Newest round of PPP Funding Includes Technology as Covered Operating Expense

Exciting news for companies who know they need to include technology upgrades in their businesses this year, and who qualify for the next round of PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) Funding. One of the covered operating expenditures includes technology. Examples include business software or cloud computing services that facilitate business operations, product or service delivery, sales and billing functions, or accounting of tracking supplies, inventory, records, and expenses. For these expenses to be forgiven, borrowers will have to spend no less than 60% of the funds on payroll.

What does this mean for Alert clients? If you’re eligible for the newest round of PPP (300 or fewer employees, already used the first PPP loan on eligible expenses, and experienced a reduction of revenue of 25%) then you can spend some of your PPP loan on a host of ways to improve your technology. The very first point refers to “cloud computing” so let’s talk about that for a moment. Alert offers a hosting option to replace your current server. Alert on the Cloud will host your Alert system on a co-located server in a secure, professionally managed, data center. You access it through a VPN and never buy another server!

If you are looking to do some necessary upgrades to keep up with technology, the PPP has you covered. You can investigate Alert’s add-on modules like Job Costing or Excel PlugIn, or you can consider implementing Alert’s Web Services bundle.  What are Alert Web Services? So glad you asked!  We can connect Alert to your website in several different ways so your clients can work with you remotely even outside of business hours, and you can remain touchless.  This helps you do more with less.

With WebRequests, clients can add items to a shopping cart which will directly funnel into Alert and save touch-costs because quotes can be created with a single click.  You can take it to the next level with e-Commerce, allowing your clients to build real-time reservations right from your website.  Customer Portal allows your clients to log in to your website and pay their bills, view or print invoices, and even take their equipment off rent.

One of our most popular web features is Sign & Rent. Send tickets to your clients electronically and let them sign and pay for the order!  A new feature allows you to request payment directly from Alert, without leaving the ticket. You can also have drivers capture pictures on-site, take notes, record shortages and have count sheets, all of which will be re-attached to the ticket automatically.

What if you need a better website? We can help with that, as well.  Alert Web Assistant can handle the design of a simple 3-page website and interface it with your Alert rental software, or we can refer you to one of several Alert partners that handle website development and integration as their mainstream business.

We’ve heard from a few of our clients that their counties or states are also doing grants for small businesses to address their technology needs. Be sure to check out possible grants in your state!

The bottom line is that there is money available to help you with your technology needs, which you may not have been able to address for some time. Take advantage of any way you can to stay competitive with your market – we have the tools that can help make it happen! Note that the deadline is March 31, 2021 to apply for funds.

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