Article originally appeared here:
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Small business owners have been top of mind for us at TPG over the last eight months. In addition to covering new offers on business credit cards, we started the TPG Small Biz community to help owners maximize their loyalty returns and network with fellow travel enthusiasts who understand the life of a small business owner.However, the ongoing spread of COVID-19 continues to have massive effects on the economy, and small business owners are already some of the hardest hit in just under two weeks.
READ MORE: TPG’s hub page for the coronavirus outbreak
Local, state and federal governments have begun rolling out programs to help owners in this time of crisis. Financiers have also gotten onboard, with some card issuers going as far as waiving interest and fees.
What follows is a list of resources designed to provide information and relief for small businesses. We will continually update this guide as we find new programs and see adjustments to existing ones. You can also email me if you are aware of additional tools or programs, and I’ll happily add them to the list.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) — The Treasury Department and IRS just announced a three-month delay for any tax payments owed up to $1 million. You’ll still need to file your returns by April 15, 2020 but will have until July 15 to pay. This will apply to individual tax returns but should also cover many pass-through entities and small businesses.
Small Business Administration (SBA) — The Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources page is being continually updated with all SBA tools and resources, including preparedness checklists and different avenues to access capital.
Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans — Designated areas are eligible for working capital loans up to $2 million. Interest rates are 3.75% for small business and 2.75% for non-profits, with long-term repayments up to a maximum of 30 years. You can apply online or call the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955.
Arkansas — The State Chamber of Commerce has created a list of resources and regularly-updated information for business owners in the state.
California — Employers facing potential closures or layoffs can request America’s Job Center of California Rapid Response Services for help in evaluating your business and employee situation. Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest.
New York City — The NYC Small Business Services is offering grants and zero-interest loans to businesses in specific categories of size and revenue impact. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decrease by 25% or more will be eligible for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses. The city is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.
Pennsylvania — The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has put together a COVID-19 Business Resource guide that appears to be updated almost daily. There’s a list of contacts and resources that are available to assist affected businesses.
San Francisco — The city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development has a comprehensive list of resources and updated information for business owners in the bay area. The city is rapidly instituting programs to help business owners. Follow @sfoewd on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest information.
Seattle — The SeattleMet has an excellent list of resources for small business owners and employees in the metro area. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for businesses that make 80 percent (or less) of the area’s media income and have five or fewer employees. The business and occupation tax deadline has been extended, and there are deferred payment plans for utilities. There are plenty of other programs currently available in and around what is (at this point) the hardest-hit city in the U.S.
Facebook — The social media company announced $100 million in grants for small businesses in a blog post on March 17. Details have yet to be announced for what businesses are eligible for the grants. There is a sign-up link in the blog post to stay updated when details are released.
Zoom Basic Plan — Host up to 100 participants in a meeting and hold unlimited one-on-one meetings with the video-conference provider’s complimentary plan. This does provide a 40-minute limit on group meetings, though you’re not limited to the number of meetings.
Microsoft Teams freemium — Enjoy unlimited chat, built-in group and one-on-one audio or video calling, 10 GB of team file storage and 2 GB of personal file storage per user. You also get real-time collaboration with the Office apps for web, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
American Express Financial Hardship — Amex is evaluating accounts on a case-by-case basis under its Financial Hardship Relief program to provide support for cardholders impacted by COVID-19. If approved, your interest rate may be lowered to rates as low as 0%, and you may receive a waiver on late and other account fees. Just note that if you accept the relief, your accounts may be frozen, and you won’t be able to use them until paid off. Your Membership Rewards balance will also be frozen, and the issuer may notify the credit bureaus that your account limits were lowered.
American Express Working Capital — Amex business cardholders can enroll with no credit check and get ongoing access to funds used for vendor payments between $500 and $150,000 with repayment terms of 30, 60 or 90 days. These charge a fixed fee between 0.6% and 5.25%.
Chase — You can call the number on the back of your card and ask to speak with an account representative about the possibility of relief from fees and interest. Multiple readers have reported success in having interest and late fees waived due to hardship related to COVID-19.
We expect the above list to grow rapidly as governments continue to enact programs to help business owners and additional commercial partners update their policies and programs. We at TPG wish all our small-business readers the best during today’s trying times (and those that are still to come). You can join TPG Small Biz on Facebook to discuss everything related to COVID-19 with almost 2,000 other small-business owners.