By DCG Communications
A rundown of the financial programs and guidance available through the SBA for small businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic
Our nation’s small businesses are emerging from an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is dedicated to helping small businesses get back on their feet. Below are resources and services to support you during this challenging time.
The loss of income from COVID-19 has presented significant obstacles to small business owners and their employees. SBA programs that have helped offset the economic impact from COVID-19 include:
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Accepting new applications through August 8, the PPP is an SBA-backed forgivable loan that has helped small businesses and non-profits continue to pay their employees during the COVID-19 outbreak. The PPP Flexibility Act, passed last month, has extended the covered period for loan forgiveness to 24 weeks after the loan disbursement and lowered the amount of loan proceeds that must be used for payroll costs from 75% to 60%. Forgiveness is mostly based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. The loan forgiveness form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): EIDL helps small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster (and that aren’t already covered by a PPP loan).
- SBA Express Bridge Loans: These loans allow small businesses who already have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to quickly access up to $25,000.
- SBA Debt Relief: As part of SBA’s relief efforts, the agency will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
SBA also works with lending partners to provide SBA-guaranteed export loans. These loans – such as Export Express loans – can help to export businesses respond to opportunities and challenges associated with trade, including COVID-19.
Educational Resources and Local Assistance
In addition to funding options, there are a variety of educational resources available for business owners seeking guidance on how to stay afloat and safely reopen. Guidance for federal contractors affected by COVID-19 is available here. Small business owners can refer to CDC guidelines on how to protect your workforce during the outbreak and the CDC’s decision tree for businesses preparing to reopen.
For step-by-step help navigating SBA relief and loan programs – and for advice on how to manage other aspects of your business during this time – connect with a local SBA resource partner. The SBA resource partner network (including SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers) is offering business consulting, mentoring, and training services remotely via video chat and phone.
Resource partners are also providing webinars, blogs, and other helpful content for small businesses, including:
- Small Business Resilience Hub (SCORE)
- Checklist: Reopening Your Small Business After the Coronavirus Shutdown (SCORE)
- COVID-19 Small Business Resources (SBDCs)
- Federal Resources for US Small Businesses (SBDCs and WBCs)
This is an extraordinary time for all Americans, especially small business owners. SBA is committed to supporting you every step of the way as our country emerges from this pandemic. Ongoing updates regarding COVID-19 resources for small businesses can be found at sba.gov/coronavirus.