Small Business Guide

I joined a bipartisan task force that fought to secure more than $377 billion to help small businesses in the CARES Act. Through loan coverage or forgiveness, grants to continue paying employees, and immediate relief to assist with operating costs, the bill takes steps to help small businesses stay afloat during this crisis.

To better understand the new programs that are now available to small business owners and entrepreneurs, download my comprehensive guide on small business provisions in the stimulus package. This guide provides information about the major Small Business Administration (SBA) programs and initiatives that will provide small businesses with direct loans and capital, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA. 

To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your local SBA District Office, which you can locate here

Federal Loans and Grants

The following questions can help point you towards resources to help your small business. Do you need:

  • A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now? You might want to look into an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or Emergency Economic Injury Grant. These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. Click here to learn more and to apply. 
  • Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees? Then the Paycheck Protection Program might be right for you. The stimulus includes nearly $350 billion in funding for a provision to create a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide small businesses and other entities with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. Under this program, up to 8 weeks of average payroll and other costs will be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels. 
  • To ease your fears about keeping up with payments on your current or potential SBA loan? The Small Business Debt Relief Program could help. Under this provision, the SBA will cover all payments for standard SBA 7(a), 504 (or microloans) for existing SBA borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out an SBA loan within six months after the president signs the bill.

Where to find more information and apply for financial assistance: 

  • You can learn if your business meets the SBA’s small business size standards here. 
  • Small businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply directly to the SBA for financial assistance here.
  • You can find an SBA-approved lender here
  • To keep up to date on when programs become available, please stay in contact with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office, which you can locate here.
  • To be connected with a business counselor who can help you manage through this challenging time, you can turn to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center (WBC), or SCORE mentorship chapter. To find a local resource partner, click here

 

Tax Relief

The new stimulus legislation also provides tax assistance for businesses, including:

  • The Employee Retention Credit for Employers will provide a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings. The credit is also provided to employers who have experienced a greater than 50 percent reduction in quarterly receipts, measured on a year-over-year basis.
    • Wages of employees who are furloughed or face reduced hours as a result of their employers’ closure or economic hardship are eligible for the credit.
    • For employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees, all employee wages are eligible, regardless of whether an employee is furloughed.
    • The credit is provided for wages and compensation, including health benefits, and is provided for the first $10,000 in wages and compensation paid by the employer to an eligible employee.
    • Wages do not include those taken into account for purposes of the payroll credits for required paid sick leave or required paid family leave, nor for wages taken into account for the employer credit for paid family and medical leave.
    • The Secretary of the Treasury is granted authority to advance payments to eligible employers and to waive applicable penalties for employers who do not deposit applicable payroll taxes in anticipation of receiving the credit.
    • The credit is not available to employers benefitting from the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program.
    • The credit is provided through December 31, 2020.
  • Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes would allow taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022. Deferral is not provided to employers that avail themselves of the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program.

For more information about filing taxes as a small business, visit the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center, available here.

Contracting

If you are a federal government contractor, there are a number of ways that Congress has provided relief and protection for your business. Agencies will be able to modify terms and conditions of a contract and to reimburse contractors at a billing rate of up to 40 hours per week of any paid leave, including sick leave. The contractors eligible are those whose employees or subcontractors cannot perform work on site and cannot telework due to federal facilities closing because of COVID-19.

If you need additional assistance, please reach out to your local Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, SCORE chapter, or SBA District Office. You should also work with your agency’s contracting officer, as well as the agency’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).

To stay up to date on the implementation of these programs, please visit the following websites:

  • SBA – here you will find information on all COVID-19 related programs that SBA is providing, including the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Grants, and Small Business Debt Relief.

  • Department of Treasury –  here you will find information on the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as other tax provisions meant to help employers, including non-profits.

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