The travel industry, including hospitality businesses like Airbnb, has been significantly affected as governments worldwide limited movement and imposed a stay home order to help slow the spread of the virus, which has infected over 1M people across the globe and cause the death of close to 70,000 to date. It is, without a doubt, an unprecedented event which has required unprecedented actions from most of us, including the government to try to relieve the economic impact caused by this health crisis in the United States.
There have been communications all over the news of different aids available for self-employed and small business owners, and I want to break them up for you to understand how these apply to Airbnb hosts.
1. Airbnb’s $250M payout to hosts
Airbnb’s CEO and Head of Community, Brian Chesky, communicated that Airbnb plans to provide a $250 million payout for hosts who lost money due to guests cancelations because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced Monday. In an email to hosts, Chesky stated that the company plans to pay them 25% of what they would normally receive through its cancellation policy. The payment will apply retroactively to cancellations with a check-in date between March 14 and May 31. Does it apply to all hosts? These are the deets:
Guests will be able to cancel for a full refund for COVID-19-related circumstances.
Airbnb will pay 25% of what you would’ve received for a cancellation based on your cancellation policy. For example, if you would normally receive $400 USD through your cancellation policy, they'll pay you $100 USD.
They'll send an email with more details in early April to hosts who are getting a payout.
This policy will also apply retroactively, including any cancellations you may have had since March 14.
2. $10M Superhost Relief Grants
In an effort to support the hosting community, Airbnb’s employees have donated $1 million from their own pockets to kickstart a fund for hosts struggling to make ends meet. Airbnb’s founders are also personally contributing $9 million. You can apply for the grant of up to $5,000 if you meet the following criteria:
Only share their primary or secondary residence—no more than 2 active listings
Show a reliance on Airbnb as a vital source of income
Have a verified identity
Have been a Superhost for 1+ years
Have lost a significant percentage of their earnings due to COVID-19
3. Government Stimulus Package
The US Government passed a massive $2 TRILLION (we barely hear this word) stimulus bill in response to the economic impact of COVID-19. The stimulus package comes as an effort to pump critical money into the economy with the goal of avoiding a macro economic crisis.
Airbnb hosts will benefit from the coronavirus stimulus package. Under this bill, there are some provisions that could help short-term rental owners that have been affected:
Hosts testing positive for Covid-19, or hosts with family members testing positive with the virus, would be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
Hosts are also eligible to apply for small business loans to cover your mortgage and utility bills and possibly independent contractors like cleaners.
Hosts who use independent contractors to clean or service properties would also be eligible for those loans to pay workers.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will provide a loan from the Small Business Association (SBA) for 2.5 times your average monthly payroll. As currently written, the bill requires eligible borrowers to show that they need the loan due to the uncertainty of caused by the coronavirus. The loan can only be used to maintain payroll, leases and utility payments, and came become forgivable if you use the funds for approved expenses. To receive the benefits, you must meet the following requirements:
In business before Feb. 15, 2020
Employ less than 500 employees
Have been impacted by the coronavirus
Hosts, I know these are difficult and uncertain times. Although we don't know when, things will get back up! That's for sure. Hold tight, stay strong, and be safe!
P.S. If you want to work on your Instagram game while you go back to hosting again, check out my FREE guide on how to write killer Instagram captions that will increase your engagement and help convert more followers into guests.