The launch of Etsy’s ‘Stand With Small’ campaign is addressing a segment responsible for 44% of the economic activity in the U.S., small businesses. The campaign is supporting 2.7 million sellers on Etsy, as the coronavirus makes its way across the country and the world.
For people on Etsy who are making their products in their homes and shops, the goal is to keep the platform up and running. In return, it will keep them working and earning an income while the majority of the country is under lockdown.
Etsy Stand With Small
Etsy is supporting its sellers with a multi-pronged approach to keep them working until the issues the pandemic is responsible for are resolved. In a blog announcing the launch of Stand With Small, Etsy CEO, Josh Silverman, says the support will keep small businesses on Etsy thriving.
Adding, “Most importantly, we are keeping the lights on over our virtual Main Street so that even in this time of social distancing, human-to-human connection and commerce can remain alive and well.”
The Support of Etsy Sellers
The first part of this initiative is to spread the word about Stand With Small from on-site and emails to social media. The more people know Etsy and its sellers are up and running the better. The company says it wants customers to reach out to their favorite sellers and share their experiences on social media using #StandWithSmall.
Next Etsy is going to waive millions of dollars in advertising fees. And when it comes to fees, it is going to offer flexibility around payment schedules.
Furthermore, Etsy will assist sellers to continue generating a steady stream of sales. To that end, it will invest $5 million over the next month to drive sustained business for sellers. And until things get rolling, the company is going to provide a one-month grace period. Any seller who needs extra time paying their bills can use this month to catch up.
The last effort is to nudge policymakers in the U.S. and the E.U. to ensure micro-entrepreneurs are eligible for vital stimulus and aid packages. The passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a step in the right direction.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The CARES Act has allocated $350 billion to help small businesses. In order to be eligible here are some of the requirements:
- An individual who operates as a sole proprietor
- An individual who operates as an independent contractor
- A small business that otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard
- An individual who is self-employed who regularly carries on any trade or business
- A small business with fewer than 500 employees
- A 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees
- A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard
- A 501(c)(19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard
As you can see it covers Etsy makers. The next step is to contact a lender and apply for your loan. Remember lenders are directed to consider whether you were in operation before February 15, 2020 and had employees for whom you paid salaries and payroll taxes or paid independent contractors.
You can borrow up to 2.5 x your average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million.
The law includes a provision to have borrowers become eligible for loan forgiveness. Borrowers can have the loan forgiven for:
- Payroll costs (using the same definition of payroll costs used to determine loan eligibility)
- Interest on the mortgage obligation incurred in the ordinary course of business
- Rent on a leasing agreement
- Payments on utilities (electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet)
- For borrowers with tipped employees, additional wages paid to those employees
The eligibility is for equal to the amount you spent on items during the 8-week period beginning on the date of the origination of the loan.
Take a look at the emergency loans small business guide and checklist here (PDF).