Web exclusive: Mohawk execs talk retailer assistance, CARES Act 

Home COVID-19 Web exclusive: Mohawk execs talk retailer assistance, CARES Act 

By Steven Feldman

Mohawk top leadership today hosted a webinar to help specialty flooring retailers navigate the complexities of the CARES Act stimulus package along with some of the ways the largest flooring manufacturer is helping dealers through these uncertain times. Paul De Cock, president, North America; Jeff Meadows, president of residential sales; and Tom Lape hosted the digital event.

“Customers are the heartbeat of our business,” Meadows said. “We know this will be a tough 60-90 days, but we will do everything in our power to help you survive.”

Among the ways:

  1. Extended terms until the end of June
  2. Extended promotions until the end of May (Mohawk) or June (Karastan)
  3. 0% consumer financing buydown until the end of June
  4. Co-op advertising extended until the end of June

“If you need stock, we are fully prepared to fill those orders,” Meadows said. “Everything is ready to go. We will get through this. It’s important as partners to support each other.”

Lape agreed this is the time for partnership and to work closer together. He offered a five-step plan for dealers to consider:

  1. Are you an essential business? Make sure you can operate as optimally as possible.
  2. Build a 90-day plan to get through what we are all struggling with.
  3. Finish all your existing projects. Turn them into a billable event so you can get paid as soon as possible.
  4. If you can still do installations, make sure they wear a mask and gloves.
  5. Not only should you finish that one job, you can activate new jobs. You can do a field measure today. Many dealers are considered an essential business tied to the construction industry.

Lape suggested flooring dealers take full advantage of the CARES Act.

The main part of the CARES Act getting the most attention is the Paycheck Protection Program, which Lape said he believes 98% of retailers will take advantage of. This covers approximately 10 weeks of payroll up to $10 million. “It offers reasonably immediate funding that allows you to keep employees as part of the company.” Applications began being accepted today.

Some particulars of PPP:

  1. No collateral and no personal guarantee are required
  2. Covers all payroll expenses – even some rent and utilities to operate as bridge loan
  3. The loan is forgivable as long as you use for retain your employees
  4. The government set aside $350 billion for this program. First in wins.

“Be aligned with SBA.gov; most programs tie back to SBA,” he said. “Also, make sure you are getting aligned with the Chamber of Commerce—both local or national—because there is tremendous information there. And while the CARES Act is a Federal program, there are a number of programs at the state level. Check those out in addition to the support you are receiving at the Federal level.”

Lape also touched on another program, the Economic Injury Disaster loan from the SBA. “There are two major factors to get this loan. You have to establish you have shut business down or realized revenue loss of 50%.” There is a $2 million cap on this type of loan, which is administered under traditional borrowing rules. This loan also comes with an immediate transfer of $10,000, which is supposedly funded within 72 hours. And whether you get the entire loan or not, that $10,000 is forgiven.

Image: From left: Jeff Meadows, president of residential sales; Paul De Cock, president, North America; and Tom Lape.

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