Editor’s note: As we are committed to helping small businesses, we have learned that some small business owners have been leaving government COVID relief and benefits money on the table. We are highlighting the below if your small business needs help in navigating what you may be due and helping to claim it. We hope it is helpful.

I founded Bottom Line Concepts (BLC) in 2009 to negotiate for cost savings and find refunds for large corporations. I’m grateful to have been providing this service during the pandemic where cost-savings and refunds have been essential.

While I’ve been one of the fortunate business owners, many of my peers have been suffering devastating losses and I wanted to do something to help them understand the programs available that were designed to help small and mid-sized businesses weather the economic storm of the pandemic.

I’m proud to have opened a new division of BLC to help small and mid-size business owners unaware of federal assistance now available to them through a change in the legislation from the May 2020 Federal CARES Act to the March 2021 Federal American Rescue Plan Act. The CARES Act asked SMBs to make a choice: apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or for Employee Retention Credits (ERC). But that changed with the American Rescue Plan Act, which both expanded and enriched the ERC Program to allow SMBs to apply for both PPP and ERC.

As well as changing eligibility requirements to allow previously ineligible businesses to now become eligible, and providing even large and new employers some benefits from the program, these changes are especially vital to American businesses like restaurants, entertainment & performing arts venues, gyms, and hotels and others that were or still are now temporarily shut down or limited in capacity due to governmental COVID-19 related regulations.

Moreover, it’s not too late to recover eligible ERC funds as they are paid retroactively from Q2 2020 and through the end of 2021. Depending on the number of employees on payroll and salary levels, we’ve seen our small and mid-sized business clients eligible for up to $7,000 per employee per quarter for all of 2021 and $5,000 per employee from 2020, adding up to $33,000 per employee. Again, that’s per employee in addition to PPP loans and loan reimbursements. In addition, the IRS will issue refunds back to the beginning of the program in 2020, including the first eight months of 2021. As well as clients who remain eligible to continue to receive ERTC benefits in each payroll they process today through the end of the year.

Of course, large federal programs like the American Rescue Plan Act don’t come without a level of complexity. First, small businesses need to understand the eligibility requirements. Then, they need to understand what they are entitled to, and for how much of the 21 months of the program.

There also are benefits based on group size, rules around aggregation affiliation, and nuances around international business and employees. Then, there’s understanding the intersection between PPP and ERC to maximize both programs. As well as how to treat fulltime employees, furloughed employees, employee paid while not working and part-time employees, not to mention potential assistance beyond wages like healthcare benefits and pensions.

It can be overwhelming to say the least, especially for business owners who are already short-staffed and dealing with ever-changing regulations. And time to apply for ERC is running out!

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with small businesses anywhere from 25 to 500 employees to find their specific mathematical sweet spot for maximizing PPP forgiveness, the ERC, and the tax implications. I want to help as many SMBs as we can be able to take advantage of the American Rescue Plan Act legislation and get them the funds and refunds they are eligible to receive.

My team of knowledgeable, trained professionals is working with SMB owners to walk them through their eligibility and getting them started with the program. We are managing all the intricacies and opportunities of the programs to get funds into business owner bank accounts in just a week or two.

If you are not receiving ERC and have 25 to 500 employees, you can connect with our specialists at erc@bottomlinesavings.com.  We’d be proud to serve you.