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Over the last few weeks, small businesses have been hit hard by orders required to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These include mandatory closings and safety measures.
Businesses have a growing number of resources and relief programs to turn to, including many new provisions included in the stimulus package enacted by Congress. A lot of small businesses have had trouble getting assistance, but there are other sources of funding to consider. These include grants and emergency loans from states, cities and community organizations.
Below is a list of federal, state and lender-specific support to pursue. Let’s dive into them.
Federal Coronavirus Small Business Assistance
The stimulus package includes several programs aimed at assisting small businesses, such as:
- Paycheck Protection Program: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will guarantee loans of up to $10 million to eligible businesses, and the loans will be provided by lenders including banks and credit unions. Paycheck Protection Program loans can be forgiven if businesses maintain payroll for eight weeks at employees’ normal salary levels and use the loan proceeds for qualifying expenses. Check out our list of banks providing Paycheck Protection Program loans.
- Expanded access to U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans: As part of its disaster assistance program, small businesses and nonprofits affected by the coronavirus can get loans up to $2 million from the SBA. The terms of these loans include an interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. The repayment terms of the loan are different for each applicant, up to a maximum of 30 years. The stimulus program was updated so that sole proprietors and businesses with fewer than 500 employees qualify. Furthermore, applicants don’t need to provide a personal guarantee on loans under $200,000. Payments can also be deferred for up to four years.
- Emergency grant of $10,000 to SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan applicants: Even if your business is denied a loan, you can still access this grant, which can be used to provide employee sick leave, maintain payroll or meet other needs like paying rent.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a list of coronavirus relief options with details on each program.
Federal Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extension
The federal tax return filing deadline is now July 15, 2020. For tax payments of up to $10 million, the IRS has also extended the deadline for both individuals and businesses to July 15, 2020. The tax payments were originally due on April 15 are now on July 15.
Check with your state tax agency to find out if your business has more time to file or more time to pay state and local taxes this year as a result of the coronavirus. Several states have already aligned their tax filing and payment deadlines with the new federal deadline. States also may waive or reduce penalties on late tax payments.
State and Local Coronavirus Small Business Assistance
States and municipalities are adding programs by the day to help businesses. Check your governor’s website for up-to-date information about relief available in your area, as this information is changing constantly. The National Governors Association offers a list of governors’ websites.
Through the San Francisco Hardship Emergency Loan Program (SF HELP), businesses in San Francisco are eligible for 0% interest rate loans from Main Street Launch in partnership with the City of San Francisco. Loans can be made up to $50,000 at terms of up to six years.
Who’s eligible: For-profit businesses in San Francisco with a 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.
How to apply: Complete a loan inquiry form online.
The City of San Francisco has also initiated a moratorium on evictions for small- and medium-sized businesses whose revenue has been affected by the coronavirus. The moratorium will expire on April 17 (and could be extended), but the city has put additional renter protections in place, giving the opportunity for tenants to go on a payment plan or apply for a hardship waiver if they cannot pay their rent due to COVID-19.
Additionally, through the City of Los Angeles Small Business Emergency Microloan Program, businesses and microenterprises in Los Angeles that are responsible for providing low-income jobs can get an emergency microloan of $5,000 to $20,000. Loans with repayment terms of six months to one year carry an interest rate of 0% and five-year loans have interest rates of 3% to 5%.
Who’s eligible: To get a loan, you must meet requirements including having “reasonable and responsible” individual credit history, committing to use the loan for working capital only and ensuring your business is located within the City of Los Angeles. If you own 20% or more of the business, you must guarantee the loan.
How to apply: Apply online and provide supporting documentation including business and personal tax returns, three months of bank statements and business and personal financial statements.
The Denver Small Business Emergency Relief program offers cash grants of up to $7,500 to businesses in industries particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus.
Who’s eligible: Small businesses that have lost the ability to operate, including restaurants, retail shops, barbershops and nail salons.
How to apply: Details are sparse, but fill out an interest form to get more information from the city.
Connecticut is offering a $50 million recovery bridge loan program providing zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses, whichever is less.
Who’s eligible: Businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees that have been negatively impacted by the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to apply: As of March 27, 2020, the initial round of funding for the program has been closed. It’s unclear when the next round will open; check Connecticut’s COVID-19 business resources page for more updates.
Under the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, loans of up to $50,000 — $100,000 in certain special cases — are available to coronavirus-affected small businesses. The loans are meant to serve as short-term funding that can be repaid once businesses can access alternative funding. Loans are interest-free for one year; after that, the interest rate rises to 12%.
Who’s eligible: For-profit small businesses with two to 50 employees. Any previous bridge loans a business has taken out must be paid off.
How to apply: Submit an application by May 8, 2020, along with supporting documents including business tax returns, individual tax returns and employer tax documentation.
As part of the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, starting March 31, small businesses in Chicago could apply for low-interest loans of up to $50,000 with repayment terms of up to five years. The amount of the loan you’ll qualify for depends on your revenues before business was affected by the coronavirus.
Who’s eligible: You must demonstrate a 25% drop in revenue, have less than $3 million in revenue and fewer than 50 employees, and have no current tax liens or legal judgments.
How to apply: Apply online and include your most recent tax return, bank statements going back to October 2019 and photo ID.
The Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) has created a small business stimulus fund to help those impacted by COVID-19. Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $3,000.
Who’s eligible: Small businesses that are locally owned and operated in the following counties: Bell, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knox, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Owsley, Perry and Whitley.
How to apply: Apply online. The deadline for the first round of applicants is April 17.
Small businesses in Louisiana can apply for the Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program. This program offers loans of up to $100,000 per applicant at no interest and with no payments due for the first six months. After that period, interest rates will be no more than 3.5%. A total of $50 million is available for the program.
Who’s eligible: Small businesses in Louisiana with fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
How to apply: Apply directly with a participating bank. Read more about the program and application requirements.
Minnesota now has two loan programs available for businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Small Business Emergency Loan Program offers $2,500 to $35,000 in loans to cover operating expenses. The loans have a 0% interest rate and five-year terms, and they are eligible for forgiveness. The Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program will provide an 80% guarantee on loans of up to $200,000 to help lenders provide funding to businesses.
Who’s eligible: The Small Business Emergency Loan Program is for businesses located in Minnesota that can prove they’ve been negatively impacted by the pandemic; the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is for businesses with fewer than 250 employees that are based in Minnesota.
How to apply: Application processes are different for each program. Visit Minnesota’s COVID-19 “Information for Businesses” website.
The City of Manchester has created the Manchester Small Business Recovery Loan Fund. It has $1 million in initial funding and will offer a maximum loan amount of $25,000 with a 2% interest rate. No interest or payment will be due for the first three months of the loan. The fund will start no sooner than June 1, 2020, or after stay-at-home orders are lifted, but businesses can apply ahead of time to lock in funds.
Who’s eligible: Any Manchester, New Hampshire small business that has experienced a loss of revenue or closure due to COVID-19.
How to apply: The program was just approved by the City of Manchester. An application portal hasn’t been released yet.
New Jersey is launching a $10 million program to offer low-cost financing to New Jersey small businesses and nonprofits. The program will provide a direct loan of up to $100,000. Payments will be deferred for 12 months.
Who’s eligible: Small businesses and nonprofits that have existed in New Jersey for at least one year and have less than $5 million in annual revenue. The business must have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and must have seen a reduction in business hours, at least a 20% decline in revenue, or meet other requirements outlined by the state.
How to apply: Applications open April 13.
The New Mexico Recovery Fund will offer loans to companies in New Mexico affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans will be based on 2019 operating expenses and won’t exceed $10 million, with a repayment term between two and four years with interest rates of 3% to 10%.
Who’s eligible: New Mexico businesses with 40 or more employees that demonstrate an intent to retain as many employees as possible, can show negative COVID-19 impact and can commit to spending at least 80% of the loan proceeds in New Mexico.
How to apply: The program hasn’t launched yet, but businesses can fill out an interest form to get more information.
Application intake for the New York City Small Business Continuity Fund, which provided up to $75,000 in interest-free loans from the city to cover revenue losses, has been paused. But businesses can fill out an interest form to learn about new local and state programs as they become available.
North Carolina has created Rapid Recovery Loans for businesses across the state. Loans are available in amounts up to $50,000, capped at two months of current revenue. The loans come with six months at 0% interest and no required payments, and then will be subject to four-year repayment terms at 5.5% interest.
Who’s eligible: Small businesses with at least one employee in North Carolina, which can include a self-employed owner.
How to apply: Apply online.
Oklahoma City is $5.5 million in cash incentives, no-interest loans, low-interest loans and technical assistance for small businesses. Loans can be up to $100,000.
Who’s eligible: For-profit businesses in Oklahoma City that have been in business for at least one year and have up to 50 full-time employees; the businesses must be able to demonstrate a 50% drop in revenue between March 16-April 15, compared to the same period in 2019.
How to apply: Business owners can apply for the available programs online now through April 17.
Pennsylvania is offering loans to small businesses through its COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program. These loans can be up to $100,000 and have three-year terms with a 12-year amortization schedule. All loans have a 0% interest rate, except for agricultural producers, who will have a 2% fixed interest rate for the life of their loan.
Who’s eligible: For-profit businesses in Pennsylvania with 100 or fewer full-time employees in retail or service sectors. Agricultural producers are also eligible.
How to apply: Businesses interested in applying for a loan will have to apply in the county their business is located in. Read more about where to apply here.
Utah has launched the Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program, which offers loans of $5,000 to $20,000 with 0% interest for up to 60 months. Repayment can be deferred for up to 12 months.
Who’s eligible: Small businesses in Utah with 50 or fewer employees who can show six months of estimated revenue loss or other documented loss evidence.
How to apply: Apply online from April 13 to April 16.
Washington State is offering small business emergency grants of up to $10,000 through its new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program.
Who’s eligible: Small businesses that have been operating for at least one year and have up to 10 full-time employees.
How to apply: Apply online here; some counties have already closed applications due to overwhelming interest.
Lender and Corporate Small Business Assistance Programs
Many banks have offered deferment and forbearance to business loan customers having trouble making payments. Check Forbes’ list of banks offering relief. You can also search for your bank on the American Bankers Association’s ongoing A-Z list of coronavirus response programs.
Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund
Businesses in Bellevue, Wash. and the South Lake Union and Regrade neighborhoods of Seattle — particularly those that rely on foot traffic — can apply online for a grant from Amazon’s $5 million fund. Amazon will determine on a case-by-case basis the amount of the grant your business qualifies for. Only businesses with 50 employees or less, or that take in less than $7 million in annual revenue, qualify.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook has committed to offering up to 30,000 small businesses $100 million in cash grants and Facebook advertising credits. The grants will be provided to businesses in more than 30 countries. Information is limited, but sign up to get more details from the company when they’re available.