COVID-19 Resources for Freelancers and Small Business Owners

COVID-19-SMB-Resources-Blog-Post-1 use

COVID-19 Resources for Freelancers and Small Business Owners

We’ve curated a helpful list of resources to help you and your small business through the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

COVID-19 Resources: Last updated March 27, 2020

If you’re a small business owner in North America, the past couple of weeks have certainly been anxiety-inducing.

According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 23% of U.S. small business owners are already feeling negative impacts from the COVID-19 outbreak. Another 43% of small business owners anticipate they will feel the impacts very soon, especially if the virus spreads.

Meanwhile, north of the border, of the small business owners surveyed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), 48% have seen a drop in sales.

No matter how your business is being affected during these uncertain times, we want you to know that FreshBooks is here for you. It’s why we’ve curated this list of helpful resources specifically for U.S. and Canadian small business owners affected by COVID-19.

Although we’ve created our own list of resources, there are also some amazing roundups already available from:

*Note: We will update our resources daily to ensure it’s reflecting the most accurate information and news available. Please feel free to add a comment if you have found a great resource we can share on this list.*

U.S.-Specific Information

GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outbreak update [Learn more]
  • Travel advisory update [Learn more]
  • U.S. economy support update, based on March 17 white house news conference  [Learn more]

FEDERAL RESERVE ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Interest rates cut down by 150 basis points to 0.25% [Learn more]
  • Short-term loans available to banks increase to keep money markets stable and ensure banks have more cash on hand [Learn more]
  • Creates the Commercial Paper Funding Facility to allow the Federal government to purchase short-term, unsecured loans to help cover everyday expenses incurred by businesses [Learn more]
  • Establishes the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) to support the increased credit needs of households and businesses [Learn more]

TAX DEADLINE

On March 17, 2020, the U.S. tax filing deadline was moved out by 90 days to July 15, 2020. Individual taxpayers owing taxes can defer payment of up to $1 million in taxes, while corporations can defer tax payments of up to $10 million, without penalty. [Learn more]

Funding, Grant, and Loan Sources

  • On a federal level, the Small Business Administration provides disaster loan assistance.
  • Calculate how much you’ll receive from the $1,200 (or more) coronavirus government checks [Learn more]
  • The City of New York offers zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 for businesses with less than 100 employees that have seen a 25% decrease in sales. In addition, 40% of payroll costs will be covered for businesses with less than 5 employees. [Learn more]
  • The city of San Francisco’s COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund provides up to $10,000 for employee salaries and rent for businesses with less than 5 employees. [Learn more]
  • The city of Sacramento provides zero-interest loans of up to $25,000 for local restaurants, retailers and daycare providers. [Learn more]
  • The state of Massachusetts provides up to $75,000 in emergency capital to businesses with 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits. [Learn more]
  • The state of Florida provides eligible small businesses with loans of up to $50,000, which will be interest-free for the first year. [Learn more]

Note: When it comes to small business relief, eligibility for some of these loans and funds might be tied to/assessed with 2019 tax returns. Therefore, if you are in a position to do so, it’s still better to file your taxes earlier rather than later, despite the extended tax filing deadline.

TEMPORARY BUSINESS CLOSURES

As of March 18, several states and cities have announced “stay-at-home” orders and/or non-essential business restrictions or closures. This affects most restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues. [Learn more]

Canada-Specific Information

GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Canadian government outbreak update [Learn more]
  • Travel advisory update [Learn more]
  • Canadian economy support update [Learn more]
  • Resources for Canadian businesses [Learn more]
  • EI one-week waiting period has been waived for individuals infected with COVID-19 [Learn more]
  • Wage subsidy equal to 10% of employee wage to help prevent layoffs – in progress [Learn more]

BANK ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • BDC support for entrepreneurs [Learn more]
  • BDC business continuity plan checklist and templates [Learn more]
  • Bank of Canada rate cut by 50 basis points to 0.75% [Learn more]
  • Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) lowered the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement to increase the lending capacity of Canada’s large banks by an extra $300 billion and in turn, support the supply of credit to the Canadian economy [Learn more]

TAX DEADLINE

On March 18, 2020, the Canadian tax filing deadline moved to June 1 for individuals. Furthermore, Canadian businesses are allowed to defer income tax payments interest-free and penalty-free until August 31. [Learn More]

FUNDING, GRANT AND LOAN SOURCES

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) – in progress [Learn more]
  • Bankers’ Acceptance Purchase Facility (BAPF) to launch as a key source of financing for small- and medium-size corporate borrowers – in progress [Learn more]
  • $10 billion business credit line with be available through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) [Learn more]
  • BDC small business loans of up to $100,000 [Learn more]
  • BDC working capital loan [Learn more]
  • BDC purchase order financing [Learn more]

TEMPORARY BUSINESS CLOSURES

Every Canadian province has proclaimed its own version of the Emergencies Act. This includes temporary closure of bars and restaurants (except for delivery or take-out) and banning public gatherings of more than 50 people. [Learn more]

Other Help & Resources

Many businesses are rallying behind their customers and communities. Here’s a list of businesses currently offering relief:

  • FreshBooks: CEO Mike McDerment is hosting a live webinar on Thursday, March 26 at 11 am EST on how to keep revenue coming in amidst COVID-19.
  • Dropbox: Free Dropbox Business and HelloSign Enterprise subscriptions for a three-month period to nonprofits and NGOs focused on fighting COVID-19 [Learn more]
  • Facebook: $100 million in cash grants and credits available to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries [Learn more]
  • The Logic: Independent journalism. In-depth reporting on the innovation economy in Canada. Free access, no defined end date. [Learn more]
  • Canada’s Top 6 Banks: Allow mortgage payment deferrals of up to 6 months for customers facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 [Learn more]
  • Moonlighting Inc: Their platform and services are currently free of charge so that freelancers and part-time workers can find and manage gigs [Learn more]

General Information

WORKING FROM HOME

  • Getting your workplace ready [Learn more]
  • Keeping your employees safe [Learn more]
  • Collaboration tools for remote workers [Learn more]
  • Remote work toolkit now available for free from Zoho (until July 31, 2020) [Learn more]
  • Taking Control of Working from Home free eBook [Learn more]
  • InVision’s resources for design teams working remotely [Learn more]
  • Entrepreneur’s roundup of 65 free collaboration tools [Learn more]

Mental Health and Support

  • World Health Organization’s mental health considerations during COVID-19 outbreak [Learn more]
  • Mental health at work during COVID-19 [Learn more]
  • Headspace Plus plan is available for free to US healthcare professionals [Learn more]
  • Free guided meditation apps from Calm [Learn more]
  • How to explain COVID-19 to kids [Learn more]
  • Coronavirus support Slack group [Learn more]

WHERE TO FIND FREELANCE JOBS

  • 86 places to find freelance jobs [Learn more]
  • 36 places to find freelance photography jobs [Learn more]
  • 51 places to find freelance writing jobs [Learn more]
  • Contently’s take on how to keep writing and making money [Learn more]

The Power of Community

If you’re seeking connection with small business owners going through the same experiences, please join our Facebook community page and share your experience. We have brought together business leaders and customers to share their experiences during this time.

While we understand many of you are experiencing difficulties, it’s important to look to your own local community and support those who really need it, by:

  • Checking in on your elderly neighbors and high-risk friends or family members
  • Supporting local small businesses by ordering online [Learn more]
  • Supporting front-line healthcare workers and hospitals [Learn more]
  • Donating to charities that need your support at this time, such as:

We are all in this together. Even as we practice social distancing, we can still be a strong community that supports and lifts each other up during these difficult times.

 

Go to our website:   www.ncmalliance.com

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