The COVID-19 Pandemic has transformed our global economy in 3 weeks. Many of us are now seeking relief to keep our businesses afloat, pay our bills and expenses and keep a roof over our heads. There are so many emergency relief measures in place to protect folks that are vulnerable right now. Here is a list of resources that you can explore. There are many funds available right now and regardless of where you fall on the business spectrum, it’s worth working through this guide to find what you qualify for and learn how you can get some support to keep your business afloat.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – Disaster Assistance – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. If your business is not eligible for SBA’s disaster loan, see here for their alternative loan resources. Use their search tool to find assistance in your state. Learn more about the roll out for small businesses here.
Small Business Administration – Automatic Deferment of previous SBA loans – U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. By making this change, deferments through December 31, 2020, will be automatic. Now, borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment.
USDA, HHS, FMAP, Labor – Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Worker Protections — The package requires employers to provide two weeks paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family leave for employees affected by the virus, the cost of which could then be claimed by the employer as a tax credit. Learn more.
Secretary of Health and Human Services – Healthcare Waivers – The Secretary of Health and Human Services will be able to immediately waive provisions of applicable laws and regulations to give doctors, all hospitals, and healthcare providers maximum flexibility to respond to the virus and care for patients. Learn more.
Department of Education – Federal Student Loan Relief – If you’re having trouble making payments, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. If you have a federal Perkins Loan, contact your school. You can easily avoid the consequences of delinquency or default by staying in touch with your servicer or school.
Your servicer or school can provide information about deferment or forbearance options that allow you to temporarily stop making payments on your loans. You may also be able to change to a different repayment plan that would give you a lower monthly payment. Contact your loan servicer, or your school if you have a federal Perkins Loan. Learn more here.
Alice – Business for All offers up to $200,000 business grants and mentorships from influential leaders like Gwyneth Paltrow and Rebecca Minkoff. Read more here.
Amazon – Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund Amazon created a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to local small businesses that need assistance during this difficult time. The fund is intended for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue, physical presence within a few blocks of their Regrade and South Lake Union office buildings, that are open to the general public, and that are reliant on foot-traffic for customers. Apply here.
Facebook – Business Resource Grant – Facebook has announced a small business grant that is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits. More information about eligibility is to be announced, but it will be available to 30,000 businesses in over 30 countries where Facebook currently operates. Read more here.
Fundera – Small business loans marketplace that helps you shop for financing options. Through a network of partners, Fundera provides lending options, including SBA loans, lines of credit, and term loans. Learn more here.
IFundWomen and Visa are granting 3 early stage female founders a $10,000 cash prize for their small businesses. Although not specifically created as a response to COVID-19, they are accepting applications now through April 7, 2020. Read more here.
JPMorgan Chase is committing $8 million to assist small businesses in U.S., China, and Europe. Read more here.
Kabbage Payments – Through Kabbage Payments, you can sign up to offer online gift certificates, making it easy to connect small businesses to consumers who want to show their support for you. Create a free account in minutes and get a unique URL that you can share on your website or social media. When a customer purchases a gift certificate, funds from the sale will be deposited into your bank account the next business day.
Kerby Jean-Reymond of Pyer Moss- has set aside $50,000 for minority and women-owned small creative businesses who are currently in distress. More information here.
MainVest crowdfunding platform has launched a $2,000, zero-interest, 120-day loan for restaurants or other brick and mortars affected by COVID-19. Read more here.
Opportunity Fund- which specializes in money lending to small businesses owned by women, immigrants, and people of color, is soon launching a coronavirus relief fund. It will provide grants and low-interest rate loans to business owners. Read about it here and stay tuned for more information.
The Soze Agency – Taskforce, and Invisible Hand have created a fund in support of artists & activists who are impacted by COVID-19. They will provide $250 to selected applicants on an on-going basis and, at the moment, they have $30,500 for the first round of grants. Apply here.
Wefunder- Small business resources. Emergency funding for your business and $50K mentorship for startups tackling the coronavirus crisis. Read more here.
Zapier – Zapier Small Business Assistance Program – Zapier is creating a $1 million assistance program for their most impacted small business customers. Zapier’s support team will set up qualified customers with a free 3-month credit for a Starter plan. Apply here.
Tax Information & Resources
The IRS has extended the deadline to file federal tax returns to July 15, 2020.
The deadline for tax payments up to $10 million for businesses has also been extended to July 15, 2020.
The below states have also reduced or waived penalties on late tax payments:
- California State Tax deadline is extended to July 15
- Connecticut provides extension for certain business taxes by at least 30 days.
- Maryland has extended business-related tax filing deadlines until June 1st
- North Carolina is under certain conditions waving some penalties.
- South Carolina is offering an extension for state tax returns and payments.
- Washington is allowing business to request a filing extension or a late payment penalty waiver request.
Banks & Credit Card Resources
Many banks are offering deferment and forbearance to business loan customers. See below for a list of banks that are working with customers on a ‘case-by-case’ basis to overcome financial difficulties:
American Express: waiving interest on late fees on accounts that are requesting COVID-19 relief. More information here.
Bank of America: Consumer and Small Business deposit accounts, clients can request refunds including overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees, and monthly maintenance fees.Consumer and Small Business credit cards: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees. Small business loans: clients can request to defer payments, refunds on late fees. Auto loans: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan. Mortgages and home equity: clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan. In all of these instances, there will be no negative credit bureau reporting for up-to-date clients.They have also paused foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions. Read more here.
Capital One: Have pledged that they are working with customers that experience financial difficulties. Read more here.
Chase Bank: call the number on the back of your credit or debit card for direct assistance with your payments or account.
Citi: For 30 days, small business customers are eligible to have their monthly service fees waived. They’re also waiving the fees on early CD withdrawals. Read more here.
HoneyComb Credit: Low-fee crowdsourced loans. To help deliver the working capital that businesses need, Honeycomb is offering 45-day payment free periods, 6-month interest-only periods and reducing our posting, success, and investor fees. We’re also streamlining our due diligence to connect businesses with local investors as quickly as possible.
Truist Banks: Payment relief assistance, extra cash-back, small business lending. Truist is offering relief measures, allowing greater access to capital for borrowers and empowering our teammates to support clients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief measures include: Providing payment relief assistance for clients with mortgage loans, consumer loans, personal credit cards, business credit cards and business loans.
Temporarily waiving ATM surcharge fees to help consumers and businesses access cash with greater confidence. Providing 5% cash back when BB&T and SunTrust consumer credit card holders use their credit card for qualifying purchases at grocery stores and pharmacies through April 15, 2020
The will also continue to actively support the cash flow needs of retail and business clients who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through a number of lending programs. The branch bankers, relationship managers and contact center teammates are committed to working with you to reduce financial stress during this challenging and uncertain time. Read more here.
U.S. Bank: U.S. Bank also announced a $30 million commitment to support COVID-19 relief efforts in communities around the country. This community commitment will support immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts and includes $4 million in the next two weeks to national organizations focused on small business recovery and crisis relief and an additional $26 million to local nonprofits across the country by year’s end. Read more here.
Wells Fargo: Has donated $6.25 million to help the public relief effort and are encouraging customers that are experiencing financial hardships to contact customer service.
Business Support Resources
Many companies are waiving their fees or providing discounts for business development support.
Cisco – Webex free video conference calls for remote workers. Work remotely or from home. Stay connected. Webex is offering users unlimited usage on the most secure collaboration platform globally to help them get through this difficult time. Learn more.
FCC and Comcast, Charter, Verizon – Internet Access Pledge. The FCC has issued a pledge for internet and telecommunications companies to “keep Americans connected” during the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The pledge means that for the next 60 days, a participating internet service provider should not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and Open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them. Learn more here.
Google – Free Access to G Suite and G Suite for Education. Google has rolled out free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally until July 1, 2020 Learn more here.
GoToMeeting – Free Emergency Remote Work Kits. GoToMeetings are helping businesses transition to working remotely so your team stays productive and connected. Learn more.
LinkedIn – Free Learning Courses relevant to business. LinkedIn is opening up 16 of its learning courses for free. Courses that provide tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way. Learn more here.
Loom – Educational Support. Loomis a tool used for training, announcements and communicating via screen share. Loom cut their prices, removed limits, and made their tools free for educational purposes. Learn more.
Microsoft – Free Office 365 Tools. For businesses, municipalities, K-12 and other entities, Microsoft is providing six months of Office 365 tools for free to enable remote collaboration, file sharing and video conferencing. They’re also offering free assistance to set up these tools. Learn more.
Spectrum + Charter Communications – Broadband + Wifi. Spectrum is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 1 (844) 488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Learn more.
Zoom – Business Resources. Zoom is providing additional resources in light of the Coronavirus. They offer free lessons on how to use their tools and video conferencing to collaborate effectively with team members. Learn more.