How often are we simply amazed and left wondering: “How didn’t I know about that?” Once again that is in fact true with a $50 billion Federal government payment program that has absolutely no strings attached.
One of the nation’s pre-eminent pro small business legal firms, Lake Law, has stepped to the plate to help small businesses continue their recovery from the challenges of the Pandemic. The Lake Law team has created a simple portal to help restaurant and foodservice operators access funds from the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC).
“The beauty of this program is that the funds are in fact a payment from the government and require absolutely no payback of any kind,” noted Lake Law’s Lee Melchionni.
The ERTC program was created with an understanding that the nations’ small businesses and restaurants are dealing with multiple obstacles including from supply chain issues to insuring the safety of their returning workforce and patrons. “These adjustments to the pandemic forced restaurant and small business owners to adapt their management habits – and likely their finances too,” Melchionni added.
Many small business owners took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help keep their businesses afloat during the shut-down. However, the lesser-known Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is an initiative with similar benefits (no-payback of funds).
In March of 2020, under the Federal Cares act, the government developed the ERTC to help small businesses finance the employment of their staff. “This program is really about the government recognizing the hard-working small business owner that battled to stay open during the pandemic and most importantly to keep their staff on the payroll,” Melchionni continued.
The Lake Law Firm is a team of professionals that specialize in maximizing the benefits of the ERTC for small operations. Lake Law practices litigation from motor vehicle accidents to large pharmaceutical incidents, but after stumbling upon the ERTC program, they added a new category to their gamut of expertise. “We dug into IRS guidelines and found that if you can find a cause-and-effect relationship between the government orders or the shutdown, and your ability to make money, you can make a claim,” Melchionni, of Lake Law explained. “The simple math to do is, take your employee headcount during covid —the last three Quarters of ‘20, and the first three of ‘21— multiply it by $16,000 and that’s roughly what you can expect to recover.”
Lake Law has also made the process risk free for the business owner. The restaurateur fills out a simple survey and then the Lake law team file the claim a small business can make through the ERTC. Lake Law is paid through a 25% contingency fee, and if a business doesn’t qualify after working with Lake Law, nothing is owed to the firm.
Lake Law also brings a unique perspective to assisting with the ERTC filing and funding process. In addition, if the IRS ever audits your business based on this claim, Lake Law will defend you for free. “The best-case scenario is a large check from IRS, the worst case is that you lose a few minutes out of your life,” Melchionni added.
Even if a business previously applied for and received a PPP loan, they are still eligible to gain the ERTC as well. This program was designed as a tax credit, to give back to small businesses —under roughly 500 workers— for keeping employees on their payroll during Covid-19. “As long as you have at least five non-owner, non-family member W-2 employees, sign up, let us go through the process,” Melchionni said. The loan is entirely forgiven too, with the only future payment necessary being the taxes from the income. The program also has a one very different and positive difference from the PPP program. “Once the money is received, the owner of the business is free to allocate it however they see fit.”
As the industry settles back in and welcomes is dining patrons again, there can be a tendency to lose track of time. With that, the program is available to small businesses retroactively; for the year 2020, until April of 2024, and for 2021, until April of 2025.
With an understanding of just how busy restaurateurs can get, The Lake Law access to ERTC program has been built with an understanding that hospitality operators are under tremendous time constraints to being face to face with their customers and staff. “Rather than just applying yourself, Lake Law offers a no pressure approach to help recover the most for you. There’s no downside. You can sleep well at night knowing, our team has your back.”
After applying and being eligible for the compensation, it typically takes about five months for the IRS to send the payment through. “It’s an incredible program, it’s working. We’ve signed up over a thousand companies, and we’ve gotten a couple hundred paid,” Melchionni added.
Although there were a lot of setbacks hurled at small businesses during Covid, government programs like the ERTC are in place to alleviate those issues. The Law Lake Firm goes a step further to help businesses access these programs and stay focused on what they do best.
For more information on how to contact The Lake Law Firm, go to https://ertcadvisors.org/ or call (800) 222-9000.