As the coronavirus has become full-blown, small businesses have been affected the most as many are forced to shutter down their doors to combat the spread of the virus. It’s a challenging time for small businesses (those with 500 employees and below) no doubt as many are financially fragile to weather the storm. This has led to a spike in the US the unemployment rate leaving many to face harder situations of striving for survival.
Governments have decided to step in and offer assistance to those in need. There are COVID 19 small business loans, government grants available at the federal, state, and local levels and by organizations. If your business has been affected by this health crisis, these are relief programs to help overcome these challenges.
Federal Coronavirus Small Business Assistance
These are the new programs established under CARES act to help small business during this pandemic:
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan program to help small businesses retain their employees’ payroll during the crisis. The loan payment can be forgiven if businesses pay their employees for up to eight weeks at a normal salary level.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency
This is designed to provide economic relief to rebuild private sector and nonprofit organizations that have sustained losses during the pandemic. It can be used to cover working capital and other normal operating costs such as rent, utilities, and health benefits.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
This program enables small businesses who have a relationship with an SBA Express lender to access up to 25,000 quickly. If you are in need of urgent cash and you are awaiting disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, you may qualify for this program.
SBA debt relief
This program eliminates certain loan payments for six months including principal and interest and other forms of loans on fees.
State and local support to small businesses
Here is a few state-specific support to businesses. Learn more about the different supports available in your areas on the governor’s website. It is being updated regularly as more programs are being added day by day.
The city of San Francisco has established San Francisco Hardship Emergency Loan Program to provide grants or zero interest rates to help eligible small businesses
Eligibility criteria: For-profit businesses in San Francisco with total annual revenue under $2.5 million. The business must demonstrate a 25% drop in revenue since January 1, 2020, and have three years remaining on its lease if the business is location-dependent.
Additionally, the Small Business Emergency Microloan Program has also been initiated for the city of Los Angeles.
Eligibility criteria: to be eligible, your business must be located in Los Angeles and you must have a “reasonable and responsible” individual credit history. Plus, the loan must be used solely for working capital.
Florida has implemented the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to help small businesses facing disaster due to the novel coronavirus by providing interest-free loans. These loans are meant to be a short term as you await for other financial assistance or support.
Eligibility criteria: it’s for small businesses having 2-50 employees. Plus, you must pay off any previous bridge loan taken.
Illinois has launched the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to provide assistance to Illinois small businesses. Eligible small businesses could apply for this program which is low-interest rates of up to $50,000 without attracting penalty if repaid early.
Eligibility criteria: businesses must have few than 50 employees and must experience at least a 25% decrease in revenues as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Besides, you must have received less than $3 million in revenue in 2019.
The Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK), in partnership with the Appalachian Impact Fund, initiated Kentucky Business Stimulus Fund. Eligible small businesses that have been impacted by COVID 19 can apply for grants up to $3,000.
Eligibility criteria: only available for small businesses owned and locally operated in Bell, Lee, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Jackson, Johnson, Knox, Leslie, Owsley, Floyd, Perry, Whitley, and Estill.
Michigan has implemented the Michigan Small Business Relief Program to provide grants and loans to Michigan small businesses that have been impacted by COVID 19.
Eligibility criteria: businesses must be able to demonstrate financial losses due to the crisis and need working capital to support eligible expenses.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has initiated the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program. The program will disburse $10,000 grants to small businesses across the state that has been impacted by COVID 19.
Eligibility criteria: to qualify, a business must demonstrate that it has experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID 19. Plus, the business must be locally owned and operated in Minnesota.
The Washington State Department of Commerce offers $10,000 grants to very small businesses through its Working Washington Small Business emergency grant program.
Eligibility criteria: businesses that have less or up to ten employees and have been operating for at least one year can apply.