The effects of coronavirus on American small businesses is undeniable. More people are staying home (either by choice or by mandate) and they aren’t spending money — a scary recipe for small business owners.

We know now that the hospitality, events and tourism industries will be the first and hardest hit. The trickledown effect from these industries is not yet known. It could be nothing to very little. But as a business owner, you know that it’s best to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Here, you’ll find financial resources available to small business owners right now. We’ll also be updating this section as new options become available, so check back often.

If your business is or is anticipating a slowdown in business, please consider the following recommendations:

  • The SBA recently released disaster assistance loans for small businesses affected by COVID-19. This loan can help carry you cover payroll, avoid layoffs and more. Apply here.
  • Increase low-cost outreach (phone calls, emails) to communicate openly with existing customers and prospects. Let them know that you’re still a viable option.
  • If your business is in a growth phase, consider increasing your marketing budget for added impact at a time when others might be pulling back.

**These updates are in date order. For the most recent updates, scroll down.**


1/11/21 Update:

As of January 11 2021, another round of PPP funding has launched. Last week there were several new changes added that could affect you. Here’s what to know:

Download the application here.

Timeline of when you can apply:

  • Community financial institutions will be able to offer PPP Loans to first-time borrowers today, January 11, 2021.
  • Then, on Wednesday (January 13th), lenders can offer PPP loans to second-time borrowers.
  • The PPP program will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. (We will keep you informed, don’t worry.)

Loans probably won’t be approved same-day this time around, as lenders are taking more caution to approve lending and avoid fraud. This means that same-day approvals will be very unlikely this time around.

This additional support was built for small businesses. Who is eligible for what, exactly? Those businesses who:

  • Have less than 300 employees per physical location.
  • Business that have suffered revenue declines of more than 25 percent in any given quarter this year compared to last year
  • Qualified businesses can receive loans are up to $2 million

Minority-owned businesses and business located in a Low to Moderate Income Areas (LMI) are eligible for more support.

  • A low-income person is someone whose total annual income is 50% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) or average income for the community where they live.
  • LMI geographies can be defined in many ways – city borders, county lines and zip codes. The most precise way to look at a geography is by using census tracts.
  • A low-income census tract is an area where more than half of the people living in that census tract meet the definition of low-income.
  • If you’re unsure about your area, here’s the government’s dataset and map service to figure it out.

Additionally, there is more support set aside for certain types of businesses. You’re eligible for these exclusive funds if you:

  • Have 10 or fewer employees
  • Are a minority that owns a business
  • Are located in a LMI area
  • Run a small community bank, credit union, or small agricultural credit institution
  • Run a mission based-community lender like community development financial institutions (CDFIs), certified development companies (CDCs), minority depository institutions (MDIs), and SBA Microloan intermediaries.

If you received money from the first round of PPP funding, you must have used or will use the full amount of your first PPP, and you need to demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts in the first, second, or third quarter of 2020 relative to the same 2019 quarter.

If you have an existing PPP loan, you can request an increase. If these new interim rules changed your loan calculations, you’re permitted to work with lenders to increase the loan amount, regardless of whether you’ve received it all or not. Reach out to your SBA banker about increasing your PPP loans.

“Forgivable” expenses have been expanded beyond payroll-related expenses, utilities and rent. They now include:

  • Operating costs, such as payment for any software, cloud computing, and other human resources and accounting needs.
  • Property damage costs, related to property damage due to public disturbances that occurred during 2020 that are not covered by your insurance.
  • Any supplier costs, such as a contract, purchase order, or order for goods expenditure before taking the loan that was essential to your day-to-day operation. Perishable goods, however, can be forgiven before or doing the life of a loan.
  • Worker protection costs, such as personal protective equipment and adaptive investments to help you comply with federal health and safety guidelines

Depending on your industry, you can save up to $54,000 in principal and interest payments on a new loan or $72,000 on an existing loan. Hard hit industries such as food service, arts, entertainment and recreation, educational, laundry, and personal care services are eligible for 8 months of forgiveness principal and interest payments and are capped at $9,000 a month. For those loans approved before September 20 2021, your first 6 months of principal and interest up to $9,000 a month is also forgiven.

The Employee Retention Tax Credit has been expanded and extended into July 1, 2021.

  • The credit rate was increased from 50% to 70% of qualified wages.
  • Eligibility for the credit was extended by reducing the required year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50% to 20% and provides a safe harbor that allows employers to use prior quarter gross receipts to determine eligibility.
  • The limit on per-employee creditable wages was increased from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 for each quarter.
  • For more information on the Employee Retention Credit system, read here.

In addition, you can take advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit through 2026 if you hire those on welfare or veterans. This is a great tax credit for those trying to hire a new employee.

Deferral of social security taxes has been extended through March 2021 and you can pay them as late as the end of 2022. While extending these payments doesn’t relieve you of your obligations, it does provide an interest-free loan from the government.

The government will give you a tax benefit by supporting restaurants. You can now deduct 100% of business meals that take place at a restaurant in 2021 and 2022.

  • Restaurant owners: Make sure you tell all of your customers this!

Run a nonprofit? You can get more donations. Make sure you include this in your marketing! The “above-the-line” charitable contribution has been extended through 2021 at $600 for those married filing jointly and $300 for others. This means taxpayers will be able to take the standard deduction and deduct up to $600 in charitable giving when calculating their taxable income. For the 2020 tax year, taxpayers could deduct up to $300 above-the-line for charitable contributions.

For all of our sole proprietors out there – you can apply for this loan as well! However, how you calculate your loan and its forgiveness differ from a small business with employees.

You can calculate your loan by dividing last year’s profit by 12 to get a monthly average net profit. Multiply that figure by 2.5 to determine the amount of your PPP loan.

Since sole proprietors don’t have payroll, 2.5 months’ worth of new profit is automatically forgiven, without having to actually spend it on anything. This is called “Owner Compensation Replacement” – read the official text here.

Here is the PPP Forgiveness Application for sole proprietors, and the instructions to go through it.

12/24/20 Update (1): As of December 21st, 2020, an agreement has been reached in Congress to provide another economic relief stimulus package that includes another round of PPP funding.

The new bill provides an additional $284 billion for small business owners.

As it stands, the only direct source of information we have on what’s included in the bill is this press release from the Speaker of the House. We will update this section, however, once the official text of the bill has been published by Congress.

Here’s what we’ve come to understand about the bill and how it pertains to business owners:

Lending will be slightly different this time around: The intention is to correct problems that many previous PPP borrowers had, as well as an attempt to create more opportunities for new borrowers that may not have qualified last time.

The maximum loan amount available is down to $2,000,000 from $10,000,000. This applies across the board.

PPP loans that are forgiven will definitely be tax deductible: There was some confusing language in the last round of PPP loan funding that puzzled some PPP borrowers, stating that expenses paid for with forgiven loans will not be deductible. In this new Act, Congress clarifies their official position that expenses funded with PPP money will, in fact, be deductible. For more information on these implications for borrowers, read more here.

You have a second chance to receive a PPP loan as long as you qualify: Whether you received a PPP loan the first time around or were denied, as long as you meet the “eligible entity” requirements laid out within this act, you should be able to receive a loan. An “eligible entity” will need to satisfy the Loan Necessity Questionnaire (here’s the test for non-profit). Once this necessity test is satisfied, the following requirements must also be met to qualify:

  • You must show that there was a 30% reduction from the gross receipts of your business during the same quarter in 2019.
  • For the purposes of this 30% rule, gross receipts will include all revenues from the normal operation of the business before subtracting expenses, but will not include amounts borrowed, including amounts received as PPP loans.
  • You must employ no more than 300 employees, or meet an alternative size standard.

There will be expanded PPP eligibility for nonprofits and local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters, including $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions: Many of the hardest hit industries will receive extra help this time around.

Seasonal employers, new entities, and businesses with more than one physical location will now have maximum limits imposed on how much they can borrow: One of the controversies surrounding the first round of PPP were large businesses with more than 500 total staff spread across several smaller locations receiving large loans. Shake Shack is just one example, and they did the right thing ultimately by giving the money back. Congress has attempted to correct those issues ahead of time with this act by imposing these limitations:

  • Seasonal Employers: the maximum amount of new PPP loans is based upon the average monthly payroll costs for a 12-week period selected by the borrower that begins February 15, 2019 or March 1, 2019 and ends June 30, 2019.
  • Alternatively, the borrower may elect to use any consecutive 12-week (or any 96 consecutive days) period beginning after February 14, 2020 and ending before January 1, 2021) multiplied by 2.5, but not exceeding $2 million.
  • New Entities: the maximum amount of new PPP loans is based upon the average monthly payroll costs up through the date when the entity applies multiplied by 2.5, but not exceeding $2 million.
  • 2+ Physical Locations: the maximum loan is $2,000,000
  • Borrowers whose businesses are partially owned by “Chinese Entities” (20% or more) are unable to receive a second PPP loan: I imagine there aren’t too many of you out there fall under this new parameter, but we want to be efficient with our coverage!

Additional loans cannot exceed $2,000,000 per borrower and there is a 90-day wait between loans: If you got a loan the first time, it will most likely be around the same exact amount. This round is simply capped at $2 million instead of $10 million.

If you’ve declared bankruptcy, you will not be able to apply for a PPP loan: However, it is noteworthy that if in the bankruptcy process a court finds that the debtor is eligible for a PPP loan, then the loan will be given a priority claim in the bankruptcy process.

Loans under $150,000 will have a simplified, one-page application for forgiveness: This is if you received less than $150,000 the first time around. Woohoo less paperwork!

You can select a covered period for as short as 8 weeks and as long as 24 weeks: This gives you the flexibility to decide how long you have to spend the funding in order to qualify for forgiveness.

This is everything we know for right now, as the bill was just passed yesterday — we will keep you updated as we discover more!

If the have yet to apply, this week is your last chance.

For all of our sole proprietors out there – you can apply for this loan as well! However, how you calculate your loan and its forgiveness differ from a small business with employees.

You can calculate your loan by dividing last year’s profit by 12 to get a monthly average net profit. Multiply that figure by 2.5 to determine the amount of your PPP loan.

Since sole proprietors don’t have payroll, 2.5 months’ worth of new profit is automatically forgiven, without having to actually spend it on anything. This is called “Owner Compensation Replacement” – read the official text here.

Here is the PPP Forgiveness Application for sole proprietors, and the instructions to go through it.

Reporting indicates there is approximately $129 billion left in funding as of July 6th. The extension keeps the initial source of funding open, giving Congress time to work on a second funding program. This second round of funding is aiming to be more targeted, but in the mean time, read below for help on how to apply!

If you’d like to read up on these loans and other relief available through the $2 trillion CARES Act, continue reading…

The text of the bill can be read on the official Congress website right now.

Here’s what we know about how this will affect small businesses, and how to take action asap.

So far, reporting on the bill indicates that it includes:

  • $349 billion for small business loans
  • $50 billion for companies who retain employees on payroll to cover 50% of workers’ paychecks
  • SSA payroll tax deferment (6.2%) for companies
  • $500 billion in loans for larger distressed companies
  • $130 billion for hospital funding
  • $150 billion for state and local governments

The CARES Act primarily provides relief to small business owners through SBA loans.

12/24/20 Update (2): As of December 21, there was an additional $20 billion allotted for EIDL grants passed in a new coronavirus relief package. This funding will be critical to many small businesses on main street.

  • Loans of up to $2 million
  • Interest rates of 3.75% (2.75% for non-profits)
  • Collateral of $25,000 for all loans (might be waived in some cases)
  • 30-year repayment terms
  • Funds within 14-20 days
  • Cash advances of up to $10,000 upon application that DO NOT need to be repaid

We’ve pulled some of the most important distinctions between PPP and EIDL loan properties for you:

  • While the PPP loan is forgivable, the EIDL loan is not (the $10,000 advance is actually a grant and does NOT require repayment)
  • There are fewer restrictions on what you can spend EIDL loans on, making them a perfect avenue to invest in marketing or other business growth efforts
  • PPP lenders are regulated lenders like banks, while the SBA handles EIDL loans
  • There is a personal guarantee required for EIDL loans exceeding $200,000
  • The SBA will place a UCC lien against your assets for collateral
  • You can still apply for an EIDL loan even if you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes. However, you will be asked to submit IRS form 4506T, which provides the SBA with access to your previous tax returns

You can read more about EIDL loans here. You can begin the official application process online here.

3/18/20 Update (1): The IRS will now allow individual and corporation tax payments to be delayed by 90 days after the April 15 tax filing deadline.

More information:

  • Individuals may defer payments up to $1 million.
  • Corporations may defer payments up to $10 million.
  • All tax filings must still meet the April 15 deadline. This deferment applies only to payments.
  • The deferment is automatic.

We suggest you consult the official IRS website  for further instruction if needed.

3/18/20 Update (2): Facebook is currently offering grants (which do not have to be repaid) to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Facebook announced today that it would offer $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help businesses during this challenging time.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries will be selected to receive grants
  • Applications will open in the coming weeks
  • Grants can be used to keep your workforce going strong, help with rent, assist with marketing and cover operational costs

You can sign up for updates on the release of Facebook’s grant program here .

3/18/20 Update (3): Google will soon allow businesses to mark themselves as “temporarily closed.”

3/24/20 Update (2): It’s being reported that Google is now allowing certain businesses (like restaurants) to update their My Business listing to add “delivery available” and “takeout available.”

In a recent blog post, Google announced that a new option to mark your business as “temporarily closed” will appear on your Google My Business page  in the coming days. Google’s AI (artificial intelligence) technology will also begin contacting businesses where possible to confirm business hours, so be alert for that.

While the “temporarily closed” option still hasn’t appeared at the time of writing this, Google does offer a number of steps  your business can take now to reflect any changes you’ve made due to COVID-19.

Google’s suggested steps include:

  • Change your business hours
  • Manage your business information
  • Create new post that communicates any changes you’ve undertaken
  • Update your phone number

If you haven’t created a Google My Business page for your business yet, we suggest doing so immediately. To help, a local marketing business created a clickable one-page PDF that lists a number local directories that allow your business to be found easily online. You can download that PDF for free here.

3/19/20 Update, Revised 3/20/20: President Donald Trump passed paid sick leave legislation into law late last night. Businesses with 50 to 500 employees must provide paid sick leave for part- and full-time staff, which can be reclaimed in the form of tax credits.

The new law takes effect in 15 days and only lasts until December 31, 2020, when it will expire.

First and foremost, a few reasons to take heart, business owners:

  • You will be reimbursed for the full amount of all sick leave payments within 3 months. This will come in the form of a payroll tax credit.
  • Reimbursement will also cover employer contributions to health insurance premiums during any employee’s leave.
  • Self-employed business owners are also entitled to sick leave pay. You simply calculate your average daily self-employment income for the year, then claim the amount you take as a tax credit. You can also reduce your estimated quarterly tax payments in the meantime.

Now, let’s get to some of the nitty-gritty behind this new law.

  • Federal employees and employees working at businesses employing 500 staff or fewer qualify for 2 weeks of sick leave at their full, regular rate if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis/preventative care for coronavirus.
  • Employees are also entitled to extra leave (up to 3 months) at two-thirds of their regular rate if they are caring for a family member with a COVID-19 diagnosis or they stay home to care for a child whose school or daycare has closed due to coronavirus measures. These payments can be recouped by employers quarterly in the form of a refundable tax credit.
  • To qualify for this benefit and paid sick leave, an employee must have been employed by a qualifying business for at least 30 days.
  • Part-time staff and gig economy workers are also entitled to some sick leave pay.
  • Employers can decline to give leave to workers in high-risk industries like health care and emergency responders.
  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from the law if providing leave “would jeopardize the viability of the business.” If this is you, you will have to reach out to the Department of Labor to apply for this exemption.

Continue reading about this newly enacted legislation here and here. In addition, the newly passed law can be read in its entirety here.

3/19/20 Update: Florida announced a new $50 million disaster relief loan program, offering interest-free bridge loans of up to $50,000 to FL small businesses with 2 to 100 employees.

Here some details on the program:

  • Who can apply? For-profit, privately held small businesses with 2 to 100 employees that maintain a place of business in Florida, were established before 3/9/2020 and suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19.
  • How much money is available? Loans of up to $50,000 are eligible per small business, with special-circumstance loans of up to $100,000 may be warranted in special cases.
  • How long is the loan interest free? One year. After that, the interest rate will raise 12% per year on any unpaid balance until the loan is paid in full.
  • Is there anything that might make me ineligible? Yes. You should check your eligibility closely here.
  • When is the deadline to apply? May 8, unless funds run out sooner.
  • How do I apply? Once you’ve read up on the loan process and understand the full loan terms, you can download the loan application here.

3/20/20 Update: Many local governments are now rolling out their own relief small business relief packages, including Denver (CO)Worcester (MA) and Syracuse (NY) and all Louisiana businesses.

3/25/20 Update: Banks across the Greater Boston area have pledged special funds and programs to help small businesses affected by coronavirus, including loans of up to $25,000 with zero-interest for 6 months and interest rates below 4% thereafter. Read more about these programs here.

3/27/20 Update: Connecticut announced $25 million in aid for businesses impacted by coronavirus. The loan program, called the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Program, will provide 0% interest loans to businesses with less than 100 employees. The loan amount will be $75,000 or 3 months of operating expenses — whichever is the lesser.

We strongly encourage you to seek out any relief programs that may be developing or already announced in your:

  • City/town
  • County
  • and/or state

Once your local government officially requests economic injury disaster relieve from the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA), your business will become eligible for the SBA’s relief loan program.

This program offers:

  • Loans of up to $2 million
  • Interest rates of 3.75% (2.75% for non-profits)
  • Required collateral of $25,000 for all loans
  • 30-year repayment terms
  • Funds within 14-20 days

Continue to check if your area qualifies for loan assistance here.

3/23/20 Update: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are suspending foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days and up to 12 months due to the coronavirus national emergency. This suspension applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage.

The move comes after the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to help borrowers who are at risk of losing their home.

“This foreclosure and eviction suspension allows homeowners with an Enterprise-backed mortgage to stay in their homes during this national emergency,” said Director Mark Calabria. “As a reminder, borrowers affected by the coronavirus who are having difficulty paying their mortgage should reach out to their mortgage servicers as soon as possible. The Enterprises are working with mortgage servicers to ensure that borrowers facing hardship because of the coronavirus can get assistance.”

Borrowers should note that they will need to contact the lender they send checks to every month to establish a new short-term agreement — and not simply stop paying their mortgages.

You can read the FHFA statement here.

3/25/20 Update: The Senate and White House reached an agreement late last night on a $2-trillion coronavirus stimulus package. Both parties are calling this a bi-partisan effort.

3/26/20 Update: The Senate passed a $2-trillion coronavirus stimulus package with a unanimous 96-0 vote yesterday. The 883-page bill is now headed to the House for a vote confirming the Senate’s amendments and is expected to pass by Friday.

3/26/20 Revisions: Corrections to small business loan information and worker relief funds, corrections to the timing and destination of the bill, plus a link to the text of the bill provided.

3/27/20 Update and Revisions: We’re learning more about the bill, how it defines and affects small business owners, and how to start the application process. Read on to learn more.

The text of the bill can be read on the official Congress website right now.

So far, in relation to businesses, reporting on the bill indicates that it includes:

  • $349 billion for small business loans
  • $50 billion for companies who retain employees on payroll to cover 50% of workers’ paychecks
  • SSA payroll tax deferment (6.2%) for companies
  • $500 billion in loans for larger distressed companies
  • $130 billion for hospital funding
  • $150 billion for state and local governments

Here’s what we’ve learned about how this bill affects small businesses:

  • A “small business” is defined as any business with fewer than 500 employees
  • Money spent on rent, payroll, utilities and insurance premiums within the provision timeframe will be forgiven and not need to be paid back
  • The timeframe of your loan forgiveness provision will depend on the type of loan, grant or relief you apply for
  • If you re-hire staff within your forgiveness timeframe, their payroll expenses can be forgiven
  • The amount of your loan that can be forgiven depends on expenses incurred during the forgiveness provision timeframe
  • It appears that the type of loans included in the stimulus package are SBA economic injury disaster loansSBA 7(a) loans, and fee-free loans of up to $10 million provided outside of the SBA
  • If you apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan, you will be given a $10,000 grant as an advance a few days after applying, and this grant does not have to be repaid even if you are eventually denied the loan
  • Loans will be available through the SBA’s existing 7(a) program and framework, which already includes credit unions and most large banks
  • If you have an existing SBA 7(a) or 504 loan, you may be eligible for immediate relief — the SBA will cover all loan payments (including principle and interest) for 6 months
  • More banks and institutions are now authorized to provide SBA loans than before
  • If you’re stepping outside of the SBA, you can borrow up to 125% of average payroll costs over 8 weeks with underwriting costs waived and principle and interest payments deferred for a year
  • All of this is dependent on the bill being passed and signed into law

If you’re interested in staying within the SBA’s framework for any relief your business might receive, you should download this PDF, which explains their 3-part loan process.

So, what can you do right now to ensure your small business benefits from this stimulus?

Contact your bank. Discuss your options.

If your area is eligible, you can apply now for an SBA economic injury disaster loan. By simply applying (once the bill is signed into law), you should receive a $10,000 grant as a cash advance within 3 days even if your loan application is denied.

Since the bill has been amended in the Senate, it will be sent back to the House for another vote on approval. The vote is expected to pass in the House on Friday, to be sent thereafter to the President to sign into law.

You may be wondering… How will this bill affect my workers and other workers all over the country?

Here’s what we know about how this bill affects workers:

The bill includes relief for American workers in the form of $1,200 one-time payments to employees making less than $75,000, scaling down $5 for every $100 the taxpayer makes. Working parents are eligible to $500 in relief per dependent child. It’s being reported that relief payments are capped at $3,000.

In addition, unemployment benefits have been boosted and will include relief for gig economy workers like freelancers and independent contractors who are not employed full time by a single employer. Examples of gig economy workers include Uber drivers and delivery service drivers.

Then check the SBA’s disaster relief section of its website to see if businesses in your area can apply.

3/27/20 Update: Inc. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce partnered earlier today to host a virtual Small Business Town Hall. They broke down this $2 trillion stimulus package specifically for small business owners like us.

The $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday (and expected to pass through the House today) is huge — both in terms of relief it offers and its literal mass. It is 883 pages of technical legal speak that most of us aren’t ready or willing to muddle through.

That’s why Inc. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce partnered to host a virtual National Small Business Town Hall — so we can ask the millions of questions we have that relate directly to our small businesses.

Here are the details:

  • The town hall was hosted earlier today, March 27, at 12pm EDT
  • Inc’s editor-at-large, Kimberly Weisul, served as host
  • Neil Bradley, executive VP and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce answered questions

Discussion topics included:

  • Opportunities provided by the bill
  • The headaches it might provide as well
  • How to maximize its benefits to support your business

Discussion included:

  • Opportunities provided by the bill
  • The headaches it might provide as well
  • How to maximize its benefits to support your business

The town hall happened earlier today, from 12PM to 1PM, but a recording is available here.

Then check the SBA’s disaster relief section of its website to see if businesses in your area can apply. The website has been hit with a huge influx of traffic and operation is spotty, however.

The rest will become clear next week or in the coming weeks, once the bill has been signed into law and there’s been more time to digest its 883 pages.

3/30/20 update:  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency.

You are eligible if you are:
• A small business with fewer than 500 employees
• A small business that otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard
• A 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees
• An individual who operates as a sole proprietor
• An individual who operates as an independent contractor
• An individual who is self-employed who regularly carries on any
trade or business
• A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard
• A 501(c)(19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard

For more information, click here.

4/1/20 update: Specific application requirements haven’t been determined yet for this program. Based on the intent of the loan and the assistance it seeks to provide, it is recommended you start collecting the following documentation.

Needed to help you calculate the eligible loan amount:

  • Payroll reports for 2019 and 2020 year to date showing the following by employee and/or officers:
    -Gross wages
    -Paid time off
    -Paid vacation
    -Pay for family medical leave
    -State and local taxes (form 940, 941, or 944)
    -1099’s for independent contractors (if applicable)
  • Completed 2019 tax return OR 2019 Profit and Loss Report and Balance Sheet
  • Documentation Showing:
    -Funds received in the form of an Economic Injury loan since 1/31/20
    -Payments for group health care benefits including premiums paid in 2019 to 2020 year to date
    -Payment of any retirement benefits paid in 2019 and 2020 year to date

Needed for verification of forgiveness amount:

  • Quarterly IRS forms 940, 941, or 944 for the following dates:
    -March 31, 2019 and June 30, 2019
    -March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020
  • Documentation in the form of canceled checks, payment receipts, and bank statements showing payment of the following items from 2/15/20 to 6/30/20:
    -Mortgage Interest
    -Rent payments
    -Utilities

4/2/20 Update: We’re featuring new small business pivots that maintain operations and cash flow — from a clothing manufacturer now selling CDC-approved face masks to a florist delivering her own handmade arrangements, we’ve got lots of ideas to inspire you.

SewKC, a clothing brand based in Kansas City, MO, pivoted away from clothing and started manufacturing handmade CDC-approved washable face masks in fun and funky patterns. Orders have been through the roof and they’ve been working around the clock. Their local congressman even wrote to say thanks!

If your business is a traditional brick-and-mortar, take a page from this florist’s book and implement home deliveries! She leaves fresh arrangements on the doorsteps and delivers everything herself. With gas prices so low, this is more doable than ever.

Maybe your business requires people to gather in groups? This Texas movie theater found a way around that too — they’re now projecting movies on the side of a building and offering tickets to consumers who want to drive-in and park to watch films. So far, they’re totally sold out and demand is only increasing.

Another idea: many of us are using newfound downtime to organize, cleanse and purge. Why not put the goodies you don’t need to good use? One business collected a ton of goodies they had sitting around to curate hand-picked surprise boxes offered for just $50. And guess what – those also sold out.

If your business’s social media following is not highly engaged, here’s an idea:

Start by sending direct emails daily to your entire customer list to let them know you’ve pivoted online and how they can continue to engage with and support your business.

Once you have a few people tuning in, do this:

  • Ask them to subscribe to your business’s page and receive updates
  • Ask them help spread the word by sharing a few posts and inviting their friends to partake as well

If you’re struggling for ideas on how your business operate online amid social distancing and coronavirus lockdowns, there are several ideas and examples here.

A marketing company near us, Postcardmania, is launching a virtual gift card package that includes everything needed to get online gift cards up and running quickly.

This is all included:

  • An e-commerce landing page that makes purchasing gift cards fast and easy
  • Writing, design and programming all done by their marketing experts
  • Several gift card amounts for clients and customers to choose from
  • Fast and easy payment directly into your PayPal or Stripe account

For a limited time, while coronavirus is still an issue for small businesses, they’re offering this package at cost: $315.

You can check it out here: www.postcardmania.com/small-business-support

If your business is lesson- or education-based, PBS published this article with tips on distance learning.

4/2/20 Update: Entrepreneur.com is hosting a crisis management webinar series that will delve into new challenges business owners face as a result of COVID-19.

The webinars are running from today through at least April 7. Entrepreneur promises to cover all aspects of business operation throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Tax and Legal Support
  • Work From Home Best Practices
  • Business Planning and Operations
  • Finding New Revenue Streams
  • 401K and Retirement Strategies
  • Virtual Networking Tips
  • Creative Marketing Ideas
  • Crisis Communication Plans
  • Health and Wellness Advice

You can check out Entrepreneur’s upcoming webinars and register here.

Whether your business is fully shuttered due to coronavirus or sales are just slower than usual, now is the time to be proactive — to put your business in the best position possible to take advantage once this all eventually passes.

4/2/20 Update: Applications for forgivable loans (via the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program) will be available starting Friday, April 3.

The recently-passed CARES Act includes a number of business-boosting relief programs, the largest of which is the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP.

The PPP portion of the CARES Act authorizes up to $349 billion for small businesses in the form of forgivable loans. These loans are designed to ive small business owners the means and motivation to avoid layoffs and continue paying workers directly.

You are eligible for PPP if:

  • You have less than 500 employees
  • You’re a sole proprietorship
  • You’re self employed
  • You’re an independent contractor
  • You’re a private nonprofit
  • You’re a veterans organization
  • You’re a tribal business (as described here)

Note: Self-employed individuals and independent contractors cannot apply until April 10, 2020.

Here are the highlights of PPP:

  • Loans should amount to 8 weeks of payroll plus 25%
  • $10 million is the maximum loan amount
  • Loan payments can be deferred for 6 months
  • The application window is April 3, 2020, through June 30, 2020
  • Repayment is deferred for 6 months
  • The loan matures over 2 years at 0.5% interest

Here are some VERY important facts about getting this loan forgiven:

  • Loan forgiveness is tied foremost to maintaining full payroll
  • Portions of the loan used for rent, utilities and mortgage interest can also be forgiven, but the total amount of those costs should be less than 25% of the total loan
  • At least 75% of your loan must be used for payroll in order to be fully forgiven
  • Forgiveness will be reduced if your workforce headcount declines or if salaries/wages decrease
  • The forgivable period lasts 8 weeks (starting from the date the loan is approved)

You should be able to apply for PPP through your current lender. Here is the list of PPP-approved institutions:

  • And existing SBA 7(a) lender
  • Any federally insured depository institution
  • Any federally insured credit union
  • And Farm Credit System institution that is participating

If your bank is not currently offering the program, they may offer it at a later time as more institutions apply for approval and are enrolled in the program.

You can learn more about the program here on the SBA website. The U.S. Department of Treasury also composed a brief PDF that explains PPP.

Again, applications will open on Friday, April 3.

If you’d like to get started on your application, you can download a sample form from the SBA here.

So, what can you do right now to ensure your small business benefits from this stimulus?

Contact your bank TODAY. Discuss your options.

If your area is eligible, you can apply now for an SBA economic injury disaster loan. By simply applying (once the bill is signed into law), you should receive a $10,000 grant as a cash advance within 3 days even if your loan application is denied.

You may be wondering… How will this bill affect my workers and other workers all over the country?

Here’s what we know about how this bill affects workers:

The bill includes relief for American workers in the form of $1,200 one-time payments to employees making less than $75,000, scaling down $5 for every $100 the taxpayer makes. Working parents are eligible to $500 in relief per dependent child. It’s being reported that relief payments are capped at $3,000.

In addition, unemployment benefits have been boosted and will include relief for gig economy workers like freelancers and independent contractors who are not employed full time by a single employer. Examples of gig economy workers include Uber drivers and delivery service drivers.

Then check the SBA’s disaster relief section of its website to see if businesses in your area can apply.

We found this blog post helpful in explaining the tax provisions included in the CARES Act.

4/7/20 Update: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), enacted on March 27, 2020, is designed to encourage Eligible Employers to keep employees on their payroll, despite experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19, with an employee retention tax credit (Employee Retention Credit).

For more information, click here.


Disclaimer: Simply Gluten Free is not a financial institution and any financial decisions you or your business undertakes should be made in close consultation wit your bank or chosen financial professional. We’re simply providing relevant information in one convenient place in hopes of helping our advertising partners and other businesses during this stressful time.