Right now is a great time to take advantage of some amazing programs for small businesses. We’ve compiled a list of great resources to help you out during normal times and during the time of COVID-19.
But before we jump into a list of resources, first, let’s take a look at how you know you should take out a small business loan. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need help paying employees?
- Do I need help making rent payments?
- Do I need help with other operating costs?
- Will I need monetary help opening back up after the Coronavirus pandemic?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you should consider taking out a loan.
The CARES Act and the Small Business Administration
The Coronavirus Aide, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was recently passed by Congress to assist business owners with their needs related to the impacts of COVID-19. Within this act, there are two key Small Business Administration (SBA) relief programs: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and grants.
Please note that the initial round of funding for PPP loans depleted fast. The second round of funding is expected to be made available soon, with the President expected to sign the bill the evening of 4/23/20. Want more info on how to leverage the newest round of funding? Here is a good overview.
For more information on either of the SBA disaster relief programs regarding COVID-19, contact your local SBA office. You can find your nearest office through the national SBA website.
During normal times, the SBA is a great resource for small businesses all over the country. They have programs to help you manage and grow your business as well as other funding programs such as loans, helping you find investors and grants.
The Chamber of Commerce
You can look to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but even more importantly, your local chapter. The national and local chambers of commerce offer insights on important issues, research, events and even programs to help you and your small business. On the national level, there are programs in technology, cyber security, hiring veterans, litigation, and even a program specifically for women, plus so much more. Your local chamber of commerce can offer insights to you on a more local level, often geared toward small business.
Regarding COVID-19, the national Chamber of Commerce has an extensive resource online, including information on workplace safety and how you can help your employees. Your local chamber of commerce may have information about unemployment resources as well as applying for grant funding or Coronavirus relief loans to help your business stay up and running and then recover from COVID-19.
Banks and Credit Unions
When you think of getting a loan to help your small business, often the bigger bank names come to mind. But don’t forget to also check with your local banks and credit unions to see if they are also offering COVID-19 relief and recovery loans. To see what the larger banks are offering for Coronavirus relief and recovery loans, check out this article from Forbes.
The federal government has extended the filing deadline for your individual and business federal taxes to July 15, 2020. This will help you to use the money you have on hand now toward operating costs and rent, rather than going to the IRS during this hard time. They also have a COVID-19 online resource page online. And don’t forget to check with your state government to see if the filing deadline has been extended for your state taxes.
Your State and Local Government
States and local governments are setting up a variety of COVID-19 disaster relief programs, many of which help small businesses. For example, the city of Denver, Colorado has set up the Denver Small Business Relief Fund in which donations go toward a micro-loan/grant program for Denver’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19. So go check out your state and local government’s websites for a handy list of resources you can tap into!
Small Business Relief Initiative
GoFundMe, the world’s largest social fundraising platform, has partnered with Yelp, the company that connects customers with great businesses, to create the Small Business Relief Initiative. This program provides micro-grants and fundraising tools to qualifying small businesses that have been impacted by the Coronavirus.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook is currently offering cash grants and ad credits for small businesses (availability by location) that have been impacted by the Coronavirus through their Small Business Grants Program. The program is designed to give you money to keep your workforce going, help with rent and operation costs as well as connect you with more customers.