Barbara Corcoran offers advice for struggling small businesses

The “Shark Tank” star answers questions from small business owners and shares tips on how to make money received from personal stimulus checks last.
6:56 | 03/26/20

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Transcript for Barbara Corcoran offers advice for struggling small businesses
We want to bring back "Shark tank's" Barbara Corcoran for advice for Americans struggling to navigate these waters. At any moment, we're about to get likely to be unemployment numbers. Just give us a quick tip on Americans trying to navigate through this. I'm sorry, George. I was wait fger that big number. I have been eager for it all morning. Of course, I'll give you a tip on how to navigate through it. There's a lot of people that feel they'll get great benefits from it government, and it's great to have help from the government, but the weekly unemployment check, if you really think about it is only going to be $800 to $1,150, a lot more than people are used to, but it's not a lot of money. You haven't won the lottery. You have to learn to spread out your money, and make your mortgage payments and rent your number one priority. It's easier to replace a credit card than it's going to be to replace a home. Lastly, you need to be understanding where you are spending your money. A lot of people don't note where the money is going. You have to comb through all your bills, all your credit card statements to see where you are actually spending your cash, and then decide to only spend it on essentials. This is a time for self-restriction and discipline and that's the time we're in right here. Barbara, we are just getting worse. CNBC just reported the number is as bad as anybody could have expected. 3.28 million. Just to put that in perspective for people, usually the weekly unemployment claims are about 200,000. That's what it was just about last week. The highest ever in history before was at the depth of the economic crisis back in 2008. That was just shy of 700,000. 3.2 million, and with that number, Barbara, some people had a hard time getting through to the unemployment claims office. Just give us your reaction. You know -- you know, George, I think we all have to take that number with a grain of salt. I believe the unemployment numbers are a lot -- lot worse than that. They are only using the numbers through March 12th, and as you know, most of the people laid off have been since March 12th. Lots of jobs have been -- I think the number is $5 million to $6 million or 5 million to 6 million jobs since March 12th. These numbers are done through phone surveys which is fine to get a gathering of what people are saying, but they don't count the people in the unemployment line. Some are not eligible, independent contractors don't apply. Some people never apply. Some people have run out of benefits and I believe the unemployment numbers are much higher than what's being reported. That's a point well taken. These only came in through last it's likely everybody who was facing unemployment this week, those numbers will come in this week, and that means we'll move onto other questions from our viewers, but what we're likely to see is an unemployment rate ready to head into double digits. An unemployment rate should be much easily the double digits I'm afraid. The good news is the stimulus package I believe really will save the day. It's intended to. It will give families the help they need, and small business the ability to stay afloat. It's been well thought through. It's been rushed through the government thank god, and we're hoping to get the passage tomorrow, but that package is going to really hit on all the sore spots of everyone in America. I think it's even handed them fair. Okay, Barbara, thanks. Barbara, with all of this uncertainty, we have a lot of people with a lot of questions for you. We have one from Millie. Let's take a listen. Hey, guys. I own a catering company, and we are in some crazy times right now. What would be the best way to use this stimulus money we're being promised without falling deeper into debt? Uncle Sam is going to want his currency back. Millie, I think you're in the same spot as every small business. Everybody is in a tough spot. If you are going to save your business, it's not going to be with the stimulus package, right? It's going to be through hard work and making really tough decisions. If you decide to take the stimulus package loan which is very favorable to small businesses as it's reported to be coming out, you're going to need to keep all your employees on your payroll. Whoever they are, and re-hire the people you've already let go, and if you don't, that loan isn't going to be forgiven. You have to work like crazy to pay it back. I would think really long and hard before taking any money if you are not sure your business can pay it back. We have another question from let's look. I own a small, luxury online jewelry boutique. Every money we spend money to acquire new customers on Facebook and Instagram ads. We're wondering if we should cut our ads off completely or pivot the messaging with what's going on. What do you think? You're in a good position because you're in the luxury market, and in the luxury market, the customers have time on their hands as everyone else does, but everybody wants a great deal. So you have to make sure what you are offering is not your usual stuff, but a really great deal, and if you have the advertising dollars to still spend, consider yourself lucky. A lot of people don't. You still have to be very, very careful how you spend it. You should really be staying on top of Facebook and Instagram analytics and reporting to yourself daily what kind of return am I really getting? Am I getting that bang for my buck if I'm spending these advertising dollars? But your business, if you hustle, give a discount and stay on top of your analytics, you are one of the lucky people that should sail through this hard time. Barbara, we have one last question from Mary grace who is an event planner here in the new take a listen. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, several of our events over the next few weeks and months have been postponed and canceled. I'm concerned about my employees who are paid on a 1099 basis, based on the hours they work at each event. How can I look out for them? Well, Mary grace, of course, you sound like you're a phenomenal boss, and I understand. I get it. I thought of all my people who works for me as my kids, and I felt responsible for them, but here's what I learned. You can only do so much. What you can do is you can be honest and direct with your employees and tell them like it just tell them like it is, and the good news for you right now which you might not be aware of yet is you have help coming your way through the new stimulus package because most people are included, including independent contractors, and that's never happened before. You should stay on top of what qualifies them for what benefits and keep them totally informed, and last, so importantly, you should stay in touch with them. You don't have to always give employees the answers they want to hear, but they want to be loved. They want to be cared for. They want to be in touch with you, and they want to keep the morale up, and you sound like just the person who's very able to do that. That is perfect and wonderful, and important advice. Barbara Corcoran, as always. Thank you so much for helping us guide us through these tough times.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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