The coronavirus pandemic has upended small businesses around the world. With social distancing initiatives in place, businesses are suffering, and the brunt of that is affecting small local companies.
Amidst this stress and turmoil, many organizations, both public and private, have risen to the occasion and are administering relief programs, grants, and loans for struggling small businesses.
We’ll lay out those resources here.
Resources from the federal government
Because this pandemic qualifies as a declared disaster, struggling small businesses can apply for a loan of up to $2 million. This can help small businesses mitigate the damaging effects of revenue loss due to this crisis.
The CARES Act
The Small Business Administration offers disaster loans to companies in any area where there is a disaster affecting small business.
In addition, congress passed an act that further aids small businesses during the coronacrisis.
The act is called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) and is also known as the Paycheck Protection Program.
This program provides federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who need help making payroll through the crisis.
The government provides many loan opportunities for struggling businesses. GovLoans.gov is a single place where businesses can find and apply for all sorts of business loans depending on their circumstances.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is giving some relief by allowing non-corporate taxpayers to defer paying federal income tax up to $1 million until July 15, 2020, without any penalties. They are also allowing corporate taxpayers to defer paying these taxes of up to $10 million until July 15, 2020.
Keep in mind that this does not change the date by which you need to file for taxes. That deadline remains April 15.
The Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve has taken massive actions to reduce the economic impact of COVID-19 including a credit “discount window.” They have reduced interest rates on loans to practically zero for individuals and businesses. They are taking more actions every day to minimize the economic impact of this virus.
Help from State and Local Governments
State and local governments are providing relief all over the country. If you’re curious about what’s available on a state level, use this spreadsheet that Gusto has created in order to track those relief programs.
Resources from Private organizations
Facebook announced that they’re setting up a $100 million grant program for small businesses around the globe. This money will be distributed as cash and ad credits between 30,000 selected companies who apply for the grant.
Microsoft is offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 trial. This will help with the increased need for employees to work from home for companies that would otherwise be crippled by the transition.
Uber Eats is helping out local restaurants and shops by waiving the fee to deliver from those locations. Many states have closed restaurants completely except for delivery and takeout. This has hit local restaurants especially hard. By making it easier to deliver food, Uber Eats is helping them stay afloat.
Google is helping businesses and schools by rolling out free access to their G-suite apps, especially Google Hangouts. This makes remote work and school much easier for businesses and schools to manage.
Amazon, in response to the flux of online shopping, has opened 100,000 positions in its fulfillment centers. They’re also welcoming employees who have been displaced from their primary jobs until their employers can take them back.
Resources for individuals
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is also providing some flexibility with individual taxpayers this tax season. They encourage all taxpayers to still file by April 15 in case they qualify for a refund, but they have deferred the date by which taxpayers need to pay taxes.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The CFPB has provided an in-depth resource for individuals struggling with paying their bills and loss of income. It can be a complicated situation, but the CFPB plainly describes how individuals can get through financial troubles better.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
This new law expands coverage and eligibility for paid sick leave. This law shortens the unpaid period of emergency paid time off. It also allows employees who have been employed at a company for at least 30 days to qualify for family or medical leave without risking the loss of their job.
It’s a crazy time, but there are a lot of individuals, businesses, groups, and government organizations that are doing a lot of good. Amidst the stress and fear that is penetrating society, look for the beauty in the good that people do as a response.
We are optimistic about our country’s ability to become stronger from this trial. We share Billionaire Mark Cuban’s confidence that “as bleak as it can seem right now… we’ll get to the other side, I’m 100 percent certain, and we’ll be different when we get there.”
Many companies have more time on their hands than work to be done right now. We, again along with Mark Cuban, advise that you take this opportunity to revamp processes. Take this as an opportunity to do some company spring cleaning.
Stay busy so that when all of this is over, you’re poised to take advantage of the economic upswing.