Small businesses are suffering record financial losses due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. There have been unprecedented government-mandated closures of all non-essential businesses, and limited customer access to those that remain open. Many have had to lay off employees or close their doors indefinitely hoping to reopen at a later date.
As devastating as this crisis is for many business owners one constant theme to the COVID-19 pandemic has been an outpouring of assistance and resources from all directions. Our lawmakers and policymakers have been stepping in to help the support citizens and businesses alike in surviving this crisis financially. This support may be through loans, stipends, stimulus packages, and even non-repayable grants.
If you own a small business, rest assured. There are financial programs and COVID-19 relief options in place to help you keep your business thriving.
Many organizations are offering small business loans with accelerated application processes and lower interest than is typically offered. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer loans of up to $10,000,000 as part of the Paycheck Protection Program. The goal of the Paycheck Protection Program is to keep workers employed so they can support their families.
This loan is actually forgivable in its entirety. This is as long as the funds are only used for approved activities, mortgage interest, utilities, payroll, and rent. This loan allows businesses to cover their total operating and payroll expenses during the 8 week period following the date the loan is obtained. However, employers must retain all of their employees at their original salaries during the forgiveness period to qualify.
Many state and local governments are also offering loan programs. In New York City, for example, a small-business loan program has been developed to offers zero-interest loans up to $75,000. Check the available resources for your town and state through their department of commerce or economic development website.
New grant opportunities are announced everyday to help small businesses succeed. They vary in award amount (from about $2,000 to several million). These amounts help to businesses in countless industries from restaurants to research projects in locations across the country. While there are too many opportunities to list here individually, there is a new curated small business funding database called Startup Fund Hub. They are offering free access to their keyword searchable Covid-19 grant database.
Startup Fund Hub is owned by E.B. Howard Consulting, a certified M/WBE in NYS and NYC that provides Non-dilutive Funding Development and Evaluation Services to help clients find funding, apply for funding, and measure the outcomes of their funding. The database is part of a new service the company is launching this summer. However, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and associated financial hardships affecting business owners nationwide, E. B. Howard felt it was only right to share this time-sensitive information with the public free of charge.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching and indeed very troubling. However, it is comforting to know that there are plenty of resources available to help small businesses succeed in these turbulent times.
If you or someone you know owns a business, take advantage of the great funding opportunities that are available to help you weather the COVID-19 outbreak. Keep your finances intact with our loan and grant recommendations for small businesses.