Financial Relief Options For The Full-Time DJ Operators

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Cap Capello

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All my March, April, and May events have either been canceled or postponed. While I have ensured my financial well being for up to a year without working, including all the refunds, practicality dictates that I do reach out and take advantage of the various government helping hands for small businesses and sole proprietorships.

I will be applying for the $10k grants being offered by local banks underwritten by the SBA and, here in New York, unemployment benefits are being offered to the self-employed.

Has anyone else submitted such requests and if yes, what advice can you offer to avoid the inevitable governmental paperwork minefields?

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djtaso

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I did the 10k grant through the sba site as well as the 600/week federal unemployment benefit. Still haven’t heard back on either but know it’s all backed up rn.
Rick the first 10k is forgiven, but some business need much more, and that is a loan at a low interest rate. My understanding is the underwriting on the 10k is minimal to none.
 
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Albatross

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I applied for the $10K EIDL grant yesterday.

They ask about last 12 months of revenue, but the paperwork was pretty easy.

PPP loans are SBA backed, but they run through commercial banks. The EIDL grants are direct through the SBA site.
 
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TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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Los Angeles, CA
I did the 10k grant through the sba site as well as the 600/week federal unemployment benefit. Still haven’t heard back on either but know it’s all backed up rn.
Rick the first 10k is forgiven, but some business need much more, and that is a loan at a low interest rate. My understanding is the underwriting on the 10k is minimal to none.
In the other thread I started, you said you didn't need it as all your gigs were just moved to a different date, but you were not in a situation where you had less money coming in.

You said "I don’t need a grant to keep my business afloat... I hardly have any expenses for my business except like 600 a month between rent and some subscriptions. It’s also In the interest of my part time employees to collect unemployment than for me to keep them on the books when there is no work coming in."

What made you realize or have a change of heart.
 
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Albatross

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In the other thread I started, you said you didn't need it as all your gigs were just moved to a different date, but you were not in a situation where you had less money coming in.

You said "I don’t need a grant to keep my business afloat... I hardly have any expenses for my business except like 600 a month between rent and some subscriptions. It’s also In the interest of my part time employees to collect unemployment than for me to keep them on the books when there is no work coming in."

What made you realize or have a change of heart.
I'm certainly not answering for Taso, but I can speak to why I applied.

I'm not at risk personally of bills not being paid or not being able to pay my mortgage. But between June and July I expect to make two quarterly tax payments.

They money from January and February gigs went to my 2019 tax bill and SEP contribution so cash is tight right now. Making those tax payments would require me to either take the savings account lower than I want to or sell some securities - which is a last resort for me. The EIDL grant would go a long way into smoothing all of that out for me.

If I'm not able to make those payments I could play games with my day-job withholding later in the year if I have to and ask them to take WAY more than needed for a while.

Withholding tax gets credited as if it was taken evenly all year, even if it wasn't. So for someone that might face a tax penalty for going too light on quarterlies, you can hit the withholding hard and potentially avoid a tax penalty.
 

djtaso

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In the other thread I started, you said you didn't need it as all your gigs were just moved to a different date, but you were not in a situation where you had less money coming in.

You said "I don’t need a grant to keep my business afloat... I hardly have any expenses for my business except like 600 a month between rent and some subscriptions. It’s also In the interest of my part time employees to collect unemployment than for me to keep them on the books when there is no work coming in."

What made you realize or have a change of heart.
What I said was true then and remains true... I do NOT need this, and had no intention of applying or utilizing it. After you posted a little while ago, within 24hrs or so, my accountant called me (not me calling him), and wanted to let me know what options I had based on my business needs (he was doing this for all his small businesses to help them since tax season was extended). I told him I'm ok and really don't need any loans, and will probably just apply for the 600/wk unemployment... cuz well why not. He responded and said, why aren't you doing the 10k grant... to which I said, I don't really need a loan right now as I do NOT have a large number of business expenses, which the business account has enough to cover 1yrs worth of fixed expenses, and I don't need it for my personal life as I can ride out the year on what we have saved for situations like this. The whole time, I was under the impression it was a LOAN... but the reality is, the first 10k is a grant of which the amount is forgiven. Now some need WAY more than that and the amount over 10k is an actual loan. It is designed to make up for lost revenue during this time, and I can use it to pay my fixed business expenses as well as myself, etc. Even my accountant applied for it lol and he didn't personally need it.

So upon understanding the actual way it was designed and how it works, and how there's essentially minimal to no underwriting and it's quick to apply for (unlike the PPP), I most certainly applied for it and think everyone that has a business and pays taxes for it should. Like Ross, it'll just help keep things smoother flowing, and when this is all done, hopefully have me in a position financially as if this pandemic never happened.

There was also one wildcard, which at the time of applying was existent, but now not so much. I have two rental properties... and one had a tenant whose lease was expiring this month, and they werent sure if they were staying. So, having to pay a couple of thousand a month in mortgage and utilities was not ideal. The tenant is staying though, so that worked out.
 

TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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I had written it was a 10k forgivable grant many times, but that's not the point.

The point is you were very strong to say you were not affected by this and will not need assistance and now your applying for a 10k + Unemployment (something I covered on the other thread as well). I am not trying to call you out, but your tune has changed, for the better. It's a good thing. I know you are in a very rare situation as you said 3/4 of your 2020 gigs have been booked, but that is still lost opportunity for dates you will still have to reschedule.

It's okay for us to admit that this has killed our businesses and we need all the help we can get for the loss income for 2020/2021. Not having an income is kind of a big deal, not to mention that lost opportunity into late 2021 (giving up dates to reschedule, as we already talked about).

I am still making my quarterly payments as all of us do. Luckily I had already saved/planned for that otherwise unemployment or the 10k would have covered that but the penalty is almost nothing. 3 years ago I did not make payments, and it was hardly noticed. Now, I make sure the quarterly payments are set aside asap. Honestly, shocked by how little the penalty is.

But again, not receiving income for several months (and I'd imagine literally every single DJ is in the same boat--no reason to act otherwise) and we should be looking for any assistance to help keep our business afloat, or in other words how to sustain a living, especially ones that don't have another job.

Taso, you and me among a couple of others on here are sole proprietorship and don't have another job to fall back on. Let's help each other out.
 
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djtaso

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I had written it was a 10k forgivable grant many times, but that's not the point.

The point is you were very strong to say you were not affected by this and will not need assistance and now your applying for a 10k + Unemployment (something I covered on the other thread as well). I am not trying to call you out, but your tune has changed, for the better. It's a good thing. I know you are in a very rare situation as you said 3/4 of your 2020 gigs have been booked, but that is still lost opportunity for dates you will still have to reschedule.

It's okay for us to admit that this has killed our businesses and we need all the help we can get for the loss income for 2020/2021. Not having an income is kind of a big deal, not to mention that lost opportunity into late 2021 (giving updates to reschedule, as I talked about).

I am still making my quarterly payments as all of us do. Luckily I had already saved for that otherwise unemployment or the 10k would have covered that but the penalty is almost nothing. 3 years ago I did not make payments, and it was hardlt noticed.

But again, not receiving income for several months (and I'd imagine literally every single DJ is in the same boat, (no reason to act otherwise) and we should be looking for any assistance to help keep our business afloat, or in other words how to sustain a living.
I admittedly wasn't 100% educated on the terms of the grant... still under the impression there was something to be paid back in a sense. I'm VERY fortunate that just about all of my events are rescheduling, and only 2 out of 20 events have pushed to 2021. And if I need to make up just 2 or 3 or 4 events for 2020 that didn't rebook or booked in 2021, I have plenty of availability in Nov and Dec.

It HAS killed our business, and not having income sucks for me, but more on a psychological level as I'm used to seeing the income coming in in a sense. I do have quarterly... which fortunately I paid right before all this went down, and therefore don't have another one till mid June. I do technically still collect retainers and have booked about 4 or 5 events since the beginning of March, and am working on 2 more that I have consultations for today and tomorrow which hopefully will come in.
 

TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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I hope the 10k goes to whatever your business needs. We are in this together.

That's crazy you are getting leads though. I keep very detailed track of where, when and how my leads come in. Let's just say March and April have reported 0. That has never happened to me, even in my first year doing this.

-I am not getting leads (biggest loss of income rn)
-no deposit coming in b/c no gigs being booked.
-Gigs are moving to late 2020 ( (lost opportunity for 2020 dates)
-More gigs are being moved to 2021 (even more lost opportunity for 2021 dates and worries me the most)
-and one of them has outright canceled (at least I got 50% down for my deposit)


The delayed final payments are obvious as all my March, April, May and June and now July gigs are being moved. I can't even imagine if I didn't have savings. It's a pretty scary thought and a few people I know (DJs, musicians, producers) are in that boat.
 
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djtaso

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I hope the 10k goes to whatever your business needs. We are in this together.

That's crazy you are getting leads though. I keep very detailed track of where, when and how my leads come in. Let's just say March and April have reported 0. That has never happened to me, even in my first year doing this.

-I am not getting leads (biggest loss of income rn)
-Gigs are moving to late 2020 ( (lost opportunity for 2020 dates)
-Gigs are being moved to 2021 (lost opportunity for 2021 dates)
-and one of them has outright canceled (at least I got 50% down for my deposit)

The delated payments are obvious as all my Feb, March, April and June gis are moved. I can't even imagine if I didn't have a savings.
Personally, right after this happened I had a HUGE jump in leads in early March. But some of them were for couples whose dj couldn't accomodate their postponed date... downside to them, I was way out of their price range, and wasn't willing to work for half price.

- I also got inquiries from Weddings who had recently booked their venue, but are seeing how postponements may book up their vendors faster, and while some wait to book their vendors, this forced many couples to quicken their search, and that's where I benefited as many knew of my high demand. Fortunately, most of my postponements were for 2020 and not 2021 and I was able to book all of those. They're the ones I had the best success in booking and getting retainers. I'm not gonna act like there's been A LOT of inquiries, especially compared to normal times, but I've had a 100% success rate with these inquiries in particular.

- My gigs are mostly weddings, and are wanting to get married ASAP, so they're pushing for July, Aug, Sept. July went from 1 to 6 bookings... August went from 2 to 5, September from 6 to 9, October increased by 1, and November by 2. I have a few proms that are holding out for guidance from their district. One prom has already rescheduled for a weekday in June understanding it may still not happen. Other schools are more than likely to follow suit with weekday bookings in June. There is a possibility that all these July-Aug events may need to be postponed once again depending on how the country opens.

I know I've been luckier than most, some smaller companies/individuals haven't seen 1 inquiry since the end of February... some have had half of their Mar-Jun events cancel as they're mostly organizations or small birthday parties that are not possible or worth postponing. One doesn't take deposits on events lower than $750 and had about 3 of those cancels and he's now changing his policy as a result.
 

TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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You certainly are way luckier than anyone I know. I predict you will find out sooner or later that it hits you harder as some of the July dates will start rescheduling, and there will be no more 2020 dates to choose from.

I had my August dates already emailing me as they don't even want a wedding anymore b/c not many people will show up. I do a lot of destination weddings, and people will just be too uncomfortable with all the traveling. As much as I don't want them to move their date to next summer, I don't blame them. Weddings will not look the same until late fall, and even then, it's questionable.

I am a wedding DJ too (90% if not more), but out here in CA, plenty of winter weddings, so the change of date to later in the year still screws me as I am not losing the potential for a gig but moving one of the April, May, June, July weddings. This is about the time I start closing the Winter weddings.
 

IceBurghDJ

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All depends on the DETAILS...
From what I've heard, the SBA loan is UP TO 10k. For payrol only, then I read for rent and other expenses also...
The 600/week we should all be eligible for WHEN out states get around to doing something. PA has done nothing so far...

The $1200 I've read multiple places is an advance on next year's federal taxes...so you'll be paying it back. But then, with no income for a few months you won't owe as much..LOL

I applied thru the SBA...then hear you have to go to 'your bank'...I've verified my business back is doing it, but didn't call anyone today, will do that monday.

I did hear on the radio that the definition of a small business is less than 500 people PER LOCATION...so every walmart, mcdonalds, home depot, etc ALL QUALIFY...and the total handout of 350b will be gone long before any of us small guys actually have a chance to get a dime.

So this is done thru your bank, not directly to the SBA? I'm frankly kinda concerned with the fine print (if any). Something tells me this is not going to be a free $10k check.............
 

TES3S

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Sep 18, 2016
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Los Angeles, CA
Keep in mind, a loan via a bank is different than the Disaster Relief 10k Grant which takes 5 minutes and does not require you to go to the bank.
 

djtaso

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All depends on the DETAILS...
From what I've heard, the SBA loan is UP TO 10k. For payrol only, then I read for rent and other expenses also...
The 600/week we should all be eligible for WHEN out states get around to doing something. PA has done nothing so far...

The $1200 I've read multiple places is an advance on next year's federal taxes...so you'll be paying it back. But then, with no income for a few months you won't owe as much..LOL

I applied thru the SBA...then hear you have to go to 'your bank'...I've verified my business back is doing it, but didn't call anyone today, will do that monday.

I did hear on the radio that the definition of a small business is less than 500 people PER LOCATION...so every walmart, mcdonalds, home depot, etc ALL QUALIFY...and the total handout of 350b will be gone long before any of us small guys actually have a chance to get a dime.
The SBA Loan is in a sense for that (rent, utilities, payroll)... but I can pay myself through it from what I'm understanding. Also there's virtually no underwriting on the first 10k so they're not really tracking the expenses on it. You may be right on the "up to" part, but based on calculations on what I generate monthly in income, I have a feeling I'll get the 10k. There is no bank for this grant (unless asking for more than $10k I believe). A bank is needed for the PPP as there is a lot of underwriting nd documents needed for that one.

For the 600/week, From what my accountant told me, the Government is setting up a portal for those that get denied from the state. So states like NJ who don't have anything for self employed or gig workers, you'd have to take the denial and then do something through a government site. Not 100% on that since nothing has been done, but this is what my accountant said.

The $1200 is an advance on a tax credit for 2020 taxes... you'll only have to owe money IF you made more than the threshold for what you got a check for. So if you got a full $1200 check beucase you made $70k in income in your last tax filing, but for 2020 you made $80k, then you gotta pay back the difference ($300).
 

Albatross

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All depends on the DETAILS...
From what I've heard, the SBA loan is UP TO 10k. For payrol only, then I read for rent and other expenses also...
The 600/week we should all be eligible for WHEN out states get around to doing something. PA has done nothing so far...

The $1200 I've read multiple places is an advance on next year's federal taxes...so you'll be paying it back. But then, with no income for a few months you won't owe as much..LOL

I applied thru the SBA...then hear you have to go to 'your bank'...I've verified my business back is doing it, but didn't call anyone today, will do that monday.

I did hear on the radio that the definition of a small business is less than 500 people PER LOCATION...so every walmart, mcdonalds, home depot, etc ALL QUALIFY...and the total handout of 350b will be gone long before any of us small guys actually have a chance to get a dime.
It's designed as an advance tax credit, but nobody has to pay it back.
 
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Albatross

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Somebody has to pay for it though! ...You can't just print up money out of thin air, and pretend it never happened...
Of course. Somebody has to pay for the Trump tax credit too. But his fans don't seem to give a shit about that either.
 

DJ Ricky B

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Of course. Somebody has to pay for the Trump tax credit too. But his fans don't seem to give a shit about that either.
The poor and the middle class is going to be rocked in the coming years from all of this. The Wealthy will do well since they were propped up by the government, and strengthened even more than they were.

It's really a crazy sight and early signs of what is coming when you see a mile long line of mostly SUVs waiting for food from a food bank. Time to get prepared for some real hard times coming our way. 3 weeks into a shutdown, and people are completely broke, and need help from a food bank for food. More to come as this whole things progresses longer.

 
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