Billions for Small Business Relief
As the federal, state and local governments respond to COVID-19, there has been an unprecedented disruption to businesses throughout the United States. So far Congress has passed, and the President has signed into law, three major stimulus/relief packages.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was the largest, coming in at approximately $2.2 trillion and spelled out in over 800 pages. That bill is packed full of direct benefits including loans, grants and payments to a host of recipients.
Relief programs for impacted small businesses (generally, businesses with fewer than 500 employees) include new and expanded programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that are intended to help these businesses through the economic downturn and keep workers employed.
Paycheck Protection Program
- This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.
- Loans can be up to 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million.
- SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- Funds will be available to qualifying businesses through approved banks and non-bank lenders.
- The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
Our friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have provided a Small Business Guide and Checklist about the program and it can be viewed at U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Coronavirus Emergency Loans.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has now designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for the provision of its Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program.
The EIDL is a low-interest, fixed-rate loan that can provide up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. With interest rates of 3.75%, and a term up to 30 years, the loan payments may now be deferred up to 4 years. The SBA’s EIDL funds come directly from the U.S. Treasury. Applicants do not go through a bank to apply, and instead, apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program.
The CARES Act also earmarked $10 billion to provide an advance of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
* Emergency Grants of not more than $10,000 will be distributed by the SBA within three days of applying.
* Grantees are not required to repay the grant, even if subsequently denied for an EIDL loan.
* Grant amount will be considered when determining loan forgiveness, if the applicant receives a loan under SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.
* Providing paid sick leave to employees.
* Maintaining payroll.
* Meeting increased costs to obtain materials.
* Making rent or mortgage payments.
* Repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.
* The above provides a general summary of the programs based on information now available. Additional information and how to apply for these programs are, or will soon be, available at SBA.gov. Please refer to the SBA for the latest information.
As we go to press, the administration is floating a proposal for a 4th stimulus package — a $2-trillion package that would fund national infrastructure projects and create jobs.
The situation is constantly evolving, but at Weinberg & Company, we’ll continue analyzing the various actions and will be regularly reporting to you through our monthly Simply Stated newsletter as well as special email briefings.
Although we may all be working differently, our staff of dedicated professionals is here for you.