Small Business Owner Guide: COVID-19 Resources and Relief Options
Recent weeks have impacted small businesses around the globe. To slow the spread of COVID-19, governments have mandated social distancing and self-isolation tactics, forcing millions of people to turn to remote working. Some businesses have closed altogether, while others are promoting online sales and eCommerce. If you’re wondering where to turn during these complicated times, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to receive aid and keep your business open.
Additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. The $484 billion Paycheck Protection Program and Health Enhancement Act was approved by the Senate and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Most of the small business funding, $321 billion, will replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Of the $321 billion, $60 billion is designated to be available through small business lenders, including Insured Depository Institutions and Credit Unions.
CARES ACT: The CARES Act passed in late March, which is a $2 trillion emergency relief package to help Americans impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, the CARES Act includes Rubio’s Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act, a bipartisan small business emergency economic relief plan that provides more than $377 billion for small businesses to meet their payroll and expenses and receive education and assistance.
CARES Act SBA Loan Calculator: NAV has worked to create a calculator to help business owners see how much they qualify for.
FEMA Supply Chain, Delivery of Goods, Business Continuity Support Businesses that are experiencing issues regarding supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity should contact the FEMA National Business Emergency Operations Center. This is a 24/7 operation and they can assist in directing the inquiry to the proper contact.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to COVID-19. The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
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. Estimated tax payments for 2020 originally due on April 15, 2020 will now be due on July 15, 2020.
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. Several states have already aligned their tax filing and payment dates with the new federal deadline. States also may waive or reduce penalties on late tax payments.
Reimbursement of Medical Leave Costs for SMBs The IRS recently updated information for employers regarding COVID-19-related medical leave.
The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
SBA Access to Capital provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business.
SBA Government Contracting: SBA is focused on assisting with the continuity of operations for small business contracting programs and small businesses with federal contracts.
If a situation occurs that will prevent small businesses with government contracts from successfully performing their contract, they should reach out to their contracting officer and seek to obtain extensions before they receive cure notices or threats of termination. The SBA’s Procurement Center Representatives can assist affected small businesses to engage with their contracting officer.
Use the Procurement Center Representative Directory to connect with the representative nearest you.
The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known.
Texas Economic Development Coronavirus: Provides information for small business relief and support in the state of Texas.
The AssistHer EmergencyRelief Grant aims to help sustain your business while you are under economic hardship due to COVID-19. The funds can be used for technology upgrades or other items needed to change or adapt your business model. Operating expenses (excluding payment of sales tax, payroll, purchase of food for consumption, penalties and fees, and charitable donations).
FIND is a global non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the development, evaluation and delivery of high-quality, affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases. They are conducting a standardized evaluation of currently-available immunoassays for SARS-CoV-2. This Expression of Interest (EOI) is for test developers interested in having their immunoassays (machine-based or lateral flow, rapid tests) evaluated using this standardized, independent protocol.
Gates Foundation Therapeutics Accelerator The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard today committed up to $125 million in seed funding to speed-up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing and scaling-up treatments. The partners are committed to equitable access, including making products available and affordable in low-resource settings. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will play a catalytic role by accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. Currently there are no broad-spectrum antivirals or immunotherapies available for the fight against emerging pathogens and none approved for use on COVID-19.
Kiva The popular small business, crowdsourcing investment company is offering 0% loans up to $15,000 with no payments for six months.
SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. They will be hosting several virtual town halls during the month of April so business owners can help share valuable information and resources during this time.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.
Ally Bank is offering the following financial support initiatives:
Will defer payment for existing auto customers for up to 120 days without incurring late fees or finance charges
Will give new auto customers the option to delay first payment for 90 days
Will defer payment for existing mortgage customers for up to 120 days without incurring late fees or finance charges
Will waive overdraft, expedited checks and debit card fees for existing bank customers for the next 120 days
Will waive fees on excessive transactions on savings accounts for existing bank customers for the next 120 days
Businesses in Bellevue, South Lake Union and Regrade neighborhoods of Seattle 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.
Bank of America announced it would do the following for customers with no negative credit bureau reporting for up-to-date clients:
Will refund overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees and monthly maintenance fees upon request for banking and small business customers
Will defer payments and issue refunds on late fees upon request for banking and small business customers
Will defer payments and issue refunds on late fees for small business loans upon request
Will defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan, for auto loans upon request
Will defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan, for mortgages and home equity -lines of credit owned by Bank of America upon request
Will suspend foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions
BBVA is initiating the following:
Will offer loan, line of credit and credit card payment deferrals or extensions
Will waive and refund ATM fees charged by other banks/ATM networks to use their ATMs
Will offer penalty-free CD withdrawals for CDs opened prior to March 1, 2020 upon request
Capital One said it would offer financial relief options upon request, including limiting fees, providing minimum payment assistance and offering deferred loan payments. Citi will do the following for an initial 30 days:
Will waive fees on monthly services and penalties for early CD withdrawal for banking customers
Will waive monthly service fees, remote deposit capture charges and penalties for early CD withdrawal for small business customers
Offer credit line increases and collection forbearance programs for credit card customers
Offer a range of hardship programs through their service provider, Cenlar FSB, for eligible mortgage customers
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.
Fifth Third Bank Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank is offering the following programs and initiatives:
Vehicle payment deferral program: offering payment deferral for up to 90 days and no late fees during the deferral period
Credit card deferral program: offering payment deferral for up to three payments and no late fees during the deferral period
Payment forbearance with no late fees for 90 days on mortgages and home equity lines of credit
Small business payment deferral program: offering a payment deferral program for up to 90 days, no late fees and a range of loan modification options
Will waive all fees on Fifth Third Fast Capital loans for six months
Will waive fees for up to 90 days for a range of consumer and small business deposit products -and services
Will suspend any new repossession actions on vehicles for the next 60 days
Will suspend all foreclosure activity on homes for the next 60 days
GoFundMe launched the Small Business Relief Initiative to support those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the announcement, GoFundMe is partnering with Yelp, the company that connects people with great local businesses. The Small Business Relief Initiative will supply financial assistance and support to businesses across the country by providing fundraising tools and grants to help during the crisis.
Goldman Sachs will offer the following:
Will waive payment for March without interest for Apple credit card users who enroll in Apple’s customer assistance program
Will allow delayed payments without fees for Marcus customers for a month
The Google Small Business Grant Program includes credits for Google Ads, and is a part of a larger plan to boost organizations affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Apply for grants for up to $50,000 through the Hello Alice and Verizon partnerships which is aimed at supporting business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. Join leaders such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristen Bell, Lisa Price, and Zaw Thet to empower every American with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Huntington Bank will offer the following programs:
Consumer payment deferral program: will offer a payment deferral for up to 90 days with no credit bureau impact
Small business payment deferral program: will offer a payment deferral for up to 90 days with no credit bureau impact
Working to offer economic injury disaster loans for small businesses
Will waive late fees on consumer loan payments through at least the end of March 2020
Will waive late fees on business loan payments through at least the end of March 2020
Will suspend any new repossession actions associated with vehicles, RVs or marine craft financed by Huntington through at least the end of March 2020
Will enact reduced requirements for customers who want to redeem their already repossessed vehicle to one payment plus repossession fee
Will suspend any new foreclosure actions, specific to residential properties, unless required by federal or government agencies through at least the end of March 2020
James Beard Foundation The foundation has created the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund and is currently working on application criteria. Sign up for updates on the foundation’s website to get notified when applications are open.
JPMorgan Chase Philanthropic Investment announced a $50 million global philanthropic commitment to address the immediate public health and long-term economic challenges from the COVID-19 global pandemic. Funds will support communities and people hit hardest by this public health crisis through an initial $15 million commitment. This includes $5 million to provide immediate healthcare, food and other humanitarian relief globally, $2 million to existing nonprofit partners around the world that are responding to the COVID-19 crisis in their communities, and $8 million to assist small businesses vulnerable to significant economic hardships in China, Europe and the U.S. The remaining $35 million will be deployed over time to help the most vulnerable communities and people recover from the crisis and have an opportunity to benefit from future economic growth.
Through Kabbage Payments, any business can sign up to sell gift certificates online and anyone can purchase them to support participating small businesses. KeyBank will offer the following:
Will allow existing customers to defer payments for 90 days on mortgages and home equity lines of credit upon request
Will allow existing customers to defer payments for 90 days on student loans upon request
Will allow existing customers to defer payments for 90 days on auto loans upon request
Will allow existing customers to defer payments for 90 days on credit cards and lines of credit upon request
Will allow small business loan customers to defer loan payments for 90 days upon request
Will waive late or overdraft fees
Will waive penalties for early CD withdrawals
Will suspend repossessions of vehicles unless required by a federal or government agency
Will suspend residential property foreclosures unless required by a federal or government agency
KeyBank is also offering the following a temporary assistance loan, which is a shorter-term unsecured personal loan up to $5,000 with a low interest rate and the potential for same-day approval.
MainVest A tech company that offers crowdsourced investing in return for profit sharing is offering a zero-interest, 120 day $2,000 loan if you have an existing brick and mortar business that has been negatively effected but the COVOID-19 outbreak.
Microsoft Teams If your organization is licensed for Office 365, you already have it. But Microsoft wants to make sure everyone has access to it during this time. You can sign up for a free Teams account through their website. PandaDoc The document automation software for small and medium-sized businesses has launched a free e-signature plan to help businesses keep running while they switch to remote working. Free eSign offers:
Unlimited document uploads – Upload and send for eSignature as many documents as you’d like
Unlimited eSignatures – Collect an unlimited number of legally binding eSignatures
Payment processing – Accept a credit card, PayPal, or ACH payment the moment your doc is signed
PNC will offer the following:
Will waive or refund fees associated with deposit accounts or lending products, including credit cards and mortgages
Will offer assistance programs for customers with consumer or business loans, credit cards or mortgages
Will offer emergency hardship loans at a “low rate” for qualified consumer customers and employees
Restaurant Workers Community Foundation The society is raising money for the Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund will be allocated as grants or no interest loans for direct relief to restaurant workers and non-profit organizations serving restaurant workers.
Santander Bank will offer the following:
Will temporarily suspend payments, as well as refund late payment and overdraft fees for bank customers
Will stop collections calls
Will suspend mortgage and home equity line of credit foreclosures
Will waive early withdrawal penalties on CDs and waive outgoing wire fees for consumers
Will increase ATM cash withdrawal amounts available
Will offer extensions and payment deferral accommodations for existing small businesses clients
Will offer credit card limit increases
Will expand payment deferrals, waive late charges and issue lease extensions for lessees unable to return their vehicles for existing auto loan customers
Will defer first payment for 90 days for new customers financing their auto loans through Chrysler Capital and offer a 0% APR for 84 months on select 2019 and 2020 models available
The payment processor is refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March for existing sellers who currently use Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing and Square Online Store. Square will manage the process for you so there’s no need to do anything. Additional product updates are also in the works. You can use the just released curbside pickup option through Square Online Store, and they plan to release a local delivery feature this week. Curbside pickup and delivery fees are waived for the next three months.
TD Bank will offer financial relief options upon request, including fee refunds, early penalty-free access to CDs and payment extensions.
Truist (Formerly SunTrust and BB&T Banks) instituted a number of relief measures:
Offers payment relief assistance for clients on consumer loans, personal credit cards, business credit cards and business loans
Will temporarily waive ATM surcharge fees
Will offer 5% cash back for qualifying purchases at grocery stores and pharmacies through April 15, 2020
U.S. Bank will offer the following:
Will retroactively waive credit card fees
Will work to enhance skip-a-pay and payment deferral programs
Will continue to offer regularly available services, including rush replacement of a credit or debit card, increased credit limits and fee waivers for those experiencing hardship
Effective Friday, March 13, U.S. Bank reduced the cost of the following loans:
Simple Loan fees reduced to $6 per $100 borrowed (down from $12 with autopay)
Personal Loan reduced APR of 2.99% for amounts between $1,000 and $4,999 for up to 48 months
Wells Fargo will offer the following:
Fee waivers, payment deferrals and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, mortgage, small business and personal lending customers who contact Wells Fargo directly
Suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary auto repossessions
Yelp will be providing $25 million to local restaurants and nightlife businesses that are seeing a massive drop in business as a result of the crisis. This will take the form of “waived advertising fees and free advertising, products and services.” This includes free page upgrades for access to advanced promotional features. On the delivery side, Yelp says it will be adding support for contact-free delivery in its check-out process through its partnership with Grubhub, who already offers this option.
Zoom When employees are not able to get to the office, teams cannot travel to see customers and students cannot participate in on-site classes, Zoom provides a way. Their platform allows users to still be productive with just a free Zoom Meetings license. A free Zoom Meetings license includes instant 1-on-1 video meetings, daily meetings with up to 49 video participants, real-time collaboration with screen sharing, annotation and more.