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Financial Relief Programs for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19
March 25, 2020

Financial Relief Programs for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Since the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States, small businesses nationwide have suffered significant economic hardships. To stop the spread of the virus, many small businesses in non-essential industries have been forced to shut their doors.

As a result of mandatory shutdowns and other preventative measures, it’s possible that your business might require financial assistance in the coming months. We understand that this is a trying time for business owners, but we want you to know that assistance is available to you.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of financial support options that businesses affected by COVID-19 can pursue. We’ll continue to update this list as more grants and loans are released by government agencies and other organizations.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides financial assistance to businesses that have fallen on hard times. In the past, they’ve provided loans to businesses after natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, or earthquakes. Now, they’re working to help businesses that have suffered financially due to COVID-19.

Due to the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, businesses in designated states or regions may qualify for an economic injury disaster loan of up to $2 million. The financing can be used to overcome revenue losses caused by the ongoing coronavirus.

To see if your business location is in a declared economic disaster area, visit the SBA website directly. As the coronavirus situation continues to unfold, additional areas may qualify for financing.

If your business is in a declared zone, you can apply directly through the SBA’s website. In addition to your online application, you’ll need to provide a financial statement, list of current debts, and most recent tax returns.

Financing Options for Businesses by State

1. California

  • San Francisco COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund

San Francisco-based businesses that have been disrupted by COVID-19 may qualify for this financial relief fund. To qualify, your business must have 1-5 employees, have less than $250,000 in receipts, and prove a loss of more than $2,500,000 in revenue.

  • City of Los Angeles Small Business Emergency Microloan Program

If your business is in LA and provides low-income jobs, you can pursue this emergency microloan option. Additional prerequisites include having “reasonable and responsible” personal credit and using the financing as working capital. Currently, it ranges from $5,000 to $20,000.

2. Colorado

  • Denver Small Business Emergency Relief

If your business is Denver-based, you may qualify for a cash grant of up to $7,500. Recipients must be in industries that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus, including barbershops, salons, retail stores, and restaurants.

3. Florida

  • Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

This loan program for Florida businesses affected by COVID-19 ranges from $50,000 to $100,000. In addition to being Florida-based, you’ll need to use this loan as short-term funding, be for-profit, and have 2 to 50 employees. Also, note that you’ll need to have paid off previous bridge loans in order to qualify.

4. Illinois

  • Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund

Chicago-based businesses can apply for this fund of up to $50,000, depending on your business revenues prior to the coronavirus crisis.

To qualify, you must prove that your business has experienced a 25 percent revenue decrease and has less than $3 million in total revenue. You must also have fewer than 50 employees, no tax liens, and no existing legal judgements.

5. Iowa

  • Iowa Small Business Relief Grant

If your business has accumulated debt since March 17th, you may qualify for this $5,000 to $25,000 grant. Applicants must prove that they’ve suffered financially due to the virus and have between 2-25 employees.

6. Michigan

  • Michigan Small Business Relief Program

Michigan is offering grants and loans to businesses that are experiencing economic setbacks due to COVID-19. Applicants can pursue $10,000 grants or loans ranging from $50,000 – $200,000. To apply for the grant, companies must have 50 or less employees, while loan recipients must have 100 or less.

7. New York

  • New York City Employee Retention Grant Program

This $27,000 grant program is meant to cover payroll costs for small NYC businesses that have a staff of one to four employees and have been operational for at least six months. In addition, applicants can’t have any existing tax liens or legal judgements.

  • New York City Small Business Continuity Fund

NYC-based businesses that have seen revenue drops of 25 percent or more may qualify for this $75,000 loan. This financing option is interest-free, and business owners can qualify if they have fewer than 100 employees, no tax liens or open legal judgement, and the ability to prove financial losses. You’ll also need to submit your business’s bank statements, point-of-sale reports, and most recent tax returns.

The continuity fund hasn’t started reviewing applications yet. However, you can complete this interest form to receive updates on the roll out of this program.

8. Oregon

  • Beaverton Emergency Business Assistance Program

If your business is based in Beaverton and was forced to close due to the coronavirus, you may qualify for this assistance program, which provides $2,500 per month in rent and mortgage reimbursement. This will continue until Beaverton is no longer in a state of emergency.

To qualify, your business must have fewer than 50 employees and have a retail location in Beaverton. Please note that this program will be awarded to businesses on a first come, first serve basis.

  • Hillsboro Small Business Emergency Relief Program

If your business is Hillsboro-based and is financially suffering due to the coronavirus, you can apply for this $5,000 grant. Applicants can apply from March 23rd to April 20th.

To qualify, your business must submit a W-9, your Federal Tax ID Number, and Hillsboro License Number. Although not mandatory, the relief program is giving priority to small businesses with 10 or fewer employees that are in the following industries; bars, education, restaurants, and businesses that serve large groups.

9. Washington

  • Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund

Amazon is working to rebuild businesses that rely on foot traffic in Bellevue and the South Lake Union/Regrade neighborhoods of Seattle. If your business is in these areas, you may qualify for Amazon’s Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund.

In addition to being located in these parts of Washington State, qualifying businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and generate less than $7 million annually. To apply for this grant, you can apply online.

Conclusion: Financial Help is Out There

During these unprecedented times, it can be stressful to not know what the future holds for your business.  We hope that with these resources, you’ll be able to find the financial assistance your business needs.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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