Surviving the Financial Storm

By Adam Shay, CPA, MBA, managing partnery of Adam Shay CPA, PLLC.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of physical and emotional challenges.  Our Wilmington community is strong and we will come through this together. One of the less discussed aspects of Florence so far is the post-storm financial impact on individuals and business owners. The storm’s impact to the local economy could prevent businesses and individuals from receiving regular income for a while. To help weather the economic storm, I’ve compiled a list of resources and suggestions.

Business Loans

There are several disaster loan options available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other programs. Some options are:

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) – options for physical and economic disaster situations.
  • Thread Capital a 180 day interest-free Hurricane Florence Rapid Recovery Loan.
  • The Small Business Technology Development Center has a lot of relevant storm recovery loan-related information on their website.

Insurance Claims

If your business was damaged, you may want to check if you have business interruption service (or something equivalent). Whether it’s business or individual property damage, you will want to take time to assess your damage and report claims in a timely manner.  Realize that when it comes to claims, insurance companies want to pay out the minimum, so stand up for yourself. You may need some forensic accounting to demonstrate economic impact of the storm and aftermath. You may also need to get an attorney involved, depending on what is at stake with your claim.

Mortgage Relief

If your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to stop making payments for three to twelve months. If you do not have a mortgage owned by one of these entities, you may still be able to get some sort of deferment or relief from your lender. Regardless of who owns your loan, call them and ask what they have available and, if appropriate, proceed to sign up for the suitable program.

Repairs

Be careful of scammers during Hurricane cleanup. Make sure you are working with licensed, insured contractors. Don’t pay up front and pay with a credit card when possible. Try to use local providers when you can.

Price gouging is illegal in North Carolina.

Taxes

For those located in the federal declared disaster zone (as of this writing Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne counties), the IRS has extended the following items until January 31st, 2019:

  • S Corporation, C Corporation, Partnership, and Individual Income tax returns that were previously extended.
  • Quarterly estimated income tax payments due September 17th, 2018.
  • Quarterly payroll tax or excise tax returns due October 31st, 2018.

North Carolina is still assessing interest on later quarterly-estimated income tax payments. If you’re in a federally declared disaster area, you may be able to claim damage or loss of property, not covered by insurance, on your income tax returns.

Unemployment (Even for Business Owners)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available from the NC Division of Employment Security (NC ESC) for people in the following counties (as of the time of this writing): Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender. You may be eligible for DUA if:

  • You are unemployed due to disaster.
  • Self-employed and lost income due to the disaster.
  • Injured due to disaster and unable to work.
  • You became a major income provider due to death from disaster.
  • You can’t reach their job or self-employed business due to travel affected by disaster.
  • You could not start employment during the disaster.

Frequently asked questions on DUA can be found here.

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Adam is the managing partner of Adam Shay CPA, PLLC, a rapidly growing firm in the Wilmington area. He enjoys working proactively with entrepreneurs as well as working to reshape the accounting industry.