Yes, we are in seemingly uncharted territory with COVID-19, but the good news is that the operative word here is “seemingly.” While the coronavirus outbreak is a disaster unlike any of us have seen, there have been other unique disasters and we have recovered from them all.
Because the unexpected can in fact be expected, companies and governments have become far better at being able to help in these times. As such, if you need financial help getting through this crisis, here are your resources:
The Small Business Administration
By far, your best bet right now is emergency relief from the Small Business Administration. In the first of what is expected to be several relief bills signed into law, the SBA announced a Coronavirus emergency relief fund of $7 billion.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: According to the SBA, “The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.” Click here to apply for a Disaster Loan at SBA.gov/disaster
Some states may be eligible for additional funds resulting from natural disasters. Click here to see what programs are available for your state, and to apply directly for available programs.
The 7(a) Loan Program: The SBA’s 7(a) loan is its primary program for assisting small businesses. It offers loans from $25k to $5 million and repayment of up to 25 years (if you utilize an SBA Preferred Lender). Note that Bank of America is a member of the SBA Preferred Lender Program and may provide additional benefits such as fee waivers, discounts for veterans, and 24-hour approvals.
Additional Funding Resources
CDFIs: also known as local loan centers – provide capital, mentoring and financial advice supporting small businesses. Through these innovative partnerships, Bank of America is making more loans available for people and communities, and helping address important economic and social issues. We created a searchable directory to connect small business owners to more capital. Click here to search the directory to find a CDFI that fits your needs.
Kiva: Kiva.org is a unique non-profit. Starting out as a lender making microloans to impoverished people around the globe, it has grown into a crowdfunding platform that has expanded into the U.S. Presently, Kiva is making 0% loans of up to $15,000 to qualified U.S. businesses.
Facebook: Facebook just announced that it is making $100 million available in small cash grants to 30,000 eligible businesses.
State and Local Resources
Check out these benefits that might be available to residents of specific states, counties, or cities.
- California: San Francisco is giving emergency grants of up to $10,000 to affected microbusinesses.
- Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a statewide loan program, the Florida Small Business Emergency Loan Program. He is earmarking $50 million to the loan program to assist businesses that have between two and 100 employees and which belong to industries most affected by coronavirus. The loans are for one year and do not come with interest payments or pre-payment penalties.
- Massachusetts: With its “Small Business Recovery Fund,” the state of Massachusetts will offer emergency loans of up to $75,000 to small businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
- New York state is waiving the 7-day waiting period for unemployment benefits for people laid off because of the outbreak, and New York City is making zero-interest loans and cash grants available to affected small businesses.
- North Carolina lifts restrictions on unemployment benefits to those losing their jobs due to coronavirus-related closings in the state.
- In Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee's office is preparing to roll out: favorable credit terms for businesses that encounter cash-flow problems; debt and late penalty forgiveness for workers; and deferred bills, waived fees, and no-interest loans
- Seattle is going to offer grants of up to $10K to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Check with your city and state to see what may be available in your area.