Different programs are available to assist small businesses during this COVID-19 disaster which has swept the country. Small businesses employ over 50% of our employed workers, and are straddled with great challenges in trying to navigate this crisis. Various sources are being developed to help small businesses, which may make the difference between survival and liquidation. These include loans, loans with forgiveness and outright grants with no repayment.
Small businesses are defined according to the number of employees employed. For the Small Business Administration, they are generally defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Other programs require fewer than 50 employees. Additional programs also exist for independent contractors and sole proprietorships. They all have varying eligibility requirements.
The following are resources to assist you as you look for financial support for your business during this extraordinary time.
Paycheck Protection Act
Among the provisions of the recent CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Act. This program creates a three hundred fifty billion dollar fund for small business to access to meet payroll, rent and utilities for the period from February 15, 2020 to May 1, 2020. Employers with fewer than 500 employees are potentially eligible. If you retain your employees or restore them to your payroll, you can ask for loan forgiveness for the payroll portions of the loan. Repayment of the balance begins six months after disbursement and is a two year loan at an interest rate of 1%. For more detailed information, go to https://www.SBA.gov/page/coronavirus-COVID-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for assistance.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance
This is a $10,000 advance which does not have to be repaid. It is given to eligible small businesses for operating expenses. It includes small businesses, independent contractors and sole proprietorships.
For more detailed information, go to https://www.SBA.gov/page/coronavirus-COVID-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for assistance.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
For current SBA borrowers, the SBA offers a $25,000 bridge loan to cover expenses while the Borrower waits for other SBA loans to be processed. Repayment is usually from the proceeds of the end loan. For more detailed information, go to https://www.SBA.gov/page/coronavirus-COVID-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for assistance.
SBA Direct Payments and Deferral Options
For current SBA Borrowers, the SBA will under some circumstances pay your loan for six months for certain 7(a), 504 and micro-loans. For current SBA Disaster loans in effect on March 1, 2020 the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020. For more detailed information, go to https://www.SBA.gov/page/coronavirus-COVID-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for assistance.
SBA 7(a) Loans
The SBA 7(a) loan program can assist with working capital. This is the regular 7(a) program. Borrowers can obtain substantial loans. Qualifying for the loans and processing follow standard SBA policies and procedures. For more detailed information, go to https://www.SBA.gov/page/coronavirus-COVID-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for assistance.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
For businesses in business for more than one year and with fewer than 50 and more than 2 employees, Facebook is offering small grants to assist with rent, employee expenses and other items that are impacted by COVID-19. Part of the grants may be in the form of advertising credit. For more detailed information, go to https://www.facebook.com/business/grants?content_id=KKf6RWdyo87L7QO for assistance.
Cook County Assistance
If you need additional assistance, Cook County is also offering guidance in navigating this and other local loan programs. Go to Https://www.cookcountyil/content/COVID-19-response-information-business-community for assistance with local and national programs.
MCKENNA IS HERE FOR YOU
Although working remotely to promote safety from the virus, the McKenna Firm remains open and ready to assist you with all your business, transactional, employment and litigation needs as well as your personal financial planning needs. For more information, please contact Sara E. Cook, Managing Partner and she will put you in touch with the attorney best suited to assist you. Scook@mckenna-law.com or 312-558-3900.