Federal, state, and local governments along with private corporations are moving quickly to provide financial assistance to small businesses in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a summary of the public and private loans, grants, and support programs for small businesses and employees, along with how you can take action and advocate for dedicated funding for child care programs. We will update this article as more information becomes available.
- The Federal Reserve announced that it is cutting interest rates to 0% and launching a $700 billion quantitative easing program.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering $7 billion in low-interest federal loans to small businesses in designated states and territories impacted by COVID-19. Businesses can receive up to $2 million in assistance with interest rates of 3.75% and repayment terms up to 30 years. Check the SBA website to see if your area is eligible.
- The U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance for state unemployment insurance programs to extend benefits to individuals whose employment status is impacted by COVID-19. Use this tool to find the agency that manages unemployment insurance in your state and visit their website for more information about eligibility and how to apply for benefits.
- The federal government passed an economic relief bill to ensure that working people are able to access paid leave should they become infected or need to give care. It also strengthens existing unemployment insurance and food assistance programs, and will provide free diagnostic testing for the virus.
- Senators Marco Rubio and Susan Collins have proposed a $300 billion relief package to aid small businesses. The plan, which is still being written, would provide federally guaranteed loans through approved banks for about six to eight weeks for employers to use for payroll and other typical expenses to stay afloat. The loans could potentially be forgiven at the end of the period if the funds were used to sustain employees.
Many states are offering their own recommendations and relief programs for businesses in response to COVID-19. View this comprehensive spreadsheet compiled by employer software platform Gusto to search your state’s available resources.
Highlighting some of the resources for impacted states below:
- IBank is providing disaster loans of up to $1 million for small business borrowers as well as $500 to $10,000 loans for low-wealth entrepreneurs in declared disaster areas.
- The Employment Development Department is providing a work sharing program for employers who need to reduce work hours, support teams for businesses planning closures or layoffs, and deadline extensions for filing payroll reports and taxes.
- Sacramento has established a $1 million-economic relief package for small local businesses, in the form of zero-interest loans of up to $25,000 based on demonstrated need.
- The City of San Francisco has developed the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund allowing impacted small business owners to access up to $10,000 for employee salaries and rent.
- The City of Los Angeles has established Small Business Emergency Microloan Program, providing financing needed to strengthen small business enterprises in this time of acute need that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with loans ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
- State legislators approved $100 million for K-12 districts and child care centers to cover school cleaning expenses and adopted waivers that will ensure funding for school districts and state-funded child care during school closures.
- The City of Denver is launching an emergency relief fund to address the most immediate needs of the business community. This program provides up to $7,500 in cash grants to assist eligible small businesses that may have had to temporarily close, have difficulty with paying their rent and utilities, or have had to lay off staff.
- The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is granting an automatic extension of Connecticut filing deadlines for certain annual tax returns in order to support businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak
- The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period opened March 17, 2020 and runs through May 8, 2020.
- The COVID-19 Relief Business Direct Loan Program provides FAME Direct Loans of up to $50,000 with special terms available to Maine-based businesses experiencing interruption or hardship due to COVID-19.
- The $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits. Loans are immediately available to eligible businesses with no payments due for the first 6 months.
- The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is providing up to $10 million for small business loans for small businesses statewide that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Loans to eligible borrowers must be $50,000 or more and are capped at $200,000.
- The Omaha Community Foundation has launched a fund to provide flexible resources to organizations in the metro area working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak
- New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) has created a program to assist businesses seeking emergency loans or lines of credit to deal with negative economic impacts from COVID-19. NMEDD can guarantee a portion of a loan or line of credit up to 80% of principal or $50,000. Loan proceeds are flexible and can be used for working capital, inventory, payroll, and more.
- New York City will provide relief for small businesses across the City through zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. Small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.
- The Salt Lake City emergency loan program aims to provide financial relief to small businesses that will most likely see a downturn in business due to an unforeseen emergency. The program will fund loans up to $20,000 at 0% interest. The application will be open until Monday, March 23rd at midnight.
- Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced a $1.5 million fund to invest directly in small businesses financially impacted by COVID-19. Eligible small businesses will receive a grant of up to $10,000 to mitigate revenue lost by COVID-19.
- The Small Business 20/20 Program will provide grants of up to $20,000 to assist targeted businesses with cash-flow challenges resulting from COVID-19.
Private Corporation Relief
- Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate.
- Amazon is creating a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to Seattle small businesses that need assistance.
- Stimulus 2020 is a privately-funded stimulus program intended to support America’s local businesses. They are curating a $1000 stimulus package and offers designed to help American businesses stay afloat in this time of crisis.
- Amex business cardholders can enroll into their working capital program to access funds for vendor payments between $500-150,000, offering repayment terms of 30, 60, or 90 days w/ a fixed rate between 0.6%-5.25%.
How to Take Action
- Child Care Aware of America is rallying early education providers to send letters to Congress to urge them to provide significant and dedicated funding for child care programs during this public health crisis.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has published a survey to collect stories of how early education programs have been impacted by COVID-19 in order to inform local and state policymakers.
Visit the brightwheel Coronavirus Resource Center for more essential tips and resources on how to stay informed, keep your business running, and communicate with families during COVID-19. If you have any feedback or ideas on what else we should cover, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.