Surviving the Coronavirus: Resources for Small Business
From disaster assistance loans to fee forgiveness from banks and credit card companies, there are many resources offering relief to struggling small businesses during COVID-19. — Getty Images/PeopleImages
One way or another, coronavirus has likely impacted your business — for better or worse. We’ve been busy creating content to help you through this challenging time. It is organized here by category to help you easily navigate through it all.
If you’re just getting started with reading our coverage, we suggest you start here first. These are our general articles on small business resources available during the coronavirus outbreak:
If you’re trying to get a better understanding of the federal government’s coronavirus stimulus legislation, you can read about that here:
If you’re looking for financial assistance and considering applying for a small business loan, we’ve got you covered. Here is all of our coronavirus small business loan content:
Now is also a challenging time for managing employees, keeping morale and productivity up and ensuring your company culture stays intact. Here is all of our content about managing your team through coronavirus:
Staying connected with customers is always challenging, but it’s more important now than ever. If you’re looking for creative ways to do that, check out our customer-focused marketing content:
Trying to run your business from home? With kids running around in circles? We get it. Here is some of our best advice on how to adjust to your new headquarters:
Looking for some inspiration? Here are some examples of how small businesses are adapting in the face of coronavirus:
How will coronavirus impact businesses in the long run? Here we ask experts to provide analysis on the ongoing outbreak and how businesses are adapting and will continue to adapt:
Coronavirus Small Business Resource Guide
CO— continues to update this guide as we have new information.
COVID-19 has brought the world’s economy to a grinding halt. The economic impact and recovery will last for months, and potentially even years. As congress and other government authorities move to save different areas of the economy, it’s important to understand what resources you have available to you as a small business owner.
Everyone’s first priority during this pandemic should be to stay safe and healthy — but maintaining your business’s health can be equally important. Take advantage of the following resources so you can stay informed and lessen the impact of the crisis.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Assistance
This section was updated with new information on 3/30/20:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a number of resources for small business.
- This toolkit to help businesses and citizens alike understand how to navigate the coronavirus. There are guidelines on how small business owners can ensure they are keeping their customers and employees safe. The toolkit also includes a business preparedness checklist. This checklist can help you figure out what to prioritize and to create a plan of communication for your employees.
- This customizable flyer allows small businesses to communicate their coronavirus efforts to their customers. You can find the flyer here.
- This Chamber guide walks you through the SBA loan applications process. You can see it here: U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Loan Guide.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has created a full list of programs providing financial assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. You can find that here.
- You can also connect with your local Chamber of Commerce to see what local programs are being implemented and connect with other business owners in your area. You can find your local Chamber of Commerce here.
Assistance from the SBA
This section was updated with new information on 3/31/20:
The SBA is offering a few key programs to help small businesses survive the coronavirus outbreak. They are:
- SBA Disaster Assistance Loans
- SBA-Backed Paycheck Protection Program Loans (which will be from your bank)
- Emergency $10,000 grants
You can read our full coverage of SBA assistance here.
The SBA has created a comprehensive Coronavirus page with all of its resources in one place. You can find that page here.
The SBA announced it would offer disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These low-interest loans are available to businesses that have sustained “substantial economic injury” due to the spread of the coronavirus. You can apply for one of those loans here.
The SBA is also backing what are called Payroll Protection Loans. These loans are convertible to grants and do not have to be paid back provided you use the money for a list of acceptable expenses, primarily payroll. These loans are available from private lenders. The treasury department has just release more information on these loans. You can learn more here and see the application here. You will still need to apply at your local bank. You can also learn more about these loans in this Emergency Small Business Loan Guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
[For a full breakdown of SBA loans and federal response read: Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus Federal Small Business Stimulus Aid Programs]
In addition to disaster relief loans, the SBA has a comprehensive list of resources available to small businesses during the crisis. This includes COVID-19 fact sheets; strategies for employees to adhere to; common problems small businesses may face, like supply chain shortfalls; and local assistance information.
Export-Import Bank of the United States
Additionally, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has announced relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions that include waivers, deadline extensions, streamlined processing and flexibility for its customers for an initial period of 30 days, with the possibility of more, for the following programs:
- Working Capital Guarantee Program.
- Multi-Buyer and Single-Buyer Short-Term Insurance Program.
- Medium-Term Single-Buyer Insurance Policies Issued to Exporters.
For everything you need to know about applying for a small business loan, see the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Loan Guide.
SCORE is offering advice and assistance from its business mentors including help navigating financial challenges and assistance in applying for SBA disaster assistance loans. SCORE has centralized all of its assistance options here.
Small Business Development Centers are local offices sponsored by the SBA to help small businesses. While the SBA has provided its own resources, SBDCs are also offering extensive help to small businesses throughout America.
This includes OSHA resources and information, like preparing workplaces for COVID-19, preventing worker exposure to COVID-19 and additional OSHA resources. You can also find links to the National Cyber Security Alliance for information on how to stay safe online during the pandemic and avoid typical scams associated with the disaster.
Recap: The latest round of PPP assistance
Watch the recap from our latest Small Business Update that took place March 12, where we discussed the upcoming American Rescue Plan Act and what it means for small businesses and restaurants.
Banks and credit card companies
Capital One, Citi and Wells Fargo have all issued statements indicating that they are willing to work with customers that experience financial difficulties. Citi issued a statement that for 30 days, small business customers are eligible to have their monthly service fees waived.
Citi is also waiving the fees on early CD withdrawals. Wells Fargo donated $6.25 million in aid to help the public relief effort. The bank also encouraged customers that are experiencing financial hardship to contact customer service for assistance.
Bank of America has said is offering payment deferral on credit cards and has alerted small business customers that it is preparing its payroll protection loan program.
JP Morgan Chase pledged $50 million to help businesses, nonprofits and other organizations during the crisis. Of the $50 million, $8 million will be specifically reserved for “small businesses vulnerable to significant economic hardships in the U.S., China and Europe.”
Kabbage, the online small business lending platform, is providing small businesses with a list of resources that includes federal, state and municipal assistance information. In addition to information, the company is running a gift certificate program where small business owners can use Kabbage to sell gift certificates online to help support their business.
[Read more: What to Do If Employees Can’t Work Remotely]
The federal response to the coronavirus outbreak includes a number of changes in business tax regulations. These include:
- Businesses are eligible for an employee retention tax credit if 1.) your business operations were fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19 shut-down order; or 2.) gross receipts declined by more than 50% compared to the same quarter in the prior year. Eligible businesses can get a refundable 50% tax credit on wages up to $10,000 per employee. The credit can be obtained on wages paid or incurred from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
- Businesses and self-employed individuals can delay their payroll tax payments. These payments, the employer share of Social Security tax owed for 2020, can instead be deferred and paid over the next two years. Fifty percent must be paid by the end of 2021 and 50% must be paid by the end of 2022. (Note: The ability to defer these taxes does not apply to a business that has a Paycheck Protection loan forgiven.)
Read more about these tax changes: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: What Small Businesses Need to Know
Grants and other assistance from companies and organizations
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has created a full list of programs and assistance available to small businesses. You can see that list here.
- Facebook has launched a grant program for small businesses. You can read about it here. In addition to a grant program, Facebook also has a list of resources which you can access here.
- Amazon has created a Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund for businesses affected by COVID-19 in the Seattle area. The company pledged $5 million for the fund.
- Intuit QuickBooks is providing a long list of small businesses plans and resources to tap into during the crisis, including financial preparedness information, safe travel tips and workplace prevention tips.
- Yelp is providing $25 million in funding relief to small businesses, particularly restaurants and nightlife businesses, affected by COVID-19. This includes free access to page upgrades. You can find more information about how to qualify for aid here.
- The National Federation of Independent Businesses, a small business special interest group, is offering legal resources and webinars related to the virus.
- If you run a restaurant or restaurant group, the Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation has information related to grants, financial programs and other resources for restaurants affected by COVID-19. This includes immigrant-specific concerns, USBG relief grants and a COVID-19 relief fund sponsored by the organization.
- USA Today has created a centralized location for small businesses to list their companies and encourage customers to purchase gift card for use later. You can visit the site here.
For more resources from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
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Published March 13, 2020