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Advice from a Professional Photographer in Las Vegas

A Quick About Us

Let me start off this post by clarifying, we are not lawyers or accountants, we are simply professional photographers in Las Vegas trying to get through this pandemic. We did not foresee this coming six months ago. Luckily due to owning our own professional photography business in Las Vegas, we are no strangers to tough times. Having come upon hard times before we were smart enough to keep a rainy day fund. Did we ever think our rainy day fund was going to be challenged with such a severely epic storm. No. Are we researching everyday and doing what we can to weather this disaster? Yes. 

So we wanted to share some of the very helpful information, we have been able to collect over the last couple weeks. We are very optimistic that professional photographers in Las Vegas and any small business alike can survive this. The trick is to act quick, stay informed, and be active in protecting your business. 

SBA Coronavirus Relief Funds – for Professional Photographers in Las Vegas

The very first and most time sensitive tip for professional photographers in Las Vegas we want to mention is the SBA Coronavirus Relief Funds. There are two loans we will discuss below.  We have watched multiple webinars and read various articles on these loans. I want to once again state we are not experts in these fields. The information is coming out so quickly that we have encountered quite a bit of miscommunication ourselves. We believe the information we are sharing is up to date and current, however it changes at almost every moment. We encourage you to do your own research to make sure you find the right fit for your business. 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan 

The first loan we encountered through the SBA to help our professional photography business in Las Vegas stay afloat is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This is $300 billion dollars that will be administered by the SBA, with no personal guarantee or collateral for loans under $200,000. You can also defer payment on this loan for up to 12 months. This loan is time sensitive as it is first come first serve with funding, but you can apply until December, 31st of 2020. The surprising part about this particular loan is it has an option to choose an advance on the loan up to $10,000. Which you could receive in up to three days after filling out a pretty easy application form online. 

The application for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan only requires some basic business information. We were able to complete the online application in under 30 minutes. If you check the box to receive an advance on the loan up to $10,000, according to the information we have received, you will not have to repay any of the advance. You will later be contacted by the SBA to go over further details on how much of a loan you will want to accept. While details are still fuzzy at this point, there is a chance that some of this loan will be forgivable. Which means you would not have to pay the funds back, if you use these funds for designated expenses. An example of this would be paying your rent or utilities with this loan money.

The Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program loan came out after the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and just became available April 3rd, 2020. This loan is not through the SBA but through an approved lender. We were led to believe your loan approval would have a better chance of being expedited if you already had a relationship with the lender. As professional photographers in Las Vegas who bank with US Bank, they would be our first choice. Any major bank or lender that is SBA approved should have these available. So we would suggest applying through the one you have the best relationship or history with.

The difference between this loan and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan is that this loan is already promised to be 100% forgivable if used properly. For example, should you use this loan to pay your payroll after receiving the loan and maintain the same amount of employees for 8 weeks. You would be eligible to have that loan forgiven. Meaning you would not have to pay back that portion of your loan. Your loan amount will be decided based on your average payroll from the last 12 months. You are eligible to get a loan for 250% of your average monthly payroll, benefits, PTO, rent / mortgage, and utilities payments over the past 12 months. This too is time sensitive, and you can apply up to June 30th, 2020. 

While we are in digital line to apply for this loan as professional photographers in Las Vegas, this definitely seems like a better fit for our professional photography business. If you applied for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan before a certain date, you may be eligible to apply for both loans. You would just have to use them for separate expenses to be eligible for forgiveness. We will have many links at the bottom of this blog to get you more updated information. You can use that information to figure out how to tailor the loans to your photography business.

Ways to Stay Effective as Professional Photographers in Las Vegas

SEO for Professional Photographers in Las Vegas

This is not a vacation. If you own your own business, you should be staying informed and staying active. Where we are located we are deemed non-essential so we can not actively participate in photoshoots. We can spend time from our homes working on our websites and SEO so we are on top of google when we are allowed to enter the work field again. Instead of making your fifth trip to the fridge in 2 hours, perhaps write a blog. Update the professional photography on your website and keyword those photos. Our goal as Professional Photographers in Las Vegas is to hit the ground running once this clears. So we plan to beef up our SEO while we have time to. If you are unfamiliar with SEO check out our blog on SEO for Professional Photographers. We can’t express how much SEO will affect how often your phone rings.

Offer Tutorials or Prep Social Media

If we can’t shoot perhaps we can teach. Why not start your own youtube channel and start creating content to educate the masses on professional photography. Why would you do this? See above…. SEO! A youtube channel can be a great way to build SEO and followers. We can not emphasize the importance of this enough. How do your clients find you? On the internet? If you are not on the first two pages of google under your set keywords, you might as well not be on the internet. 

Perhaps use this down time to prepare some upcoming social media posts. When we are constantly in the field it is often hard to find the extra time to post on Social Media. So why not get some prepped. This way you don’t have to worry about that for a minute once work starts back up. 

Our hope is that when we get back to normal, marketing is going to be very important. You have to tell people you made it through the pandemic, so they will know to patron your business again. So hopefully all the businesses will relaunch with some fresh marketing. For professional photographers in Las Vegas, photography is generally a large part of marketing for a business. So with a little luck, we should all be clicking away once the dust settles.

Community and Sharing

Listen we are not experts on any of this. We just want to share what we found useful so our fellow professional photographers in Las Vegas make it through. We want all the small businesses in our community to survive. This information is like toilet paper to us, we are not about hoarding it. Share it with all the professional photographers and small businesses you can. There will be plenty of business for all of us when we get through this, if we work together.

While we are touching on the community. We would love to give a giant heartfelt hug to ours. We love Las Vegas and we’re so thankful for everything it has given us. Like the new alcohol delivery allowance, while we are stuck at home. No, no, we are kidding… kind of. Las Vegas is the only place we would want to grow our business. The community we have built here, is something we feel extremely proud of. If there are any small business owners out there have any questions we are more than happy to share or try to explain any of the information we have. We love Las Vegas so very much and look forward to seeing all your lovely faces again very soon. Please stay safe, please stay healthy. 

Please see links below for further information. 

https://www.sba.gov/

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance#section-header-2

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/023595_comm_corona_virus_smallbiz_loan_final.pdf

https://www.usbank.com/business-banking/business-lending/sba-loans/paycheck-protection-program.html

Webinars:

CV Ledger and SIF Industries Webinar: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OYjd0f-ZPojtaWvcYqWMBZVxFMeTcTuG/view

Deck for above webinar:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jMyMsGD1gThEG8at-WdySwOR5l1uo9ls/view

SBA Webinar: https://zoom.us/rec/play/7JF4cr2v-2g3SdKQ4gSDB6QoW9W4LaKsgykZrvBZz02yWnkLZgfwbrpDY-pg5lHKJNPwLNR137Y1iU16?startTime=1585842158000&_x_zm_rtaid=IeVfNBYsRvax_MOWQKv1xA.1586296524907.7e0a18d52a85ba32a416a2b2d49e7550&_x_zm_rhtaid=657

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