There is no doubt that the coronavirus (or COVID-19) has caused uncertainty for many small businesses. As stress levels continue to grow, companies have come together, forming support networks and creating resources to help weather the storm. At Ntegro, we too are feeling the impacts of the virus. We’ve looked into the options, and we’d like to share some information we’ve found that can help small businesses stay afloat.
The CARES Act
The US government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which allocates $350 billion for small business loans. The idea is to provide monetary relief and incentivize small businesses to keep their workers on payroll while COVID-19 persists. Specifically, the Paycheck Protection Program (part of CARES) allows small businesses to apply for loans of up to $10 million with interest rates of 4% or lower.
Additionally, if a company meets certain criteria, portions of the loan can be forgiven. Some ways to do this are to use the money for wages, mortgage interest, rent payments, and utilities. For a full list of details surrounding this program, companies can refer to the US Chamber of Commerce’s Coronavirus Emergency Loan Guide. This guide covers loan eligibility and what you must do to have a loan forgiven.
You can obtain Paycheck Protection Program loans from your local bank. Some banks are in the process of setting this up, contact yours for more information. They can alert you when they are ready to proceed.
The EIDLs Program
On top of this, the CARES Act also expands the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) program. This expansion includes a $10,000 emergency cash advance that you do not have to pay back under certain conditions. Some ways for this to occur are if a company uses the money for:
- Paid leave
- Maintaining payroll
- Increased operational costs
- Mortgage or lease payments.
Additionally, during a recent National Small Business Town Hall, Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the US Chamber of Commerce, said that these cash advances could be processed within three days of the initial application.
You can apply for EIDL online.
In addition to the above information, we’d like to share some additional resources you can use to keep your business stable during COVID-19:
- US Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Response Toolkit and customizable flyer for COVID-19-related customer communication
- State and local COVID-19 policy tracker
- COVID-19 live blog for business community updates
Together, We Can Overcome
By staying positive and working with each other to share resources, we can overcome this and any obstacle. We know that everyone is dealing with this pandemic, but know that you are not alone. Now is the time to band together, support each other, and we will see a day when this is all behind us.