COVID-19 Small Business Resources
Small businesses have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. While many larger companies are able to remain fully operational after being designated as businesses that provide essential services to the community, many smaller businesses have had to shut their doors entirely due to stay-at-home orders.
Even those that continue to operate during the current crisis are facing massive drops in revenue – many being forced to lay valued employees off in hopes of keeping the business afloat until good times return.
Fortunately, there are relief packages available to small business owners that might allow you to keep your doors open and employ more people until the pandemic ends, and people return to work, business, buying, and play.
These are some of the resources all small businesses need to know about that may be instrumental in keeping your doors open or help you reopen until the crisis ends.
SBA Disaster Assistance
The SBA is working with state governments to help provide disaster assistance loans to agricultural businesses to aid in recovery. The interest rates on these loans are as low as 3.75 percent. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program makes funds available for qualifying agricultural businesses to pay fixed debts, meet payroll, manage your accounts payable, and tend to other obligations and bills your business may have.
SBA Paycheck Protection Loan Program
The purpose of the SBA Paycheck Protection Program is to encourage employers to retain all employees on their payrolls. The way the loan works is that the SBA will forgive the loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight full weeks, and the money is used for critical expenses that include:
- Mortgage interest
In order for loans to be forgiven, however, 75 percent of the funds must be used to cover the costs of payroll for the business. The loan has a maturity rate of two years at a one percent interest rate, and all payments are deferred for six months. Additionally, there are no fees for the loan by the government or the lenders.
Google Resources to Help Business Through COVID-19
Not only has Google made their premium video meetings free for all users, but they’ve also put together many resources to help businesses make the transition to working remotely, including collaboration tools, video meeting software, and free digital skills training to help you out.
Google is determined to be a partner in this current pandemic and has put together an extensive list of resources to help you conduct business in a socially distancing world.
Federal Tax Filing Deadline Extension
While the traditional filing date for federal taxes has traditionally been April 15, the President provided an unprecedented extension for 2020, extending the deadline to July 25, 2020, for businesses and individuals to file and pay their taxes.
Penalties and interest will begin to accrue immediately on July 16, 2020. Businesses that need additional time, beyond the July 15 deadline may apply for extensions with IRS form 7004.
This particular filing extension only applies to federal taxes. Businesses will need to check with their states to see if they have granted extensions to match the federal government in this matter.
GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative
The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative provides $500 grants to small businesses that meet the eligibility requirements. This is different from other grant programs as it requires business owners to raise the $500 funds from their connections and simply provides a platform through which they can accomplish this goal.
This fund is available to all businesses provided they comply with the fund’s terms of service and can initiate a GoFundMe. Few relief efforts put you in the driver’s seat in quite the same way. It’s a little money that can make a huge difference to your small business – especially in these trying times.
Relief Options from Individual Creditors
Ultimately, with a widespread situation like this, it’s often possible to have an open, honest, and frank conversation with your creditors about where the situation stands. This can help you avoid late fees, penalties, defaults, collection actions, repossessions, and more. With such widespread uncertainty, most creditors are willing to be reasonable and incredibly lenient if you simply ask for their assistance.
Other Grants Programs
A number of other companies are offering that you may qualify for to keep your small business afloat during the coronavirus. These include:
- Save Small Business Fund (a collaboration among The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Vistaprint, along with support from Merck, Travelers, and S&P Global Foundation and Travelers)
- Hello Alice (with support from eBay, Silicon Valley Bank, Verizon, and others)
- Verizon Small Business Fund
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- Salesforce Care Small Business Grants
Contact Generazio Associates, Inc. to learn more about the many options you have for assistance, help, and relief during the COVID-19 crisis.
We’ve been serving the needs of families and businesses since 1971, and look forward to a long future serving our community in new and exciting ways once the current crisis ends.