Unicorns—the mythical white horse creatures, adorned with a beautiful golden horn, who fly around on large fluffy wings (actually, my 11-year- old daughter who’s obsessed with unicorns, would correct me, explaining that the unicorns with flight capabilities are actually called alicorns). Folklore would tell you they are mythical. Yet, in Utah, there are more sightings than one might imagine. In fact, it seems like nowadays they are popping up everywhere—and in this crazy startup world, we see no signs of them slowing down.
RevRoad is happy to present the unicorn in our portfolio to the world, ERC Specialists. That’s right. They are joining the Utah Unicorn Club (is that a thing?). To be clear, this company hasn’t officially hit a billion dollars in revenue (they’re several hundred million short). They have, however, processed billions of dollars in contracts as of this writing.
The rise of the fastest growing nearly $1B dollar company in Utah has been astounding, something we may never see again—starting at $0 revenue only 14 months ago. They have accomplished this somewhat incognito, staying too busy with their growth to worry about the fanfare. Yet now, as they approach this massive milestone in the startup space, we think it’s time for their incredible story to be told.
Let’s start at the beginning. ERC Specialist’s story began the moment Congress appropriated $1.7T to the COVID Relief and Recovery Act. During the throes of COVID, six of Utah’s smartest entrepreneurs and founders spanning the financial, customer service, and operations sectors realized there was an opportunity available to seize. They decided that despite entering a very competitive landscape filled with copycats, they could build a scalable company that put business owners first. Working with ERC Specialists, these owners could take advantage of federally available funds in a more organized, systematic, and efficient way. What they soon found is that U.S. business owners were quite familiar with PPP loans but fewer understood the allocated funds for Employee Retention Credit (ERC) program. Setting them apart from many other available relief programs, the ERC program does not require repayment, rather it is a refund.
Other notable insights of the Employee Retention Credit include:
- Businesses may qualify for refunds up to $26,000 per employee
- The credits are available for Q1 2020 – Q3 2021
- Qualifications usually include decreased revenue or a COVID event
- There is no limit on funding (ERC is not a loan)
- ERC is a refundable tax credit
Once they had their own system built, a qualifying questionnaire prepared, and a go-to-market plan in place, it was finally time to launch. The team at ERC Specialists decided early on that they could maximize ERC refunds for small businesses by adopting an “affiliate model,” leveraging partnerships with access to vast networks, providing the opportunity to reach more customers quicker than anyone else in the market. The sheer speed of their growth has been electrifying…so much that they’ve had to move into three different office spaces (each tripling in size) in a period of only six months. Taking a team from six full-time employees to 160 in less than a year is nothing short of astonishing.
For those that haven’t taken advantage of the program yet, don’t wait.
Most companies are eligible through one of two main qualifications: demonstrating a full or partial suspension of business due to Covid-19, or showing a reduction in gross receipts.
ERC Specialists has reached over 15,000 businesses and qualified over 200,000 employees to date. They are processing credits in all 50 states. Still unsure whether you qualify? No problem. That is where ERC Specialists shine. They review the qualifications for ERC, then explain how the program works and how to apply, all while providing support each step of the way so business owners don’t have to navigate the system alone.
The application process usually takes 2–3 weeks from start to finish. Although receiving checks from the IRS takes time—roughly 4–6 months—going through a professional ERC company like ERC Specialists ensures you get your application submitted as quickly as possible. Currently, the IRS has stipulated a 20-week minimum turnaround on the ERC refunds. If business owners wish to move forward, they can select the desired payment option and ERC Specialists will file the claim. Once filed, refunds are distributed based on the IRS backlog.
So what does all this have to do with unicorn status and the Utah community? Well, as a good neighbor in the community, and following the example of many other unicorn startups, the ERC Specialists founding team already has plans to do great things in the community with the funds they’ve accumulated. One of these initiatives is to fund more startups and growing businesses in addition to supporting several nonprofits.
Meanwhile, at RevRoad we are excited to have finally “corralled” a unicorn and hope for more to come. Thanks to all those who support founders and entrepreneurs throughout all stages of growth.
Written by A.J. Rounds, CMO and Co-Founder of RevRoad.
At RevRoad, we are all about helping entrepreneurs succeed. We help our portfolio companies maximize profitability, get to market faster and create a solid foundation for their venture by packing their team with experts for up to 24 months. We work shoulder to shoulder with founders of developing companies to provide everything they need to grow.