Important Updated Paycheck Protection Program Guidance

It’s not too late to submit your application for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to your bank!

Sole proprietors can apply for the PPP starting tomorrow, April 10.

We have two IMPORTANT updated documents to help you in your process.

Update 1: The SBA reissued an updated FAQ document on April 8 that you can find here.

Update 2: The National Venture Capital Association issued updated guidance today for venture-backed companies navigating the PPP application along with new advice for applicants.

Please Note: Some lenders are rejecting and/or requiring more information from applicants that have declined to provide a list of the companies owned by or under common management with the applicant’s 20% holders and delaying processing of the application. The NVCA therefore recommends that applicants discuss the pros and cons of this approach with their professional advisors prior to submitting the application.

Congress is currently debating how to add another $250B into the PPP, which would bring total funds to $600B. In addition, Treasury just announced this morning the Main Street Business Lending Program with up to $600B focused on companies between 500-10,000 employees. Stay tuned for more information.

PACT continues our advocacy efforts on your behalf and are happy to share these updates. Again, it is critical that you work closely with your bank and professional advisors to properly apply for the PPP or any other programs.

As always, please contact PACT with any questions or for any help you need.

The New World Needs your Company’s Voice

Contributed by Susan Stipa, CEO of McDay and Murad Sabzali, CEO of CG Life 

All around the region, you hear the refrain: ‘how is your business surviving?’ These queries, delivered via text, email, phone and increasingly, video conferencing, and even in the new phenomenon of virtual happy hour, net a variety of reactions.

Every professional and business is trying to maintain their existence, stay relevant and adapt to factors that are mostly out of everyone’s control. Business is changing at an exponential rate. Business practices in April 2020 may be radically different by June. However, the constant amidst this change is that some business leaders are stepping up and delivering more than ever before. These people are quickly pivoting to maintain operations and strategize for a new world.

All the new lessons learned, and the thought leadership revelations that accompany them, will help small businesses, large enterprises and whole industry ecosystems to evolve and emerge as something new and thriving. These lessons will need to be heard and implemented by peer groups and in all levels of business.

Business News and Timing

A female CEO, Susan Stipa has been running Philadelphia-based McDay, a pharmaceutical marketing communications and PR firm, with a remote workforce for many years. In February, life science marketing agency CG Life acquired McDay, turning a well-established strategic alliance into a formal business agreement mere weeks before the public health and economic crisis hit.

As a member of the Irish American Business Chamber & Network (IABCN), the McDay team would say this was good luck. However, it also presented a new business challenge. Should an important milestone such as this be celebrated and communicated during the current business conditions? Or, should the business hold back and wait until the clouds clear?

Stipa, a former pharmaceutical process engineer with roots in Swiss pharma company Roche and local firm Foster Wheeler Biokinetics, says:  “McDay is now part of CG Life. This should be celebrated, but the more important point is that our clients need us right now. We can’t slow down. With non-stop phone calls and questions from concerned and pivotal clients in the pharma space, the new, combined team of engineers and scientists, writers and communicators, have stepped up to the baseline.” A competitive tennis player, Stipa notes that tennis players have always practiced social distancing at 42 feet—from baseline to baseline.

Experience from the Trenches that Empowers Success

In times of crisis, it is those who continue to move forward that will go farther. They will gain more experience, extend greater influence, and engender more trust and credibility in the market.

CG Life Founding Partner Murad Sabzali strikes an optimistic tone. “Together, CG Life and McDay have such a wealth of scientists and engineers within our combined team that it felt like the perfect time to make available our most important resources: solid scientific understanding, strategic data-driven insights, and decades upon decades of combined business experience. The union of our agencies strengthens our unique insight into the interconnected worlds of pharmaceutical discovery, development, clinical recruitment and commercialization. We’re proud to benefit a growing number of our clients that are working to develop new vaccines, therapies, diagnostic tests and other innovations to combat the pandemic.”

Even in this time of uncertainty, we can be certain that the pharmaceutical and healthcare brands that will be successful will be those that place people at the center of their brand promise and marketing campaigns. In order to achieve this, those organizations must segment and parse their audiences in far more insightful and detailed ways than ever before. These companies will gain an understanding of human needs and desired outcomes.

Sabzali added, “In addition to the unique marketing landscape, this is an extremely exciting time in life sciences and healthcare. The speed at which innovation is becoming commercialized is unprecedented. This requires an increasingly sophisticated approach to marketing and communications.”

Special Message from SAP

Dear Fellow PACT Members,

Over these past days and weeks, we have seen an incredibly challenging and fluid global crisis unfold.  Much of the nation’s workforce is adjusting to working from home, and companies are shifting operations, taking proactive steps to help their employees, customers, and communities weather this challenging situation.

SAP wants you to know that we are here to help you move forward with the least amount of disruption possible.  Effective immediately, we’re opening access to technologies that can help your organizations continue to progress, including:

  • EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE: Most organizations have moved from a largely in-house workforce to a completely remote workforce almost overnight. How are your employees managing that change? How about you? Here’s a quick and easy way to check-in with your team(s). You can make sure your people are safe and supported, and that they have what they need to work, to be productive, and to feel successful. This Remote Work Pulse is free, and you can launch it almost instantly. We hope it helps.
  • SUPPLY CHAIN: Supply chains are under immense pressure right now, and many companies are shifting operations to produce much-needed medical supplies. To help, we’re providing free access to Ariba Discovery where you can post your sourcing needs and get quick responses from suppliers who can deliver from all across the world, helping you minimize shipment delays, and respond to consumer demand. Check out this Business Insider article on how a local hospital leveraged Discovery to get much-needed supplies to manage treatment for COVID-19.
  • TRAVEL: Travel is what you do every day to keep your company moving. But when planes aren’t flying, the business still needs your expertise. So SAP has opened up complimentary TripIt Pro accounts for the next six months to help you manage this.

A full list of these and other complimentary offerings can be found on our website here, as well as a letter from our Co-CEOs here.

We’re all in this together, navigating the same unchartered waters, and we will get through this.  If you have any questions or need assistance, do not hesitate to reach out.  SAP is here to help!

Best Regards,

Lloyd Adams

Senior Vice Present & Managing Director, East Market Unit

SAP North America

Negotiating Rent Relief with Your Landlord

Over the past ten days, we have spoken with numerous tenants and landlords about the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on their businesses, and how landlords, their investors and lenders will deal with tenants’ inability to operate, generate cash flow, and pay rent.

In this challenging moment, we have been heartened by the empathy demonstrated by several landlords.  Late last week, a landlord told us:  “Our current position with all tenants that may be affected by a temporary shutdown of business is for them to make rental payments as their cash flow allows. We will not charge late fees or interest on missed payments and will create a payment plan when things stabilize.”   While not all landlords are able to offer this range of concessions, some are.

A property owner will take legal action against a tenant only if that landlord reasonably believes ownership will be better off by doing so.  This is a uniquely harrowing time, and most landlords are rational actors.  Moreover, in light of the consequences to all arising from the COVID-19 break out, landlords realize most tenants are in the same situation — especially because non-essential businesses now are under government order to shut down in many jurisdictions.  Landlords and their investors and lenders now are challenged everywhere to take the longer-term view, and do what they can to ensure their good tenants remain viable . . . and on the rent roll.

Given the foregoing, here are several keys to inform a constructive rent adjustment conversation with your landlord:

  1. Be honest about your situation.  Landlords quickly would be out of business if they grant rent relief to every tenant that wants to lower its rent obligation.  Be prepared to document and explain to the landlord your cash flow situation and why your business will not be able to pay rent or can only pay a specified fraction of your contract rent obligation.
  2. Be precise as to the relief you are asking for.  Are you asking for rent forgiveness, a rent abatement or a deferral of some or all of your rent obligation until things get better? Again, consider tying your request to your specific cash flow situation.  And, consider tying the timeline for relief to lifting of governmental restrictions preventing or impairing your business’s core operations.  Ask the landlord to confirm its plan to improve sanitation, infiltration of fresh air, and undertake other preventive measures to promote building health.  A plan that shares the burden between you and the landlord is going to be more welcome, as they have bills to pay as well.
  3. Articulate your plan for resumption of normal course business operations. Explaining to your landlord why this is a temporary situation is straightforward today given what’s going on in the world, especially if you otherwise have a good history with the landlord of timely paying rent.  Again, most landlords understand that it’s unlikely a new user will be stepping up any time soon to replace you as a tenant.  Your job is to convince the landlord that investing in your business over the coming weeks/months will provide a better, safer return than if they seek to replace you.

Conclusion

We are in unchartered cultural, economic and contractual waters; deals will be cut between landlords and tenants that would not have been considered just a month ago.

It is important to remember that people typically behave in a rational manner.  In most instances, sticking with you – their current tenant – will be the best bet for your landlord.  In approaching your landlord, be honest, respectful of their situation, and creative.  In the end, to paraphrase The Rolling Stones, while you might not get all you want, you may get what you need to muscle through this Coronacrisis.

Tactix Real Estate Advisors, LLC

Ryan Conner ([email protected])

Gary Lozoff ([email protected])

 

PACT Update – What You Should Do – NOW

We are all overwhelmed with the impact of COVID-19 on our personal and professional lives.   We are also inundated with LOTS of information on what we should be doing professionally.  As PACT works to assess all of this information, we share here some quick guidance on what you should be doing NOW – particularly companies with less than 500 employees that are interested in the Federal CARES Act small business programs.

WHAT PACT IS DOING:

  • Lobbying on your behalf at the Federal and State (PA) levels to address important issues affecting startups.  On Tuesday, we spoke with Senator Pat Toomey’s office and shared some of our other efforts below.
  • Dissecting and sharing information that is actionable for companies, investors and professional advisors.   Our regularly updated list of resources can be accessed here.

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING NOW:

FOR FEDERAL PROGRAMS:

  • Companies should call their bank now and find out if they are a current SBA lender.  Even if they are not currently, they may start to process SBA loans as part of the CARES Act.   If they are not a current SBA lender, talk to a bank in the region that already does SBA loans so you can “get in line” for the CARES Act, SBA 7a loan program.
  • Read the National Venture Capital Association guidance and discuss with your professional advisors.  Right now, VC backed companies are largely eliminated from the SBA 7a program due to affiliation rules.   Again, PACT is working hard lobbying with the NVCA and recruiting others to change the affiliation guidance.  Our up to the minute guidance is that the affiliation rules will be waived for most companies.  However, you should start to plan that the guidance may not change.

FOR PENNSYLVANIA PROGRAMS:

  • The Commonwealth of PA has created a $60M pool of capital for small businesses and it is exhaustedClick here to learn more. In addition, this program requires a personal guarantee as well as a 1:1 match up to a maximum loan of $100,000.   We are working hard with others including Life Sciences PA and Ben Franklin to change those requirements for future potential loan pools and make these loans more attractive to startups.  We just had a call with PA Legislative leadership this afternoon to discuss this issue.

FOR CITY OF PHILADELPHIA PROGRAMS:

  • The City of Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund of $9.25M is exhausted.  Applications are currently being accepted for a future micro grant program for companies with less than $500,000 in revenue.  Each grant will be a maximum of $5,000. Click here to learn more.

If you have updates or insights to share that can be beneficial to companies, particularly validated by your own experts or other credible sources, please share with us.  We will be sending out timely and actionable communication as we get updated information.

Please contact the PACT Team if you have any needs.

Thank you all and be safe!

Dean

EisnerAmper to Host PACTCapCon 2020

The 27th Annual Capital Conference comes back to Center City September 23 & 24

PHILADELPHIA, March 24, 2020: Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) proudly announces EisnerAmper as host of the PACT Capital Conference 2020, and welcomes Conference Co-Chairs Patrick Boyle, CPA, Partner-in-Charge of Audit and Assurance in PA and Paul Dougherty, CPA, Partner-in-Charge, Philadelphia.

PACT will showcase the region’s companies and capital at the largest venture conference in the Northeast. This conference offers a full day and a half of content, speakers, networking and company pitches. The inaugural Gala Reception, a prime arena for networking with regional and Mid-Atlantic business professionals, will be held back at the Crystal Tea Room. This year, it will kickstart the conference the day before on September 23. Whether attendees are seeking capital, customers or connections, the opportunities to achieve this happen at the PACT Capital Conference 2020.

“EisnerAmper is excited to host the PACT Capital Conference, which is such an important touchpoint for the entrepreneur and investor community in our region across the country”, said Boyle. Dougherty added, “When you are able to bring together people driving innovation and investment in a dynamic setting, wonderful things happen. We are delighted to play a role in that process and look forward to a great event.”

About the Co-Chairs

Patrick Boyle is Partner-in-Charge of EisnerAmper’s Audit and Assurance Practice in Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of public accounting experience, Patrick has assisted his publicly and privately held clients with all aspects of SEC reporting, compliance and filings, as well as Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and reporting. He has also assisted clients with transactions such as initial public offerings, private placements, acquisitions, divestitures, and debt and equity financings. Patrick specializes in the technology and life science sectors and also serves other sectors including manufacturing, distribution, real estate, construction and professional services.

Paul Dougherty is a Tax Partner and Partner-in-Charge of EisnerAmper’s Philadelphia practice, with more than 30 years of public accounting experience, and is a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Paul has dedicated much of his career to building and enhancing a specialized expertise in corporate taxation, high net worth individuals and IRS controversy. He has significant experience in the review of corporate, partnership and individual tax returns; sophisticated tax planning techniques; representation at federal and state audits; real estate taxation; tax lien matters; and mergers and acquisitions. Paul is a frequent writer and speaker, presenting seminars nationally and throughout the tri-state area on various tax matters.

About the PACT Capital Conference
New this year, the Gala Reception, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP and Pepper Hamilton LLP, will kickstart the festivities by taking place the night before the conference begins at the Crystal Tea Room (back by popular demand).

The PACT Capital Conference has a long tradition of uniting key players from the private equity, venture capital, and entrepreneurial communities. This day-and-a-half event offers both sponsors and attendees access to emerging companies from the Mid-Atlantic region, networking opportunities with the movers and shakers from the community, and educational panels and content sessions. As the oldest and most established venture conference in the Northeast, this conference draws more than 1,000 participants each year. It stands as the catalyst for billions of dollars in venture funding and entrepreneurial success.

It connects the region’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to investors both in region and out of region. But this program is something more. It will showcase mature companies from the Philadelphia area along with pitch sessions from international, university, and social impact entrepreneurs. It boils down to more capital opportunities for entrepreneurs and more potential investments for investors.

The conference will conclude with the fifth installment of the Lion’s Den, in which select companies will present to a panel of distinguished angel investors looking to write a check and power entrepreneurial ventures. Last year’s Lion’s Den resulted in more than $550K distributed in aggregate.

For the latest information, visit our website: www.pactcapconf.com, Linkedin, Twitter (@PhilaPACT), and Facebook.

About Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT)
PACT’s vision is to be the go-to resource for fast growing companies, and a driver of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Philadelphia region. PACT provides its members with valuable content and connections to capital, coaching, and customers that will accelerate their growth and success, and to collaborate with other organizations to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. www.philadelphiapact.com

About EisnerAmper

EisnerAmper LLP, one of the largest professional services firms in the world, is a premier accounting, tax and business advisory services firm. EisnerAmper provides audit, accounting and tax services; valuation, due diligence, internal audit and risk management, litigation consulting and forensic accounting; as well as technology, compliance and regulatory, operational consulting and other professional services to a broad range of clients, including services to more than 200 public companies. The firm has more than 200 partners and principals and 1,900-plus employees. For more information, please visit eisneramper.com.

 

Media Contact:

Amanda Nardi Di Filippo

609-790-6206

[email protected]

 

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Crisis Resources for PACT Members

To Our PACT Members,

We know these are difficult times for all. We thank you for your support.

What do you need in this time of crisis?

Our team is currently testing a variety of technologies and planning how to deliver content and create robust virtual connectivity.  Please stay tuned for our online Spring Lineup.

PACT wants to help you get through this crisis with the aid you need. We are plugged into federal, state and local resources that are working to make dollars available to businesses. Take a look below at the complied list of quick links for easy access.

The PACT Team is here for you. Let us know how we can help.

Essential Resources & Needs

Overall Resources
The Chamber’s crisis support page offers many useful links for ease of reference.

Federal
Programs are available at the Federal level:

Philadelphia
The City of Philadelphia and PIDC launched a $9M Small Business Relief Fund for businesses with less than $5M in revenue.

Pennsylvania
Department of Community and Economic Development – the source for all PA programs and assistance including PIDA Loans.

Delaware
Delaware Division of Small Business – the source for all DE programs and assistance.

New Jersey
New Jersey Economic Development Authority – the source for all NJ programs and assistance.

Non-profits
PHL COVID-19 Fund aids non-profits that are on the frontline of the pandemic, providing urgent resources throughout the Philadelphia region. You can donate to support or seek support if your non-profit qualifies.

Healthcare Supplies
There are critical supply needs in our region and beyond to protect healthcare workers and patients. Life Sciences PA compiled a list of needs that you can access.

How Can PACT Help the Community?

The PACT Community’s Health and Safety stand as our top priority. We will continue to monitor and respond to news regarding the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of this uncertainty, PACT is dedicated to supporting our members and serving their needs of customers, capital, connections, and talent.

We recognize the heightened concern and are taking measures to protect our members, event attendees, and team while still providing support to our community and opportunities to connect and collaborate.

How are current events affecting you, and how can we help?

  • Email us with any request and we will respond quickly.
  • In addition, regional economic development agencies including PACT created a survey for businesses impacted by COVID-19. As this survey is directed to a broad array of businesses, please describe your company using the “other” section when registering company type.

How is PACT working to continue to connect our community?

  • PACT has begun to reschedule, postpone, and change formats for all events through the next three months. The Enterprise Awards, Phorum Conference and PACT Foundation Breakfast will be held as in-person events at a time when they are safe to conduct for all. Current event attendees will receive a communication from our team to confirm postponements or cancellations, as well as updates when new dates are confirmed. Please visit our events calendar to stay informed about our evolving schedule.
  • Our team is currently testing a variety of technologies and planning how to deliver content and create robust virtual connectivity for our community.
  • Our Mentor Connect program has moved fully to virtual sessions and is available to our mentees to discuss any issues and in particular, Coronavirus-related business impact.
  • Members are invited to take advantage of PACT’s marketing initiatives for added visibility and attracting customers.

Overall, we understand that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on businesses and our economy. PACT is here to support you and to help move our community forward in the days we face ahead.

All Our Best,
The PACT Team

Jennifer Cohen
Cheryl Jarvis Johnson
Dean Miller
Amanda Nardi Di Filippo
Danielle Pinto
Dianne Strunk
Kim Tuski

Attract Customers through PACT Membership

Market Your Business & Gain Visibility

While we practice social distancing and continue our work online, we invite members to take advantage of the PACT marketing initiatives for added visibility and attracting customers. Please let us know if you are interested in writing for PACT Times, the PACT Blog and/or have content for other PACT communications. We’d be happy to feature.

If you have an article, blog post, or whitepaper that you’d like to submit for consideration as a PACT Times cover story, please send an email to Kim Tuski. Please see criteria and guidelines below.

As part of a larger community, every member has access to PACT’s marketing opportunities.

  • Publish your company’s information and news in the PACT online directory and search for information on other members.
  • Distribute press releases and write the cover story for PACT Times, an award-winning online publication that reaches more than 8,000 business leaders in the technology, life sciences, investment, and professional services communities in Greater Philadelphia.
  • Update readers with immediate news and notices, promos, commercials, and member spotlights for submission to PACT website, social media channels, and in PACT Times.
  • Contribute posts to the PACT Blog and share your insights, tips and tricks with our community.

PACT Member Marketing Initiatives include: