As the situation continues to evolve, expect different states and individual cities to offer varying levels of relief for small businesses.
- State/Local Policy Activity Tracker
- Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loans
- State Chambers | Coronavirus Resources for SMBs
- SBA | Government Contracts
State/Local Policy Activity Tracker
MultiState has created an extensive chart to track state and locality policy surrounding the coronavirus and its management. The chart is updated daily and includes the following information.
- Link to Each State’s Health Department’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website
- Key Contacts
- State of Emergency Documents for Each State
- Executive Orders
- Session Changes/Capitol Closures
- Travel Restrictions / Info
- Official Sources (Twitter, etc.)
Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loans
The SBA administration is working directly with state governors to provide low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program “provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.”
The disaster relief loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, and accounts payable, among other operational costs. The interest rate for small businesses is 3.75% and 2.75% for non-profits, with repayment timelines of up to 30 years—exact terms are determined on a case-by-case basis.
You can apply for a disaster relief loan on the SBA website.
Coronavirus Resources from State Chambers
The Council of State Chambers has created a robust list of resources including:
- State Chamber Recent Announcements / Updates
- This section covers any breaking news including State Specific Announcements and Calls to Action.
- State Chambers Dedicated Websites
- At the time of this writing 41 state chambers have created a dedicated website with resources related to the coronavirus.
- U.S. Chamber Resources
- This is a list of valuable resources for the community.
- State Departments of Public Health Resources
- This is a list of resources for tracking the coronavirus’ impact on health care. This includes a chart on State and Local Covid-19 Response Information.
SBA | Government Contracts
This resource focuses on small businesses that have contracts with the government—including 8(a) business development, HUBZone, and women-owned small business firms—the SBA advises being proactive about operations. Specifically, if you have a government contract you cannot successfully perform due to circumstances surrounding the coronavirus, reach out to your contracting officer for an extension as soon as possible. Here is a link to the procurement center representative directory. Contact information is listed by state.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses across all sectors, maintains updated resources for small businesses, including reopening guides and strategies and information on tax changes and credits. They also host free bi-monthly “Workshop Wednesdays” that address issues of importance and relevance to small business owners.
State Governor Websites
For state-specific updates, resources, and assistance, the best practice is to check directly with your state governor’s office.
The National Governors Association provides informative gubernatorial resources, including current governors’ biographies and terms in office, spouses’ biographies, former governors’ biographies, governors’ staff contact information and a searchable state database.
Resources by State
Alabama | Sale Tax Relief
Effectively immediately, the AL Department of Revenue is extending relief to small retail businesses that are unable to timely pay their February, March, and April 2020 sales tax liabilities. Small businesses whose monthly retail sales during the previous calendar year averaged $62,500 or less may file their monthly sales tax returns for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods without paying the state sales tax reported as due. Late payment penalties will be waived for these taxpayers through June 1, 2020.
Alaska | Seward Community Foundation Mini-Grant Program
The Alaska Community Foundation offers mini-grants to tax-exempt organizations up to $1,000 to support community needs. Applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed monthly, and funds must be expended within one year of award.
Arizona | Department of Economic Security (DES) assistance programs
Arizona is one of the states hardest hit by COVID-19. DES offers a range of programs including ARIZONA@WORK, which offers free career readiness programs; cash, medical and nutritional assistance; a Hunger Relief Program, and childcare assistance so families can maintain employment or continue with education.
Arkansas | The State Chamber Website Lists Many Resources Including:
- U.S. SBA Approved Lender List of Arkansas banks that can provide 7(A) SBA loans to small businesses: https://www.arkansasstatechamber.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Arkansas-SBA-Lender-List.pdf
- Arkansas banks ready to help, encourage patience as their Payment Protection Plan launches.
- The Arkansas Department of Commerce has announced they will begin receiving applications for the Quick Action Loan Guaranty Program to address the immediate needs of businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Arkansas AEDC Redeploys $16 Million to Help Businesses Hurt by Coronavirus Outbreak.
- Quick Action Loan Summary
California | IBank Small Business Loan Guarantee Program
Available to any small business in the state of California, the Small Business Loan Guarantee program encourages investment in low- and moderate-income communities. Loans are available for businesses with up to 750 employees and can be used for start-up costs, construction, inventory, working capital, business expansion, agriculture, lines of credit and more.
California | EDD’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Page
The state has reviewed the federal CARES Actand are pleased to report that on Sunday, for the week ending April 11, the EDD will begin issuing the new $600 additional unemployment benefit payments funded by the federal government. Visit the Latest News for Workers for the details.
- In addition, the EDD has launched a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance page to keep you informed of eligibility requirements and the around-the-clock effort to build this new program from the CARES Act. This complex program to serve those who don’t usually qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, including businesses and the self-employed, has to be developed and could rival the size of the current UI program EDD administers for unemployed workers.
- The EDD will also keep you posted on the CARES Act provision establishing a new 13-week extension of benefits paid for by the federal government when someone exhausts their regular state UI claim between March 29, 2020 and the end of 2020. This too also requires an extensive effort to implement these new extended benefits.
California | Los Angeles City Small Business Emergency Microloan program
Nonprofits and for-profit businesses in Los Angeles that meet the plan’s criteria can receive no- or low-interest loans of $5,000 to $20,000. Businesses with up to 100 employees are eligible.
California | LADWP CARE grants for Los Angeles City residents
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is offering customer households with an income of under $52,400 a $500 pandemic aid grant. Grants can be used to pay utilities or for other expenses related to home-ownership. City residents who meet the criteria can apply via their own customer accounts beginning on November 15, 2020.
California | Riverside Cares Small Business Grant
The City of Riverside (CA) Small Business Assistance Program is offering one-time grants up to $10,000 to businesses that shut down or had a demonstrable loss in business operations. Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2020 and funding must be expended by December 30, 2020.
California | San Diego Small Business Relief Fund
The City of San Diego is offering funds between $2,500 and $10,500 to small businesses located within the city with 100 or fewer employees that have been impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply. Half of the available funds are reserved for businesses that are in areas that are in low to moderate income census tracts.
Cincinnati | Business Legacy Fund — Helps Employees buy Businesses from Retiring Owners
A fund has been established to help employees buy businesses from owners who will be retiring. The goal is to preserve the legacy of the business and secure retirement for owners while keeping industry in the Cincinnati area. Applications are due by November 15, 2020 and finalists will be notified within 30 days.
Colorado, Denver | Economic Development Fund Grant
A $4 million relief fund with priority to support local small businesses and others involved in the food industry. The Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) is creating cash grants of up to $7,500, with the highest priorities being those most affected by the coronavirus such as the food industry.
Connecticut | Business Reopening and Recovery Center
The State of Connecticut has a Business Reopening and Recovery Center that is your one-stop resource to help your business prepare, rebuild, and grow during the State’s emergency Coronavirus response.
Florida | The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program & Volunteer Florida
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program will make loans to individuals who, individually or collectively, own at least 51% of the equity of the business. A borrower will be required to sign an agreement that the proceeds of the loan will be used only for purposes of maintaining or restarting the business in the designated area. Use of proceeds to pay off debts already incurred for qualifying business maintenance or restart purposes may be authorized on a case-by-case basis.
Volunteer Florida exists to endorse volunteerism as a solution to critical issues in Florida. The agency hosts annual community service projects (i.e. Suits for Session) and manages Florida’s official volunteer opportunities platform, Volunteer Connect. While weathering the pandemic, organizations need significant support, and individuals want to help their communities in whatever ways they can. Virtual volunteering can be part of the solution, which involves volunteers working remotely rather than onsite. From their homes, these volunteers can make phone calls, edit newsletters, search online for information and more.
Several organizations throughout Florida are offering COVID-19 Recovery Grants for small businesses in different regions in the state. Various grants are available to small businesses, nonprofits, governmental agencies and individuals, and the site also includes a list of other small business resources.
Georgia, Atlanta | $7M Emergency Fund
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an Executive Order creating a $7 million emergency fund to provide assistance to those impacted by COVID-19. The resources are designated to fund emergency assistance to food programs for children and seniors, homeless preparedness, support to small businesses, assistance to hourly wage earners and other areas adversely impacted by COVID-19.
“Our communities are in need of help and we are listening,” said Mayor Bottoms. “This is one step to provide relief and we are going to continue to look for opportunities to help those in need as we go through this together.”
Illinois – Chicago | $100M Economic Relief Package
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced a new $100 million economic relief package to support Chicago’s small businesses that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 City is launching the new Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund to provide more than $100 million in low-interest loans to severely impacted small businesses over the coming months, targeting historically under-resourced communities with an emphasis on minimizing hardship for those businesses and their employees.
Illinois | Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) grants
Round 2 of Business Interruption Grants for businesses who experienced losses or interruption as a result of COVID-10 are now being accepted by DCEO. Businesses in “heavily” and “disproportionately” impacted industries, such as event centers, movie theaters, museums and others, are included to ensure wide distribution of funds.
Kansas | HOST Relief Program
The Kansas HOST Relief Program will provide up to $2 million in economic stimulus for businesses and workers affected by COVID-19. The program will provide both private sector dollars to Shawnee County small businesses through purchases and public sector dollars through emergency grants.
Maryland | Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
To allocate more than $175 million to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Up to $130 million in new funding, through the Maryland Department of Commerce, will help support new loan and grant programs as well as manufacturers, and $7 million in funding through the Maryland Department of Labor is designed to help small businesses retain their workforce.
Massachusetts | $10M Small Business Recovery Loan Fund
The $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 for companies with under 50 full0time and part-time employees, including nonprofits with ni payments due for 6 months.
Michigan | State Economic Development Corporation
The state economic development corporation offers several regional support resources for businesses.
- Oakland County: Saving Businesses, Saving Lives Grant
- Small Business Relief Loan Fund in Wayne County, in partnership with TCF Bank
- SBA microloan through Cornerstone Alliance in Berrien, Cass of Van Buren Counties
- United Way of Washtenaw County COVID-19 Community Relief Fund
- Dream Maker Small Business Emergency Relief Fund (Jackson County)
- Grand Traverse Region Community Fund
- Washtenaw Small Business Emergency Relief Fund
- Durand Economic Relief for Small Businesses
Mississippi | Back to Business Grant Program
These grants can be used for operating expenses and salaries for businesses within the state for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Businesses must be owned by one or more Mississippi residents.
New York | COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic
The state’s NYC Business Solutions Center experts are available to help you identify additional financing available, including financing from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or local philanthropic financing if you are a nonprofit.
Through its Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP), the City Bar Justice Center’s (CBJC) COVID-19 Small Business Remote Legal Clinic (the CV-19 Clinic) will offer pro bono legal consultations to small business owners to help them understand and act upon options available under the federal government’s COVID-19 stimulus package and other opportunities available through federal, state and local programs. Qualifying small businesses will be offered free 45-minute consultations with pro bono attorneys who will also answer broader legal questions on circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The mission of the initiative is to help entrepreneurs in New York City determine the best path forward for their small businesses in these particularly challenging times.
North Carolina | Volunteer Opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected North Carolinians in unprecedented ways, but there are ways we can help our communities, neighbors and local organizations. North Carolina is in need of medical volunteers, food assistance, Meals on Wheels volunteers, and remote volunteers.
Pennsylvania | Rapid Response Assistance Program
The PA Department of Labor & Industry has programs to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Shared-Work program can help keep employees attached to your workplace by allowing an employer to temporarily reduce work hours rather than resorting to layoffs. You can reach the Shared-Work team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, if you are a business that has had to close either temporarily, consider layoffs, or is financially at-risk for permanent closure the Rapid Response Assistance Program is available to assist you with a variety of services and resources to help you and your employees. You can reach the Rapid Response team via email at RA-LI-BWPO-Rapid@pa.gov.
Texas | Woman’s University StartHER Grant
This grant for woman-owned businesses fosters economic development by encouraging innovative projects. Multiple grants in the amount of $5,000 will be awarded for use in purchasing equipment or inventory, developing marketing campaigns, improving property, or other approved functions.
Utah | Small Business Bridge Loan
Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development is offering a bridge loan to Utah-based small businesses with 50 or fewer employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000 with 0% interest for up to a 60-month period.
Virginia | Rebuild! VA Grant Fund
This program has been expanded since its original launch in August to include more business types, all of which are listed on the site. Eligible businesses and nonprofits can receive up to three times their monthly expenses to a maximum of $10,000.
Virginia | Virginia Food Access Investment Fund (VFAIF)Grants
Virginia Governor Northam opened the application period for VFAIF grants through April 30, 2021. These grants, in amounts between $5,000 and $50,000, are for business development, construction, equipment, expansion or innovative food retail projects in underserved Virginia communities.
Wisconsin | COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES
The State of Wisconsin has several grants available, including the Wisconsin Farm Support Program to provide relief to farmers, the Ethnic Minority Emergency Grant for ethnic minority-owned businesses who have not received aid through other programs, and the We’re All In Small Business Grant that helps small businesses with costs associated with disruption to their business. The site identifies other resources and opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Wisconsin | Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC) loans
The HWCC offers four options for small and large loans, technical assistance and real estate. Eligibility is based on how the business generates income, the character of its owners, its operations location, business purpose and, typically, size.
Washington State | $5 million for SMBs from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds
The state has made available up to $5 million for SMBs from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds that will be made available as grants to help prevent closure due to COVID-19.
Washington State Drive-In Wi-Fi Hotspots Locator
Free Internet is available at hotspots statewide to serve residents who don’t have broadband in their homes and broadband wifi to search for jobs, telework, file unemployment, do homework, complete the census or access telehealth appointments. Be sure to use good social distancing and hygiene practices at these mobile sites.
Stay safe and remain strong in this turbulent time. And remember to check back on this article for updates as details of the above guidance and resources change.
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