Expanded financial help from the federal government to ease the coronavirus crunch is now available to small businesses and individual workers. Here is an overview based on documents at the Small Business Administration website (www.sba.gov) and analysis by Heather Maxwell, executive director of the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce.
Paycheck Protection Program
Apply for loans to keep employees on payroll with full salary and benefits for up to eight weeks. Approved lenders include federally insured depository banks and credit unions (ask your lender if they participate). You must go through the lender where you have deposits, according to one local banker, who added that banks are scrambling to get set up for the onslaught.
Eligibility is broad, including these individuals and entities if affected by COVID-19:
- Sole proprietorships
- Businesses with fewer than 500 employees
- Independent contractors and self-employed people
- 501(c)(19) veterans organizations
- Private nonprofits
The kicker: “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,” the agency says.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
These SBA loans provide advances up to $10,000 available in three days to qualified applicants. They provide working capital to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. The loan/grant application is a quick five-minute online process.
“Every business has been or will be impacted by this worldwide crisis, and I encourage every business owner, non-profit, and independent contractor to access the $10,000 cash-advance grant available to them under the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program,” Maxwell said.