Brianna McGurran Forbes Staff
Small businesses have been hit hard by mandatory closures and safety measures required to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a March 18 letter to President Trump, the National Restaurant Association estimated that the restaurant industry would lose $225 billion over the next three months alone, leading to the loss of five to seven million jobs. Many other industries are suffering, too.
But businesses have a growing number of resources and relief programs to turn to, including emergency funding from the government, protection from eviction and business loan deferment. The FDIC is encouraging banks to work with customers to provide coronavirus-related assistance, related to both personal and business finances.
Below is a list of federal, state and lender-specific support to pursue, which will be updated to include programs as they’re released and refined. Return to this page regularly.
Federal Coronavirus Small Business Assistance
If you need cash to offset lost revenue and help keep your business afloat, the programs below can help. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) coronavirus resource page provides a list of relief programs, and it offers guidance to small business owners during this crisis.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
As part of its disaster assistance program, the SBA is providing low-interest working capital loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and nonprofits affected by the coronavirus.
These loans carry an interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. Loan repayment terms vary by applicant, up to a maximum of 30 years.
- As of March 23, businesses in every state plus American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can apply.
- You can use the loan to cover accounts payable, debts, payroll and other bills the coronavirus has affected your ability to pay.
How to Apply
- Apply online and select “Economic Injury” as the reason you’re seeking assistance.
- You’ll need to supply required supporting documentation that could include the business’s most recent tax returns, a personal financial statement and a schedule of liabilities that lists all your current debts.
- Call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 for help with your application.
Federal Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extension
The federal tax return filing deadline is now July 15, 2020. For tax payments of up to $10 million, the IRS has also extended the deadline for both individuals and businesses to July 15, 2020. Estimated tax payments for 2020 originally due on April 15 will now be due on July 15.
Check with yourstate tax agency to find out if your business has more time to file or more time to pay state and local taxes this year as a result of the coronavirus. Several states have already aligned their tax filing and payment deadlines with the new federal deadline. States also may waive or reduce penalties on late tax payments.
State and Local Coronavirus Small Business Assistance
States and municipalities are adding programs by the day. Check your governor’s website for up-to-date information about relief available in your area. The National Governors Association offers a list of governors’ websites.
San Francisco COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund
Businesses with between one and five employees can apply for up to $10,000 in emergency funding to help cover rent and employee salaries.
Who’s eligible: You must show that you lost 25% or more of your revenue, that you have less than $2.5 million in gross receipts and that you’re properly licensed to operate in San Francisco.
How to apply: The quickest way is to fill out an online application form and email it to email@example.com. You’ll need to supply proof of payroll costs and lost revenue.
The City of San Francisco has also initiated a moratorium on evictions for small- and medium-sized businesses whose revenue has been affected by the coronavirus. It’s effective for 30 days starting March 17, and the mayor has the capability to extend it for another 30 days.
City of Los Angeles Small Business Emergency Microloan Program
Businesses and microenterprises in Los Angeles that are responsible for providing low-income jobs can get an emergency microloan of $5,000 to $20,000. Loans with repayment terms of six months to one year carry an interest rate of 0% and five-year loans have interest rates of 3% to 5%.
Who’s eligible: To get a loan, you must meet requirements including having “reasonable and responsible” individual credit history, committing to use the loan for working capital only and ensuring your business is located within the City of Los Angeles. If you own 20% or more of the business, you must guarantee the loan.
How to apply: Apply online and provide supporting documentation including business and personal tax returns, three months of bank statements and business and personal financial statements.
Los Angeles has also instituted a moratorium on evictions of businesses impacted by the coronavirus through March 31.
Denver Small Business Emergency Relief
This program offers cash grants of up to $7,500 to businesses in industries particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus.
Who’s eligible: Small businesses that have lost the ability to operate, including restaurants, retail shops, barbershops and nail salons.
How to apply: Grants will be distributed monthly, and the first applications will be due March 31. Details are sparse, but fill out an interest form to get more information from the city.
Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Loans of up to $50,000 — $100,000 in certain special cases — are available to coronavirus-affected small businesses. The loans are meant to serve as short-term funding that can be repaid once businesses can access alternative funding. Loans are interest-free for one year; after that, the interest rate rises to 12%.
Who’s eligible: For-profit small businesses with two to 50 employees. Any previous bridge loans a business has taken out must be paid off.
How to apply: Submit an application by May 8, 2020, along with supporting documents including business tax returns, individual tax returns and employer tax documentation.
Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund
Starting March 31, small businesses in Chicago can apply for low-interest loans of up to $50,000 with repayment terms of up to five years. The amount of the loan you’ll qualify for depends on your revenues before business was affected by the coronavirus.
Who’s eligible: You must demonstrate a 25% drop in revenue, have less than $3 million in revenue and fewer than 50 employees, and have no current tax liens or legal judgments.
How to apply: Apply online and include your most recent tax return, bank statements going back to October 2019 and photo ID.
Michigan Small Business Relief Program
The State of Michigan will provide both grants and loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus starting on or around April 1. Grants will be available in amounts of up to $10,000 to help cover working capital. Loans will be available in amounts from $50,000 to $200,000 at interest rates of 0.25%.
Who’s eligible: Companies with 50 employees or fewer can qualify for grants, while loans are targeted at companies with 100 employees or fewer that can’t get credit elsewhere. In both cases, businesses must show income loss.
How to apply: Applications aren’t yet available, but check Michigan Economic Development Corporation for updates.
New York City Employee Retention Grant Program
Small businesses with one to four employees can apply for a grant of up to $27,000 that covers 40% of payroll costs over the course of two months. You must show that you lost 25% of your revenue due to the coronavirus. Refer to New York City’s coronavirus resource page for small businesses for more information.
Who’s eligible: Businesses must be located in one of New York City’s five boroughs, have been operating for six months or more and have no current tax liens or legal judgments.
How to apply: Apply online through the New York City Department of Small Business Services website. You’ll submit financial documentation showing your revenue decrease and how it compares to this time last year, plus payroll records and bank account information.
New York City Small Business Continuity Fund
If your business has fewer than 100 employees, you can get up to $75,000 in interest-free loans from the city to cover revenue losses.
Who’s eligible: Businesses within the five boroughs that have experienced at least a 25% reduction in revenue can qualify. You must have no tax liens or legal judgments against you, and you must prove a loss in revenue and that you are able to repay the loan.
How to apply: Applications aren’t yet open, but fill me out an interest form on the New York City Department of Small Business Services website to get more information when it’s available. In the meantime, gather documents that show your decrease in revenue including 2019 tax returns, bank statements and point-of-sales reports.
Beaverton Emergency Business Assistance Program
Businesses in Beaverton that were ordered to close as a result of government coronavirus guidelines can apply for $2,500 per month in rent or mortgage reimbursement while the city is in a declared state of emergency.
Who’s eligible: Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that have been ordered to change their services due to the coronavirus. They must have a commercial storefront in Beaverton and a rental lease or mortgage on the property.
How to apply: Submit an application online; funds are awarded on a first-come, first served basis.
Hillsboro Small Business Emergency Relief Program
From March 23 to April 20, businesses in Hillsboro can apply to receive a $5,000 grant to offset losses associated with the coronavirus. Priority will be given to restaurants, bars, education facilities and businesses that serve large groups of people.
Who’s eligible: Businesses with 10 or fewer employees will be prioritized.
How to apply: Submit a W-9, federal tax ID number and Hillsboro business license number along with an online application.
Jade District-Old Town COVID-19 Small Business Response Fund
In Portland, small businesses in the Jade District and Old Town Chinatown neighborhoods can apply for emergency funding to support their businesses by March 23. Up to $190,000 total is available from local government sources. Priority will be given to Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned businesses.
Lender and Corporate Small Business Assistance Programs
Many banks have offered deferment and forbearance to business loan customers having trouble making payments. Check Forbes’ list of banks offering relief. You can also search for your bank on the American Bankers Association’s ongoing A-Z list of coronavirus response programs.
Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund
Businesses in Bellevue, Wash. and the South Lake Union and Regrade neighborhoods of Seattle — particularly those that rely on foot traffic — can apply online for a grant from Amazon’s $5 million fund. Amazon will determine on a case-by-case basis the amount of the grant your business qualifies for. Only businesses with 50 employees or less, or that take in less than $7 million in annual revenue, qualify.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook has committed to offering up to 30,000 small businesses $100 million in cash grants and Facebook advertising credits. The grants will be provided to businesses in more than 30 countries. Information is limited, but sign up to get more details from the company when they’re available.