utility payments”). SBA Loan Forgiveness Application 

The non-payroll costs being less than 25% of the total amount forgiven has been really frustrating to small businesses in high rent areas where rent can easily exceed payroll in normal times, and staying open requires…you know…paying rent!

How Should Business Owners Prepare

Use the application as a guide as you plan how to distribute your funds. If you are running monthly payroll talk to your CPA or payroll company about the ability to switch to bi-weekly payroll so you can maximize the 8-week period covered. There may not be any more government programs like this coming, so make sure you use this money in the way it serves to save your business. Forgiveness isn’t all or none, you can have some of the funds forgiven while others aren’t and that’s ok too. If its what will keep you in business legally use these funds in a way that makes the most sense for your business. 

Stay safe out there and if you want a more in-depth exploration of this topic and others check out the Get Legit Law & Shit podcast

 

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Badass Lawyer for Online Business

Emily has been running business for 15 years and has ove 13 years of legal experience. She spent 10 years at the Los Angeles County District attorney's office where she truly learned to be a solopreneur. Emily has built her consulting and speaking business from the ground up, in her garage jamming out to 90's music. She specializes in no BS practical advice for the starting and scaling online entreprenur. Emily will tell you what the business gurus can't in a way that is both hillarious and empowering.

Staying Safe Online During a Pandemic.

Staying Safe Online During a Pandemic.

From Zoom Bombing to security breaches with the SBA, the Coronavirus Pandemic has created the perfect environment for computer crime, identity theft, and general shenanigans. I mean everything is super weird right now, people are stressed and there are over 17 million Americans applying for unemployment benefits, this doesn’t even get into how many businesses are applying for SBA loans through either the PPP program or the EIDL.

Here is the thing when you have a whole bunch of people stressed and trying to navigate things they haven’t done before it’s the perfect opportunity for fraud, computer intrusion, and other forms of theft, identity theft, and bullshit like Zoom Bombing. It’s really hard to slow down and focus on protecting yourself during this time, but you also really don’t have the time to unwind identity theft right now either

SBA Data Breach

 When the SBA announced it’s security breach I wasn’t surprised. Overwhelmed systems are a great opportunity for hackers to take advantage of. Combine that with a workforce largely working remotely and aging government tech powering these systems and it’s almost too easily done. Then you have the fact that you know when people are going to be submitting their information, all their information….social security information, banking information, addresses, licenses…it’s everything you need to either sell profiles on the dark web or perpetrate identity theft. This is why the major credit agencies are allowing weekly credit checks for free through April 2021 and you should take them up on it. 

Zoom Bombing

It’s not all identity theft online these days. As most of us move online for work and school video conferences have become essential. Zoom, one of the most popular conferencing services publicly offered free options with extended capabilities to schools and school-age children. With that came, the quick overwhelm of the technology and zoom bombings of everything from classroom meetings to Congressional committee meetings.

Again, people are on zoom all damn day right now which makes it really easy to hit zoom rooms. The Zoom bombings generally involve foul language, racial slurs, and, of course, pornography. Not that pornography is new to Zoom…though against their terms of use, in-person sex clubs are also going online and taking the party to Zoom in the time of Covid as well….but that is for another post, and for Episode 31 of the Get Legit Law & Shit Podcast

What to Do

SO…what do you do to stay safe online right now? First, make sure the websites where you are entering data are the actual website you think they are. Expand the full site in the address bar so you know you are actually on the site. If you are trying to reach a government site it’s a .gov address. Second, Government agencies aren’t going to call you to ask for more information. They use the mail. Do not give that information over the phone. For that matter, no one is going to call and offer you money, help you get your stimulus check, or qualify for an SBA loan. Third, if you can use a VPN like Express VPN to try to keep your computer safe. Finally, be very careful with email attachments, it is one of the most common ways computers are infected with bots and backdoors. 

Stay safe out there and if you want a more in-depth exploration of this topic and others check out the Get Legit Law & Shit podcast

 

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Badass Lawyer for Online Business

Emily has been running business for 15 years and has ove 13 years of legal experience. She spent 10 years at the Los Angeles County District attorney's office where she truly learned to be a solopreneur. Emily has built her consulting and speaking business from the ground up, in her garage jamming out to 90's music. She specializes in no BS practical advice for the starting and scaling online entreprenur. Emily will tell you what the business gurus can't in a way that is both hillarious and empowering.

The War on How We Work

The War on How We Work

Opinion. Small business is under attack.

The situation in the world right now with the Coronavirus is going to fundamentally change the way we work and I see self-employment as being under attack.  Everyone should be able to work the way they want. Be it as a gig worker, independent contractor, service provider, employee, business owner….whatever it is!  If we can make money doing it (and it is not illegal) then you should have the freedom to choose what you do to make money and how you do it. 

The Coronavirus public health crisis is bringing to light the way we work and integrate our work and our life.  Work has become our primary identity, especially as people are choosing to step away from communities like a church community or a hobby community, a bowling league….people just aren’t as involved in activities outside of work as they used to be.  We often don’t have a community outside of work, and therefore work becomes our community and our identity, and that can be a very dangerous thing, especially when it’s suddenly taken away.

My TEDx talk “The Three Words That Will Change Your Life”, addresses what happens when our identities get wrapped up in work and how hard it is to break that cycle. Kinda like a bad relationship cycle where It’s like, “But it fills me up and when it’s great, it’s so good, but when it’s bad, it’s so bad and I don’t know how to get out of it”.  Then when your finances, healthcare, retirement plans, and social group are all tied up in that it can be really hard to leave. The choice to be self-employed is a hard one, but it’s getting harder…which is crazy to me because Americans are so driven by the identity of being an individual. Americans won’t be told to eat healthy, stay home, not own guns, practice a specific religion or lifestyle or being told they can’t. Americans want to do what we want in our own way. So it’s no surprise that self-employment is so popular, yet it’s not being well supported during this crisis. What I am seeing during this time is that most of us feel like we are failing, at everything, all the time. Right now it’s really hard to be a full-time parent, full-time employee/boss/business owner, full-time spouse, and still process the trauma of what we are going through during this pandemic. 

When you add to that the fact that it’s getting harder for gig workers and contractors to find work independently with States like California categorizing most workers as employees, it’s even harder for those out of work right now to simply pick up digital gigs while they are ordered home by the government. Trying to find work on something like Upwork, Fiverr or Rev is near impossible if you have an address in California due to AB5. Not be able to pick up gig work that you can do on the internet is ridiculous to me right now. States are pushing contractors to rely on unemployment rather than their own ability to work.  Then when you finally get into Government help for small businesses, the self-employed, independent contractors businesses aren’t being treated the same.

The Self-Employed weren’t even able to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program until a week this program rolled out to formal corporations and businesses.  30% of the nation’s workforce were self-employed as of 2019. The self-employed accounted for 44 million jobs. That’s a lot of jobs created by the self-employed. It’s estimated that there are over 16-million people who are self-employed, Solopreneurs who pay themselves on a draw and not on a W-2 paycheck.  Yet, this sector is still being treated like second class businesses because they generally don’t have existing borrowing relationships with banks, don’t have lawyers on call for help and don’t also have accountants or CPAs to help navigate these programs. 

It’s estimated right now as the self-employed and solos are able to apply for things like the paycheck protection program apply for things like an economic injury that there are over 26 million Solopreneurs who pay themselves on a draw and not a W2 yet. That sector, that sector, that accounts for 44 million jobs was not allowed to apply for the paycheck protection program until a week after other companies had been allowed to apply.

There is still this secondary treatment of the self-employed through even getting aid during coronavirus. The cares act allows self-employed individuals and in that, I’m lumping in, you know, sole proprietorships, independent contractors, gig workers, all, all y’all self-employed are being treated less than and less valuable than traditional companies that pay W2’s are being treated as if they aren’t as important, but this is 30% of the workforce. This is a big deal, but when the cares act rolled out, unemployment for self-employed, most States still don’t have that up and running. When they rolled out the paycheck protection program, including self-employed businesses, they couldn’t apply until a week later and then can’t always apply at their bank. If they don’t have a lending relationship. A lot of people who are self-employed try not to take on business debt. That’s their choice to work the way they want to work and to make their work and their life look different.

I keep seeing attacks on small business in news stories, on social media, and in conversations. Businesses should be prepared, people should be prepared with savings and a disaster plan. Did anyone (well I am sure some did, but it wasn’t the dominant conversation) have these discussions with the banking industry in 2008 when they needed a bailout for a situation they created?? This pandemic caused government forced closures of non-essential business, unlike anything we have lived through. This is unanticipated and for some business ending and it wasn’t caused by the industry themselves.

I am frustrated, I am with you and I don’t know how to make it better at the moment. If you need to save your business do it, apply for the PPP, if it doesn’t fit the EIDL might. If that doesn’t then unemployment. You didn’t cause this, this is an unprecedented event and it’s ok to be in survival mode. Don’t let anyone, or anything makes you feel like your business isn’t worth saving.  You’ve got this, hang in their friend. If you want to hear my full rant on this…it’s in Episode 29 of Get Legit Law & Sh!t. 

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Badass Lawyer for Online Business

Emily has been running business for 15 years and has ove 13 years of legal experience. She spent 10 years at the Los Angeles County District attorney's office where she truly learned to be a solopreneur. Emily has built her consulting and speaking business from the ground up, in her garage jamming out to 90's music. She specializes in no BS practical advice for the starting and scaling online entreprenur. Emily will tell you what the business gurus can't in a way that is both hillarious and empowering.

The Paycheck Protection Program Explained.

The Paycheck Protection Program Explained.

I will continue to update the Guide that covers the PPP as information changes. If you want to stay up to date — get the guide.

Updated 4-4-2020

What you need to know about the Paycheck Protection Program.

First. If you are considering a Paycheck Protection Program SBA Loan this is the information you need now. If your bank does not yet have an application live for you you can use the SBA Application to gather the necessary information and read the fine print. If your business bank is accepting applications I will break down the information you need on hand to apply…then go do that….today!

What is the program for?

To allow businesses to maintain employees on payroll and continue to cover expenses such as mortgage interest, rent, utilities and of course payroll and employee benefits.  

How long does this program run?

You can apply through June 30, 2020, or ‘until funds made available for this purpose are exhausted’ – SBA interim final rule.  Currently, there are 349 Billion set aside for the PPP program. If you need these funds apply early, and honestly.

Who can apply?

Businesses with under 500 employees, though there are some exceptions if you are a restaurant and have under 500 employees at a particular location and a few other exceptions…if that could be your business go call your attorney and parse this out. My information is directed at small businesses, the self-employed, contractors and online-business owners.

  • Businesses with under 500 employees who are US-based employees. (S-Corps, C-Corps and LLC’s as well as 501(c)(3)’s)
  • Sole Proprietors, Independent Contractors, Self-Employed (though some banks are requiring these individuals to wait to apply until 4/10).
    • You must submit documentation to establish eligibility ie. payroll processor records, payroll tax filings, 1099s or income and expenses from a sole proprietorship.
      • IF you do not have that the lender may use bank records to demonstrate the qualifying payroll amount.

NOTE you must have been in legit business operation as of 2-15-2020 and had employees who you paid salaries and payroll taxes for OR paid independent contractors, as reported on a form 1099.

Can you apply for more than one PPP Loan?

No. Each eligible borrower may only apply for one loan. This is part of the rule from the SBA and is not broken down in the CARES Act.

Are any businesses not eligible?

YES

  1. activity considered illegal under federal, state or local law. So legally operating marijuana dispensaries, are still illegal under federal law, gambling, sex work and the like.
  2. If you are a household that employees household help (nannies, housekeepers and the like).
  3. Businesses who have defaulted on SBA loans in the last 7 years
  4. If an owner of 20% of the business or more is incarcerated, on probation has been convicted of a felony and a few other provisions.

What circumstances qualify?

If your business isn’t struggling just yet what does that mean? You are required to verify that “the current economic uncertainty makes this lan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant.” SBA Application 

Is this a loan or a grant or what?

This is a loan program. The current fixed rate of the loan is 1%…however, funds used for the intended purposes “documented payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities, and not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be used for non-payroll costs”, any amounts falling outside that are a loan which a 2-year repayment at 1%.

What amount of this loan can be forgiven?

Up to 100% of the loan plus incurred interest so long as the forgiveness provisions are met. Including not reducing employee compensation levels, not using more than 25% of the loan for non-payroll expenses.

How do I apply?

Through your business bank, if your business bank is not an authorized SBA lender there are some loan aggregation services facilitating this loan. You do not apply through SBA.gov.

How much money can my business get?

The loan amount is the lesser of either the average monthly payroll costs for the previous 12 months multiplied by 2.5 or 10 million. There is a 10 million cap per business.

The SBA recommends the following

  1. Aggregate all payroll costs
    1. PAYROLL IS – compensation for US employees in the form of salary, wages, commissions, cash tips, etc, benefits including vacation, parental, family, medical or sick leave, employee benefits consisting of health care, insurance premiums and retirement compensation, and payment of state and local taxes assessed on employee compensation
    2. FOR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, SOLE PROPRIETORS AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS PAYROLL IS: wage earnings, commissions, income or net earnings from self-employment. 
    3. What is excluded from payroll costs
      1. Employees outside of the US
      2. Compensation to any one employee over 100K a year
      3. Sick & Family leave which is credited under FFCRA (see my guide to FFCRA for info on that)
  2. Subtract any compensation to a single employee in excess of 100K a year
  3. Calculate the average monthly costs (divide the above amount by 12)
  4. Multiply the average monthly costs by 2.5
  5. Add any outstanding amount from an EIDL loan made between January 31, 2020, and April 3, 2020, less the amount of any ‘advance’ under the EIDL COVID-19 loan (Generally 10K)

Can you apply for more than one PPP loan?

The SBA states that only no eligible borrower may receive more than one PPP loan.

Can I use the PPP to pay Independent Contractors?

NO- Independent contractors have the ability to apply for a PPP loan on their own, therefore they do not count to be paid by a business under the PPP loan. 

When do I have to pay this back? 

There should not be payments required for the first 6 months, but during that time interest will accrue. Then it is a 2-year loan. 

How are they determining who gets loans and when?

The funds are first come, first served until they run out…may the odds be ever in your favor on this one.

How does this work with Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)?

If you are using an EIDL loan to cover payroll it will need to be refinanced into a PPP loan and the application will ask about that. If you received a $10K advance through EIDL you do not need to refinance it and it will not be counted against your PPP loan. 

What is the deal with this 10K advance?

Under the EIDL loan business can request a 10K advance that may be used for

  1. Payroll costs
  2. Making rent or mortgage payments
  3. Repaying obligations that cannot be met as a result of losses in revenue
  4. Meeting increased costs to obtain materials

This is applied for through SBA.gov

 

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Badass Lawyer for Online Business

Emily has been running business for 15 years and has ove 13 years of legal experience. She spent 10 years at the Los Angeles County District attorney's office where she truly learned to be a solopreneur. Emily has built her consulting and speaking business from the ground up, in her garage jamming out to 90's music. She specializes in no BS practical advice for the starting and scaling online entreprenur. Emily will tell you what the business gurus can't in a way that is both hillarious and empowering.

Coronavirus has changed daily life, what my family and I are doing.

Coronavirus has changed daily life, what my family and I are doing.

The last two weeks have been unlike anything we have experienced. People all over the world are dealing with this in their own countries. But here in the United States, the novel coronavirus has changed life as we know it in the last few weeks and it’s changed quickly. I want to share with you what our family is doing to deal with the changes, the homeschooling, the shifts to business, the unknown and the stress. For some of us, we want to do something, anything to feel normal. Taking action can help us feel like we are at least doing something. That’s why we are having this chat today.

Things are changing fast.

First, I expect that we will continue to see the day by day changes that we have seen so far. I am writing this March 17, 2020, and right now some States have closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.  California is in talks to do the same. I am sure that in the days to come other States and Districts will do the same. In addition to schools closing some countries are on lock-down where you can only go to necessary medical appointments, the grocery store. I am sure others will follow. 

I find myself frustrated with the fact that lives are so drastically changing and yet on social media people are still trying to go on Spring Break vacations, still hanging out with friends, still acting like life isn’t changing. I remember vividly a moment on 9-11 when my mother had just gotten home from LAX airport. She was a flight attendant for United Airlines at the time and was supposed to be flying from LA to NY that morning. Once flights were grounded she finally got home and I had never been happier to see her. As we hugged and cried she said to me ‘nothing is ever going to be the same’. That’s exactly how I feel about coronavirus. Nothing is ever going to be the same.

Yes, we will get back to life, but it will be a new normal. It won’t be the way that it was. We refer to ‘pre 9-11’ and we will refer to ‘before corona’. This is a world-changing event. I hope that one of the changes we see here in the states is a bit of a slow down on the 24-7 urgency that we have fallen into. But that is a topic for another day. 

It’s not just us.

As adults we are struggling to make sense of the rapid change, it’s no wonder our kids and parents are also struggling. For those of you who have never worked at home, you are going to miss your daily routine, your co-workers (even those that bug you) and sometimes even your commute. For your kids, they are missing their friends and teachers, their routine, their school lunches and time away from their parents. For couples that are now all the sudden working at home together and maybe homeschooling kids it’s a whole different pace to the day. Here is what we are doing.

Schedule.

We have created a daily schedule for our family to make sure that we know what we are supposed to be doing and when as much for the kids as for me. I made sure to make the schedule with them because they need to have buy-in. They need to feel like they have some control over how they spend their time in these unpredictable times. So our schedule includes:

  1. Meditation & Yoga: We are using the calm app on the AppleTV for the family & family Yoga videos on YouTube.
  2. Movement: Outside when we can, bikes, scooters, running, playing, or just a walk but breaking up the day with movement has been critical.
  3. Quiet Time: Having space in the day for downtime. This is either reading time, lego time, art or whatever they decide. 
  4. Learning Time: We still have to homeschool, so there is learning time that has to happen, we make this age-appropriate.
  5. Tech Time: Look, friends, mamma has to work from home and these kids love their tech and I am fine with it. We have afternoon tech time and it helps my little one knows what he is working towards. 
  6. Prepping Meals Together: When kids are home all day, every day, they eat like all the time. I am having them help prep their own meals and snacks. They are also helping prep dinner because we have time…we aren’t rushing off to activities at the moment. They are also helping plan out the meals we will be having.
  7. Household Duties: Let’s talk about life skills. Kids deserve to learn life skills as young as possible. So we are working with the kids on laundry, cleaning routines and the like. There is something calming about cleaning. You feel like you have some control over your space. If you aren’t sure how to have your kids help with household duties my friend Kendra Hennessy over at Mother Like A Boss has the greatest resources for this. 

Wellness.

It’s easy to allow stress to push out good habits. I don’t care how much time you have at home when you are under stress wellness isn’t always the first thought. But it’s an important one. Sure, wellness isn’t going to stop you from getting sick, but wellness can make you feel like you are doing something to take care of yourself. At least if you do get sick, with anything, you don’t start out depleted. Our wellness includes;

  1. Hydrate!!! You know this is key. Seriously you have all the toilet paper at this point and I know you have water…make it happen.
  2. Sleep: Life is less busy with the places you need to be, but it isn’t less stressful. Now more than ever you need to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Like at least 8 hours, bed by 10:00 boring-ass sleep. But it helps.
  3. Vitamin D: Most of us are significantly Vitamin D deficient. Even kids can be Vitamin D deficient. Our whole family supplements with Vitamin D.  For a lot of us getting outside isn’t sufficient, especially if you are like me and sunscreen is a daily part of life. Vitamin D helps improve immunity and sleep so it’s amazing.
  4. Space

What each of us does during this time matters. It’s ok to set this time to rest, to step back from the hustle. It’s ok to find an activity outside of working from home. You need to set boundaries for yourself and enforce them. We are all going to get through this together and if you want to chat about this or anything, the Get Legit Community on Facebook is a space curated by me so that we can have these conversations without judgment, or crazy social media BS. You know I’ve got you. 

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Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Badass Lawyer for Online Business

Emily has been running business for 15 years and has ove 13 years of legal experience. She spent 10 years at the Los Angeles County District attorney's office where she truly learned to be a solopreneur. Emily has built her consulting and speaking business from the ground up, in her garage jamming out to 90's music. She specializes in no BS practical advice for the starting and scaling online entreprenur. Emily will tell you what the business gurus can't in a way that is both hillarious and empowering.

Coronavirus, Business Interruptions and You

Coronavirus, Business Interruptions and You

You can’t get away from conversations about Corona Virus or as it’s formally called Covid-19, normally those conversations also quickly turn to ‘but why the toilet paper, does Corona Virus cause the shits? I thought it was the flu?’  I know you have had these conversations, I have had them too, either in the Get Legit Facebook Community…or in the moments I am out and about in my community. 

In episode 23 of the Get Legit Law & Sh!t podcast, I cover more than just toilet paper shortages and fear. Because there are real impacts of a global event like this that you need to prepare for if you own your own business, if you are employed 9-5 or if you are just preparing to deal with school closures for your kids.

So let’s talk about what is happening to business impacted by Corona Virus and what my suggestions are. Also…because I am a lawyer I must disclaim things, I am not a medical professional, just an opinionated lawyer who worked as an EMT once for the experience but couldn’t stand the smells. I am sharing what I have taken from the professionals, what I see happening around me and my own decisions. Note number 1…carry your own pen so if you are out and about you don’t have to touch community pens! 

My Kids Response

One of the most interesting things for me is watching my kids respond to everything. My oldest and I were at Target (I love LOVE Target), and he was amazed at the empty shelves…shelf after shelf empty, no toilet paper, no bleach, no Clorox wipes, no paper towels, no hand sanitizer and like 4 hand soaps (well I bought one and so there were only 3, but I didn’t get all hoarder about it!). He was shocked that so much was gone. I could see on his face that he was processing what it means that so much was gone. I wasn’t surprised. I have lived through earthquakes, and riots and I know that people get nervous. 

Latest and Greatest

Since I recorded Episode 23 a few things have changed. First Coachella and Stage Coach were postponed until October.  Over 12 states have declared a State of Emergency, including California. Boston canceled it’s famous St. Patricks Day parade, the first time since 1994 when it was canceled among political issues. In addition to all of that, there are now 55 Universities that have canceled in-person classes. 

The 2020 Olympics

The one thing I am most curious about is if the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo will be canceled. They will no doubt be impacted.  A member of the Japan organizing committee stated that if the games can’t be this year they would rather postpone 1-2 years. Japan is a significantly impacted country, more so than most and only less impacted than China, Iran, South Korea, and China. But it sucks for the athletes who have been preparing for these games. A lot can change in 1-2 years for an elite athlete and it breaks my heart for the 2020 hopefuls. Even though it hasn’t been announced I am going to go ahead and guess that if the games aren’t canceled (which I think they will be), they won’t have any spectators for sure. But how much does that cost Tokyo? Reports in December 2019 indicate that Tokyo spent over 12 BILLION on the Olympics. I am sure the expected revenue for Tokyo is from ticket sales, sure, but the amount of tourism that would come into the city in 2020 and beyond would be beyond what they have spent. So I can only imagine that Tokyo would rather postpone the games than have them held without the wallets…I mean spectators. I will call it now, I think the games will be postponed.

Impacted Supplies

From iPhones to Diet Coke there will be impacted supply lines. I expect to see iPhone supplies constrained when we get to (if we get to?) the new iPhone launch expected in September 2020. The iPhones are manufactured in Shenzhen China and if parts are components aren’t being built now because of factory shutdowns there won’t be enough parts to put together new phones. The same applies to Diet Coke which relies on sucralose supplies also from China. Though Coke was talking about supply chain constraint I can imagine that other Diet Sodas will be impacted. 

Booming Business

Though there are some business prepping for constrained supply lines, and I am sure really questioning their reliance on China as a sole supplier, there are other companies that are booming. Clorox, anyone who makes hand sanitizer, Netflix (cause what are you going to do if you are isolated at home), and Campbells Soup….cause that shit lasts forever. I mean consumer demand for Hand Sanitizer is up 1,400 % from December to January. That only presents the problem of manufacturing enough! In an unstable economic environment like this having an in-demand business isn’t a bad thing at all. 

Emily’s Tips

Look, the CDC and the World Health Organization are keeping people up to date. That is the best place to get information. Next is your county health officials, if there is an outbreak in your area that you need to know about that’s where you need to know. Both organizations recommend the same thing, wash your hands, stay home if you are sick….like stay home until you are all the way well. They have let us know that coronavirus is 400 times more contagious than the flu and you can actually be more contagious when you are symptomatic (unlike the flu where you are generally less contagious.) 

If you need to be out in public take hand sanitizer or wash your hands, wash your hands when you get home from being in public. My number one for his…bring your own pen when you are out cause touching communal pens to sign things is ick. Same for a stylus to sign at the store use a pen or a fingernail if you can! Those things don’t get cleaned!

Financial Tips From Not a Financial Advisor

Look we are getting into some economic uncertainty…it’s not the time to sell off stocks or investments in a panic, they will go back up. Make the best decisions you can with a long term perspective. Look at how markets have recovered from other global events and do your best. It’s a great time to evaluate your budget and save if you are in an impacted industry. Travel, hospitality, restaurants all expect to be significantly impacted. If you work in an impacted industry save money incase your job shifts or you have hours cut. I will also plug having a side hustle, but right now UBER may not be the best bet. So if you have the opportunity to create an online side hustle, reach out to me and let me know. I love the online world and there is so much opportunity to make money there. 

We are all going to get through this together and if you want to chat about this or anything, the Get Legit Community on Facebook is a space curated by me so that we can have these conversations without judgment, or crazy social media BS. You know I’ve got you. 

 

Wonder if your business is all the way legit?

Check out my FREE Get Legit Business Guide to find out!! Enter your email and then choose if you would also like to join my email squad.

Subscribe
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Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Emily D. Baker, Esq.

Badass Lawyer for Online Business

Emily has been running business for 15 years and has ove 13 years of legal experience. She spent 10 years at the Los Angeles County District attorney's office where she truly learned to be a solopreneur. Emily has built her consulting and speaking business from the ground up, in her garage jamming out to 90's music. She specializes in no BS practical advice for the starting and scaling online entreprenur. Emily will tell you what the business gurus can't in a way that is both hillarious and empowering.

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