We hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and hopeful. Now that we’ve had a few weeks of tying flies, prepping tackle, and reorganizing gear, much like you, we are more than ready to get back on the water. What a day it will be when we can greet our guide in the morning with a handshake or a hug. What a day it will be when we can crack a beer and hand it to our friend for the run back to the dock. What a day it will be when we can cross the river and hand the bug that’s working to our buddy.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has touched us all and unfortunately, the guide community is no exception. Below are a few resources for members of the guide community who are in need. Facing challenges is always tough, but let’s also keep in mind that all challenges become much easier when we come together.
The Paycheck Protection Program:
For those not sure if they qualify, the Simms finance team put together this summary guide:
This program includes sole proprietors - if you run a business on your own or are an independent contractor and are not using another filing method, you are a sole proprietor (business income would be reported on a Schedule C for your personal tax return). The act provides funds of 2.5 months of salary (capped at $100K per year).
Your salary for this act will be determined by your net profit. If you were in business in 2019 this would be line 31 on your schedule C, if you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes this should be net profit on your income statement. If you have neither of those, your best estimate would be to add your 1099-MISC income together.
The PPP can be used to cover payroll, rent, mortgage and utilities. The loan is eligible for loan forgiveness – basically this is a grant. The portion forgiven is anything used for payroll and/or anything paid to contractors.
The application opens on 4/3 for sole proprietorships and April 10 for Independent Contractor/Self Employed. People can apply through any SBA backed lender however in order to process quickly we recommend working with a bank that you already have a relationship with. A list of top SBA lenders is here: https://www.sba.gov/article/2020/mar/02/100-most-active-sba-7a-lenders.
A sample form is here (https://www.sba.gov/document/sba-form--paycheck-protection-program-ppp-sample-application-form).
The CARES act:
The CARES act extends unemployment to independent contractors. They can receive partial wages from their state as well as $600 per week from March 27 until July 31. Many of the state administrators have not finalized the set up for this yet and people should check their state department of labor website for information on how to apply. START HERE
AFFTA List of Covid-19 Resources for the Fly Fishing Community:
The American Fly Fishing Trade Association is compiling an ever growing and up-to-the-minute list of resources and information on the latest assistance for it's membership and affiliated businesses. https://affta.org/page/covidresources
RELATED ARTICLES & RESOURCES (NOTE: SIMMS HAS NOT VETTED THE RELIABILITY OF THESE SOURCES.)
"UNEMPLOYMENT CHANGES THAT CAN HELP FISHING GUIDES, FLY SHOPS AND FISHING LODGES" A great summary of how guides are impacted and when steps guides and small businesses should take. From Montana Angler, Bozeman, MT
"TIPS FOR SAVING YOUR FLY FISHING BUSINESSES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC" Practical, actionalble advice on adapting to changing times and proactively taking measures that will help you recover faster. From Montana Angler, Bozeman, MT
These are the subtle moments that make fishing much more than just the pursuit of a fish. The fish we seek might be the vehicle that brings us together on the water but these are the moments that unite us as a community. What a day it will be when the tide finally turns for the better and we can all comfortably, safely, and responsibly resume pursuing a passion that gives our lives so much purpose.