For business owners affected by the shutdown associated with the coronavirus, there are options available that provide financial relief. While individuals are currently receiving checks in the mail or deposited into their bank accounts, business owners can apply for coronavirus grants that offer money to help pay your employees along with the bills until the restrictions are lifted.
Signed in late March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) is designed to help small business owners get the money they need to pay employees and keep their businesses afloat for the duration of the restrictions. As part of the act, the following opportunities for financial relief are available.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): This is a lending program that provides up to 2.5 times the cost of payroll up to $10 million. The PPP is designed to be a streamlined process which means fewer qualifications and requirements. What makes the PPP most desirable is that if you keep the same number of employees on the payroll at levels before the pandemic struck, the loan will be forgiven.
However, as of right now the PPP is out of money. Congress has reallocated more funds to open up the PPP again sometime in 2020.
Main Street Lending Program: A new program offered by the Federal Reserve that is not run through the Small Business Administration. When your business takes out a loan from an approved bank or financial institution, the Federal Reserve will purchase 95% of the loan which leaves the remaining 5% for you to pay. The loans generally range from $1 million up to $25 million and you have four years to repay.
The interest is higher with these loans, ranging from 2.5% to 4%, but they can be combined with money obtained from the PPP.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): This program offers loans of up to $2 million. The maturity rate is 30 years and they are designed to cover operating expenses which includes payroll. They cannot be used for refinancing, paying off other loan payments, repairing damage to structures, or to pay off tax penalties.
However, like the PPP the EIDL is currently out of funding. Congress may approve of more funding for the program to allows business owners the chance to keep payroll and operations going during the shutdown.
Other ways to obtain money from the federal government under the CARES Act includes the following.
- Employee Retention Tax Credit: Up to 50% of employee wages up to $5,000 per employee
- Express Bridge Loans: Up to $25,000 for small business owners
- Payroll Tax Delay: Delays payment of payroll tax & 50% of SECA tax
You may want to talk to your financial advisor to find additional options that may be available for your business. These include options that might be geared towards particular industries or locations that may have additional financial relief packages that are available.
If you run a business that is currently shut down or heavily restricted, then you can apply for coronavirus grants and loans that may help. You can start with the small business administration and find what you need to help get you through until the restrictions for your community are removed.
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