Small Business Association
CARES ACT - New Federal Emergency Loan Program for Small Businesses Up to $10 Million With Loan Forgiveness Feature
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The CARES Act the third emergency bill that Congress has prepared in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. We’ve been analyzing the bill and want to draw your immediate attention to an important expansion of the SBA 7(a) loan program to support new “Paycheck Protection Program” loans.
The Federal Paycheck Protection Program, a nearly $350 billion program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would largely be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.
Allow the Paycheck Protection Program to cover payroll costs, paid sick leave, supply chain disruptions, employee salaries, health insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and other debt obligations to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.
WHERE TO APPLY FOR A PPP LOAN
Important Note: Many lenders are prioritizing current customers so first contact your current bank or credit union.
Lenders with online applications:
- Small employers with 500 employees or fewer (per entity) subject to SBA affiliation standards with some CARES specific exceptions
- Loan/Grant amount will be 2.5x of a business’ average monthly payroll, rent, interest expense and utility payments based on TTM subject to a $10 million maximum loan amount
- Payroll includes all benefits and includes 1099 employees – be prepared to have this amount verified by obtaining the last 4 quarterly IRS 941 filings or equivalent
- Businesses will self-certify that the loan is necessary for operations due to the economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 crisis
- No personal guarantees
- No collateral
- No personal resources test
- No credit elsewhere test
- If the business has already laid off >25% of the employees, it may need to hire some or all of them back to be eligible for the loan to be forgiven
- Certain non-profits are eligible
- Loan Forgiveness. Certain borrowers would be eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent during an eight-week period after the origination date of the loan on:
- Payroll costs;
- Interest payment on any mortgage incurred before Feb. 15, 2020;
- Rent on any lease in force before Feb. 15, 2020; and
- Utilities for which service began before Feb. 15, 2020.
- The amount forgiven would be reduced in proportion to any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and to the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25% of prior year compensation.
Loans would be available immediately through more than 800 existing SBA-certified lenders, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, and SBA would be required to streamline the process to bring additional lenders into the program.
WHAT IS THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOAN PROGRAM?
|Covered Loan Period||Retroactive to February 15, 2020, through June 30, 2020|
|Eligible Businesses||Small businesses, nonprofits, tribal business concerns, and veteran’s organizations that:|
|Maximum Loan Amount||The lesser of:|
The legislation also temporarily increases the maximum amount for an SBA Express loan from $350,000 to $1 million through December 31, 2020
|Guarantees||Increases the government guarantee of 7(a) loans to 100 percent through December 31, 2020|
|Eligible Lenders||SBA and the Department of the Treasury are granted authority to determine additional lenders to administer the Payment Protection Program loans|
|Maturity Schedules||Maximum 10-year maturity after application for loan forgiveness|
|Interest Rate||Not to exceed 4 percent during the covered period|
|Payment Deferral||Not less than 6 months and not more than 1 year (including payment of principal, interest, and fees)|
|Terms of Loan Forgiveness (Sec. 1106)||Loan recipients will be eligible for loan forgiveness for an 8-week period after the loan’s origination date in the amount equal to the sum of the following costs incurred during that period:|
The amount forgiven cannot exceed the amount borrowed.
Loan forgiveness will be proportionally reduced if the average number of employees is reduced during the covered period as compared to the same period in 2019. The amount of loan forgiveness will be reduced by the amount of any reduction in total employee salary or wages during the covered period that is in excess of 25 percent of the total salary or wages.
Lenders have 60 days to issue a decision on the application.
The canceled loan amount will not count towards gross income for tax purposes.
|Nonbinding Guidance||Lenders should prioritize small businesses, entities in underserved and rural markets, veterans and members of the military community, small business concerns owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, women, and businesses in operation for less than 2 years.|
|Lender Reimbursements||Lenders will be reimbursed at the following rates based on the balance of the financing outstanding at the time of loan disbursement:|
|Appropriated Amounts for Program||$349 billion|
HOW DOES A COMPANY APPLY?
|Who will make my company’s Paycheck Protection Loan?||Under the Paycheck Protection Loan program, the SBA delegates to SBA lenders (current and new) (Program Lenders) the authority to approve Paycheck Protection Loans.|
The SBA provides a 100% guarantee of Paycheck Protection Loans, but an SBA lender, possibly the company’s current lender or banking relationship, will underwrite and originate the loan. Here are some lenders to contact today:
|What other requirements will the company need to meet?||Eligible companies are required to make the following good faith certifications:|
|DO YOU NEED HELP?||Free SBA Loan Couseling Assistance|
Additional details below:
The CARES Act amends the Small Business Act (SBA) to create a new Business Loan Program category (hereinafter, the “program”). For the period from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020 (covered period), the law allows the Small Business Administration (Administration) to provide 100% federally-backed loans up to a maximum amount to eligible businesses to help pay operational costs like payroll, rent, health benefits, insurance premiums, utilities, etc. Subject to certain conditions, loan amounts are forgivable (see more detailed discussion on loan forgiveness below).
GENERAL LOAN TERMS AND PROGRAM OPERATIONS
The SBA allows the Administrator to provide loans directly or in cooperation with the private sector through agreements to participate on an immediate or deferred (guaranteed) basis. Lenders authorized to make loans under the SBA’s current Business Loan Program are automatically approved to make and approve loans under this new program, and they may opt to participate in the program under the terms and conditions established by the Department of Treasury (Treasury). Additionally, the Treasury Secretary may extend such authority to additional private sector lenders under criteria established by Treasury (including, for instance, allowing additional lenders to originate loans).
The Administrator may guarantee covered loans under this program on the same terms, conditions, and processes as a loan made under the SBA’s current Business Loan Program. No collateral or personal guarantee is permitted to be required for a loan. The interest rate on loans under the program is not to exceed four percent. There will be no subsidy recoupment fee associated with the loans and no prepayment penalty for any payments made. Additionally, the Administrator has no recourse against any individual, shareholder, member, or partner of an eligible loan recipient for non-payment, unless the individual uses the loan proceeds for unauthorized purposes (see discussion below of permitted uses).
A loan made under the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program on or after January 31, 2020, may be refinanced as part of a covered loan under this new program as soon as these new loans are made available. The CARES Act specifically allows SBA Disaster Loan recipients with economic injury disaster loans made since January 31, 2020 for purposes other than the permitted loan uses under this program to receive assistance under this program.
Unlike prior drafts of the CARES Act, the final version contains a “Sense of the Senate” that the Administrator should issue guidance to lenders and agents to ensure that processing and disbursement of covered loans prioritizes:
- Small business concerns;
- Entities in underserved and rural markets (including veteran communities);
- Small business concerns owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals;
- Women; and
- Businesses in operation for less than two years.
ELIGIBLE LOAN RECIPIENTS
In addition to “small business concerns” as currently defined under the SBA, eligible businesses for the new program include any business concern, nonprofit organization, veterans’ organization, or Tribal business if it employs not more than the greater of—
- 500 employees (includes full-time, part-time, and those employed on other bases); or
- If applicable, the size standard in number of employees established by the Administration for the industry in which the entity operates.
There is a special eligibility rule for businesses in the hospitality and dining industries. For businesses with more than one physical location, if it employs 500 or fewer employees per location and is assigned to the “accommodation and food services” sector (Sector 72) under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), the business is eligible to receive a loan.
SBA regulations on entity affiliations (under 13 CFR 121.103) are waived for the covered period for business concerns, non-profits, and veterans’ organizations for:
- Businesses in Sector 72 under the NAICS with 500 or fewer employees;
- Franchise businesses with SBA franchisor identifier codes; and
- Any business that receives financial assistance from a company licensed under section 301 of the Small Business Investment Act.
Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and eligible self-employed individuals (as defined in Congress’s last COVID-19 bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Families First Act)) are eligible for loan recipients, subject to some documentation requirements to substantiate eligibility.
Loan Maximum, Borrower Eligibility Requirements, and Permissible Uses
The maximum loan amount (capped at $10 million) is the lesser of:
- 2.5 times average total monthly payroll costs incurred in the one-year period before the loan is made (or for seasonal employers the average monthly payroll costs for the 12 weeks beginning on February 15, 2019, or from March 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019);
- PLUS the outstanding amount of a loan made under the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program between January 31, 2020 and the date on which such loan may be refinanced as part of this new program;
(B) Upon request, for businesses that were not in existence during the period from February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019 –
- 2.5 times the average total monthly payroll payments from January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020;
- PLUS the outstanding amount of a loan made under the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program between January 31, 2020 and the date on which such loan may be refinanced as part of this new program;
(C) $10 million.
There are very few borrower requirements to obtain a loan under the new program. Those requirements include a good-faith certification that:
- The loan is needed to continue operations during the COVID-19 emergency;
- Funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage, lease, and utility payments;
- The applicant does not have any other application pending under this program for the same purpose; and
- From February 15, 2020 until December 31, 2020, the applicant has not received duplicative amounts under this program.
Businesses may, in addition to uses already allowed under the SBA’s Business Loan Program, use the loans for:
- Payroll costs:
- Includes: compensation to employees, such as salary, wage, commissions, cash, etc.; paid leave; severance payments; payment for group health benefits, including insurance premiums; retirement benefits; state and local payroll taxes; and compensation to sole proprietors or independent contractors (including commission-based compensation) up to $100,000 in 1 year, prorated for the covered period;
- Excludes: individual employee compensation above $100,000 per year, prorated for the covered period; certain federal taxes; compensation to employees whose principal place of residence is outside of the US; and sick and family leave wages for which credit is allowed under the Families First Act;
- Group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
- Salaries, commissions, or similar compensations;
- Payments of interest on mortgage obligations;
- Rent/lease agreement payments;
- Utilities; and
- Interest on any other debt obligations incurred before the covered period.
In evaluating eligibility of borrowers, a lender must consider whether the borrower was operating on February 15, 2020 and had employees or independent contractors for whom the borrower paid.
LOAN FORGIVENESS AND PAYMENT DEFERRAL RELIEF
Regarding loan payment deferral rights, the CARES Act provides that businesses that were operating on February 15, 2020 and that have a pending or approved loan application under this program are presumed to qualify for complete payment deferment relief (for principal, interest, and fees) for six months to one year. Lenders are required to provide such relief during the covered period (if secondary market investors decline to approve a lender’s deferral request, the Administration must purchase the loan). The Administrator has 30 days from enactment of the CARES Act to provide guidance to lenders on this process.
The program loans qualify for the CARES Act’s broader loan forgiveness provisions in Section 1106. Specifically, indebtedness is forgiven (and excluded from gross income) in an amount (not to exceed the principal amount of the loan) equal to the following costs incurred and payments made during the covered period:
- Payroll costs;
- Interest payments on mortgages;
- Rent; and
- Utility payments.
Forgiveness amounts will be reduced for any employee cuts or reductions in wages.
The reduction formula for fewer employees is:
1. The maximum available forgiveness under the rules described above multiplied by:
2. Average number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEEs) per month – calculated by the average number of FTEEs for each pay period falling within a month – during the covered period divided by:
Either (at election of the borrower) –
- Average number of FTEEs per month employed from February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019; or
- Average number of FTEEs per month employed from January 1, 2020 until February 29, 2020;
Or, for seasonal employers –
- Average number of FTEEs per month employed from February 15, 2019 until June 30, 2019.
Note that this formula will be used to reduce forgiveness amounts, but cannot be used to increase them.
For reductions in wages, the forgiveness reduction is a straight reduction by the amount of any reduction in total salary or wages of any employee during the covered period that is in excess of 25% of the employee’s salary/wages during the employee’s most recent full quarter of employment before the covered period. “Employee” is limited, for purposes of this subparagraph only, to any employee who did not receive during any single pay period during 2019 a salary or wages at an annualized rate of pay over $100,000.
There is relief from these forgiveness reduction penalties for employers who rehire employees or make up for wage reductions by June 30, 2020. Specifically, in the following circumstances, the forgiveness reduction rules above will not apply to an employer between February 15, 2020 and 30 days following enactment of the CARES Act –
- The employer reduces the number of FTEEs in this period and, not later than June 30, 2020, the employer has eliminated the reduction in FTEEs; or
- There is a salary reduction, as compared to February 15, 2020, during this period for one or more employees and that reduction is eliminated by June 30, 2020 (it is unclear whether this is also intended to be limited to employees who made under $100,000 in 2019).
The CARES Act clarifies that employers with tipped employees (as described in the Fair Labor Standards Act) may receive forgiveness for additional wages paid to those employees. Also, emergency advances received under the expanded SBA Disaster Loan Program discussed below will be excluded from forgiveness amounts.
Within 90 days of determining the ultimate forgiveness amount, the Administrator must remit payment plus interest accrued through the date of payment to the lender. Authorized lenders and secondary market participants (at the discretion of the Administrator) may report expected forgiveness amounts, up to 100% of principal, on program loans or on pools of such loans. The Administrator must purchase the expected forgiveness amounts in such reports within 15 days.
There are some required processes to apply for loan forgiveness. Borrowers seeking forgiveness of amounts must submit to their lender –
- Documentation verifying FTEE on payroll and their pay rates;
- Documentation on covered costs/payments (e.g., documents verifying mortgage, rent, and utility payments);
- Certification from a business representative that the documentation is true and correct and that forgiveness amounts requested were used to retain employees and make other forgiveness-eligible payments; and
- Any other documentation the Administrator may require.
Lenders who rely on documentation and accompanying certifications are held harmless from SBA enforcement actions and penalties relating to the loan forgiveness.
Forgiveness amounts that would otherwise be includible in gross income, for federal income tax purposes, are excluded.
The Administrator has 30 days following enactment of the CARES Act to issue regulations on these forgiveness provisions.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
SBA is issuing Economic Injury Disaster Loans up to $2 million, 30 year term at 3.95% interest (2.75% for non-profits) to help pay fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable and other operation expenses.
The SBA provides disaster loans to U.S. small businesses and individuals under the disaster loan program set forth in Section 7(b) of the Small Business Act. Pursuant to the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, COVID-19 has been deemed a disaster for purposes of the SBA disaster loan program.
COVID-19 disaster loans in amounts up to $2 million each may be issued to eligible borrowers in each state that has made an economic injury declaration to the SBA. Per updated guidance issued by the SBA on March 17, 2020, the SBA is waiving the existing requirements for county-by-county disaster declarations and is permitting declarations by each state on a statewide basis upon establishment of at least five impacted businesses in such state. The list of states that have done so can be found on the SBA website, which is currently being updated multiple times a day.
Due to high traffic volumes, the SBA website is running a bit slow.
To qualify as a “small business concern” eligible for a COVID-19 disaster loan, a business must be (a) independently owned and operated, (b) not dominant in its field of operation, and (c) not larger than the relevant business size set forth in the SBA Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System Codes (13 C.F.R. § 121.201). The SBA’s site also provides a tool for navigating the business size classification system.
Notwithstanding the helpful links provided by the SBA, for businesses with a more complicated capital structure, the final determination of eligibility can be more complex, and the income of controlling owners of a limited liability company or other business may be combined with the income of the impacted business by the SBA for purposes of making a final determination. (See MCLANE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, APPELLANT, SBA No. SIZ-4746 (2005), determining that “[t]he majority ownership rule at 13 C.F.R. § 121.103(c)(1) also applies to interests in limited liability companies, and the majority owner of a limited liability company controls and is affiliated with, that company.”)
If a business is eligible and its state has made a proper COVID-19 declaration, a COVID-19 disaster loan is now available with terms of up to 30 years. The proceeds of such a loan may be used to pay “fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.” (See March 17 SBA Advisory.)
SBA will coordinate the application process with each state as it becomes eligible, and applications can be made online. Please be aware that, as of March 18, the SBA website has suffered intermittent connectivity issues, possibly due to unusually high traffic on its website.
Subject to further updates, applications for an eligible business will generally be expected to include an IRS Form 4506-T, current information such as a personal financial statement, a schedule of liabilities and a copy of the most recently filed federal income tax return. (See (a) SBA disaster loan assistance FAQs and (b) 13 C.F.R. § 123.1.)
Please be aware that, subject to further updates by the SBA, under the current SBA disaster loan program, each COVID-19 disaster loan exceeding $25,000 is required to be secured by some form of collateral, as determined by the SBA during the review of each application. If the business has an existing credit facility, particularly a secured credit facility, it must determine whether the applicable credit documents would require consent of senior or other lenders before the business can obtain a COVID-19 disaster loan. Be aware that the lender also may need to consent to a grant of a first lien in favor of the SBA (or third-party lender of a COVID-19 disaster loan) on agreed-upon collateral in order to close a COVID-19 disaster loan.
SBA Disaster EIDL Loan Background Info
- What does an SBA EIDL disaster loan cover?
An EIDL helps you pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact up to $2 million. It provides relief from “economic injury” caused directly by the disaster and permits you to maintain a reasonable working capital (inventory, accounts receivable, etc) position during the period affected by the disaster. EIDLs do not replace lost sales or revenue.
- Does the state my business operates in qualify?
In order to qualify, your state needs to be on the list of federally-recognized disaster declarations for businesses. All states will be on the list eventually, its just that some are still going through the process.You can check the status of your state / county here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/Index
- What are the terms of the loan?
The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
- How do I apply?
Online application page: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/
- What information will I need to apply?
Paper Application forms: Online applications are preferred if at all possible, but this gives an idea of the information required to be gathered to complete the application. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms
- What are SBA’s COVID-19 resources and information?
SBA’s main COVID-19 website, which is updated fairly regularly: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19
- Is more help coming from the SBA?
Additional loans from SBA are currently being considered by Congress (update as of March 21st).
- What other sources of aid are available?
State and local governments are also stepping up to help. Towards the bottom of the article at the link below, detailed information about relief on a state-by-state basis is outlined by Forbes (update as of March 20th).
- Contact Information:
SBA has a Disaster Assistance telephone number and email address, though they are likely experiencing heavy traffic right now.
Telephone Number: 1-800-659-2955
State and Local
Birmingham: The Birmingham Strong Emergency Loan Fund is providing zero-interest, 180-day loans up to $25,000 to small businesses with less than 50 employees.
Los Angeles: The city’s Small Business Emergency Microloan Program is offering loans ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 with 0-3% interest rates.
Sacramento: The city established a $1 million economic relief fund for businesses that provides 0% interest loans of up to $25,000 per business.
San Francisco: Small businesses with fewer than five employees are eligible to receive up to $10,000 for staff salaries and rent.
Denver: The city’s business owners can apply for cash grants of up to $7,500 as part of Denver Economic Development and Opportunity’s emergency relief program. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also announced the creation of a $4 million small business relief fund.
Florida: The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is providing loans of up to $50,000 with 1-year terms to small businesses with two to 100 employees.
Atlanta: The Atlanta City Council approved Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ call for a $7 million Coronavirus emergency fund that will allocate $1.5 million to small businesses.
Chicago: Mayor Lori Lightfoot revealed a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund that will provide low-interest loans to the city’s struggling small businesses.
Governor Kim Reynolds announced the creation of an Iowa Small Business Relief Program that will allocate grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, as well as tax deferrals.
Massachusetts: Governor Charlie Baker announced a $10 million relief fund for Massachusetts businesses affected by the coronavirus. Funds of up to $75,000 are immediately available for companies with fewer than 50 full- and part-time employees.
Michigan: The Michigan Economic Development Corp. received approval to implement a Michigan Small Business Relief Program that will allocate $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to local business owners.
The state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development will be providing interest-free emergency loans ranging from $2,500 to $35,000 to Minnesota-based businesses in need.
New Jersey: New Jersey Economic Development Authority Grant and Loan Programs. Seven new programs launched March 26, 2020 to provide $75 million in support for small and medium sized NJ businesses.
- Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.
- Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs.
- Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak.
- Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services – such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services – to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs.
- CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak.
- NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs.
- Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.
New Mexico: The New Mexico Economic Development Department created the COVID-19 Business Loan Guarantee Program to aid small businesses seeking emergency loans or lines of credit. The program can guarantee a portion of a loan or line of credit up to 80% of principal or $50,000.
NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund – Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more are eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000.
- Supporting documents: gather documents that show your decrease in revenue including 2019 tax returns, bank statements and point-of-sale reports.
The NYC Small Business Services is offering businesses with fewer than five employees grants to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees and sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero-interest loans up to $75,000.
- The Syracuse Economic Development Corp. created a $500,000 fund to provide 0% interest, 180-day emergency loans up to $25,000 to the city’s small businesses.
New York DOL is also reminding businesses of its Shared Work Program that can provide an alternative to laying off employees during business downturns by allowing workers to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, you will be able to reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group: Shared Work Program PDF Brochure
Portland: Small businesses located in Portland’s Jade District or Old Town Chinatown are eligible to receive support through the city’s $190,000 emergency fund. Asian and Pacific Islander business owners will be prioritized.
Philadelphia: The city’s COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund is providing immediate relief to local small businesses in the form of grants and zero-interest loans.
Governor Gina Raimondo partnered with Microsoft to provide Web-based Microsoft Office applications to Rhode Island small businesses for free for six months.
Salt Lake City: Business owners based in the area can apply for 0% interest loans of up to $20,000 as part of the city’s emergency loan program.
Seattle: The city’s Office of Economic Development is providing $1.5 million in grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses. The mayor is also deferring tax payments for business-owner candidates and will set up a small-business recovery task force.
Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. launched Small Business 20/20—a $5 million grant program that will give companies with fewer than 20 employees up to $20,000.
NYC Employee Retention Grant Program
Private and Non-Profit Companies
Amazon announced a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to local Seattle small businesses. From March 26 to April 30, Amazon Lending is also pausing repayment from sellers who have outstanding loans, and seller loans will not accrue interest during this time period.
Bacardi has pledged $3 million in relief to bars and restaurants affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns as part of its #RaiseYourSpirits campaign.
Facebook announced a $100 million grant for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and launched the Business Resource Hub, which features recommendations to help small businesses stay connected to customers and stay on track.
Fattmerchant, a payment technology provider, has partnered with Gift Up! to allow its clients to sell virtual gift cards. Gift Up! is waiving its usual 3.49% fee for Fattmerchant’s members’ first $5,000 in gift card sales.
GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp to allow independent businesses to start fundraisers and accept donations through Yelp’s pages. The Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe also both pledged to donate up to $1 million to the GoFundMe.org Small Business Relief Fund.
Google’s pledge to donate $800 million for COVID-19 relief includes efforts to help small and medium-sized businesses gain access to capital.
James Beard Foundation started a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage small businesses in need.
JPMorgan pledged $50 million to help struggling customers, and $8 million in aid to small businesses, specifically.
Kabbage launched an online hub to help boost sales for U.S small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a system through which businesses can sell gift cards to consumers for use at a later date.
Kangaroo wants to support business owners who are unable to be physically present at their offices: The security startup is offering free (for three months) security camera and monitoring kits.
Kiva is urging small businesses to apply for 0% interest loans for up to $15,000. The company is also offering a longer grace period: New borrowers can access a grace period of up to six months.
MainVest, a crowdfunding platform, announced its new Main Street Initiative: a $2,000, zero-interest, 120 day loan for restaurants or other brick and mortars affected by the shutdown, in addition to its normal fundraising offerings.
Mark Cuban Cos. will reimburse employees for any lunch or coffee purchases from local independent small businesses.
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation announced the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund that will provide grants on a first-come first-served basis to restaurant owners and employees in need.
Opportunity Fund, which specializes in money lending to small businesses owned by women, immigrants and people of color, is collaborating with investors and nonprofits to put together a coronavirus relief fund that will provide grants and low-interest rate loans to business owners in need.
Ring announced its Neighbor Pledge initiative, which encourages individuals and groups to create pledge groups to support local businesses.
Seated launched a hotline for restaurant owners to get advice from finance and law experts in the hospitality industry.
The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation formed a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for small businesses and their restaurant workers, and is accepting donations.
Wefunder, an investment crowdfunding platform, launched a Coronavirus Crisis Loans program enabling small businesses to crowdfund loans of $20,000 to $1 million from supporters.
Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced the company is providing $25 million in coronavirus relief for independent restaurant and nightlife businesses in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services.
Many banks are committed to providing maximum support to their business customers during the public health crisis including increased credit lines and expedited loans. Contact your bank relationship manager.
Short-Term Loan Modification
Most banks are supporting their impacted business customers with loan modification including requiring interest only payments, loan forbearance and other programs. You should contact your bank relationship manager. Here are a few examples.
Five federal banking agencies and a trade group for state banking regulators issued guidance Sunday (3/22/20) encouraging banks to make loan modifications for borrowers affected by the coronavirus.
The joint statement by the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, National Credit Union Administration and Conference of State Bank Supervisors said banks will not be required to categorize those modifications as troubled debt restructurings.
The agencies said short-term loan modifications can include payment deferrals, fee waivers, extensions of repayment terms and other insignificant payment delays.
Federal, State and Local Tax Relief
Federal Tax Day is now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount owed. Some states and cities are expected to follow with similar changes.
In New York, the Department of Labor is reminding businesses of its Shared Work Program that can provide an alternative to laying off employees during business downturns by allowing workers to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, you are able to reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group.
View the brochure to learn more.
Keep the Lights On and the Phones Connected
Some utility providers are offering to stop cutting people off for nonpayment.
A number of large internet companies have agreed not to terminate residential or small business customers who can’t pay their bills: AT&T, Comcast, Cox, RCN, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. A full list of companies is available on the Federal Communications Commission site.
It is not yet clear whether companies want customers to call to invoke this relief and provide proof or whether they will offer it automatically to everyone. People who need help should call and ask.
A number of water service providers have either suspended shut-offs for nonpayment or don’t shut service off for late payments generally, according to a ProPublica roundup. They include Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Long Beach, Calif.; Los Angeles; Newark; New York City and St. Louis.
In Washington state, the main Seattle area utilities are suspending cutoffs as well. In addition, the provider of electric and water service in Seattle is allowing people to self-certify their recent income reductions in order to qualify for at least half off their bills.
In California, Pacific Gas and Electric has, until further notice, stopped shutting off its services to consumers and businesses who have not paid.
In New York, Con Edison also has temporarily suspended any electric and gas service shut-offs.
If utilities in other areas follow suit, they are likely to publish alerts somewhere on the top of their websites or in the news release section of their pages.
More Partners Making COVID-19 Accommodations
Major Phone Carriers
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are making accommodations for their business partners as well.
Credit Card Issuers
Assistance programs being developed among COVID-19 uncertainty. Click here for details on participating institutions.
Work From Home Software
Several companies are offering their collaboration software free of charge, including Microsoft, Zoom, Google, and many more.
Office, Retail, and Industrial Leases
It is safe to say that landlords and tenants will be viewing certain routine boilerplate language in leases differently in the future. Right now though, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on businesses and business operations is raising uncertainty under commercial leases about issues best addressed with proactive assessment from tenants and landlords regarding their lease obligations: Click here for more details.
Up-to-Date Information on 50-state Laws, Rules and Regulations Impacted by COVID-19
The employment law firm of Jackson Lewis has aggregated various laws, rules, and regulations in the below 50-state surveys. To ensure you have access to the most up-to-date information, each of the surveys is being updated regularly.
- HR FAQs Responding to COVID-19 Workplace Issues
- State of Emergency Declarations
- COVID-19 and Insurance
- Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Situation Reports
- Harvard Medical School Coronavirus Resource Center
- Industries Affected By Coronavirus
As the situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, industries are experiencing the impacts in various ways. Vertical IQ the leading provider of Industry Intelligence for those advising small- and medium-sized businesses, is working to provide updates on industries affected by COVID-19. Information will be added and updated regularly, so continue to check back for the most recent insights.
- State Governors COVID-19 Websites
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This resource center is intended as source of information on programs to help businesses manage their cash flow and liquidity during the rapid economic deceleration we are currently in the midst of. It is not intended to be financial advice as is not a substitute for financial or legal advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.