COVID-19 Small Business Resources
RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19
(Updated December 9, 2020)
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Fact Sheet on Emergency Loans for Small Businesses
- Paycheck Protection Program Application (details below on requirements)
- Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Information
Access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
The “Georgia Suppliers of Critical Items to Fight COVID-19” list is now available for the general public to access on DEcD’s website: https://www.georgia.org/covid19suppliers.
It currently has 134 Georgia companies making PPEs and other essential supplies, including multiple manufacturers producing hand sanitizer, sanitizing spray, and sanitizing wipes, which will be increasingly important for safe reopening of Georgia’s small businesses.
To be added to this list, complete the webform at https://www.georgia.org/covid19response.
As of June 15, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all qualified small businesses experiencing negative economic impacts due to the COVID-19 outbreak. SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for small businesses or non-profits. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt, or fund other expenses.
Additionally, qualified businesses are able to apply for an EIDL Advance. If approved, this advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. These emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
You can find more information on EIDL and EIDL Advance and how to apply on the SBA’s website by clicking here.
For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov.
Paycheck Protection Program:
**The deadline to apply to the Paycheck Protection Program is Tuesday, June 30.*
The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) issues forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.
The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:
- The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and
- Employee and compensation levels are maintained.
Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.
When can I apply?
- Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
- Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
- Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.
Where can I apply?
You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders.
Who can apply?
All businesses – including nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees can apply. Businesses in certain industries can have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA employee-based size standards for those industries (click HERE for additional details).
For this program, the SBA’s affiliation standards are waived for small businesses (1) in the hotel and food services industries (click HERE for NAICS code 72 to confirm); or (2) that are franchises in the SBA’s Franchise Directory (click HERE to check); or (3) that receive financial assistance from small business investment companies licensed by the SBA. Additional guidance may be released as appropriate.
What do I need to apply?
You will need to complete the Paycheck Protection Program loan application and submit the application with the required documentation to an approved lender that is available to process your application by June 30, 2020. Click HERE for the application.
What other documents will I need to include in my application?
You will need to provide your lender with payroll documentation.
Do I need to first look for other funds before applying to this program?
No. We are waiving the usual SBA requirement that you try to obtain some or all of the loan funds from other sources (i.e., we are waiving the Credit Elsewhere requirement).
How long will this program last?
Although the program is open until June 30, 2020, we encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap and lenders need time to process your loan.
How many loans can I take out under this program?
What can I use these loans for?
You should use the proceeds from these loans on your:
- Payroll costs, including benefits;
- Interest on mortgage obligations, incurred before February 15, 2020;
- Rent, under lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020; and
- Utilities, for which service began before February 15, 2020.
What counts as payroll costs?
Payroll costs include:
- Salary, wages, commissions, or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee);
- Employee benefits including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payments required for the provisions of group health care benefits including insurance premiums; and payment of any retirement benefit;
- State and local taxes assessed on compensation; and
- For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
How large can my loan be?
Loans can be for up to two months of your average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25% of that amount. That amount is subject to a $10 million cap. If you are a seasonal or new business, you will use different applicable time periods for your calculation. Payroll costs will be capped at $100,000 annualized for each employee.
How much of my loan will be forgiven?
You will owe money when your loan is due if you use the loan amount for anything other than payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities payments over the 8 weeks after getting the loan. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
You will also owe money if you do not maintain your staff and payroll.
- Number of Staff: Your loan forgiveness will be reduced if you decrease your full-time employee headcount.
- Level of Payroll: Your loan forgiveness will also be reduced if you decrease salaries and wages by more than 25% for any employee that made less than $100,000 annualized in 2019.
- Re-Hiring: You have until June 30, 2020 to restore your full-time employment and salary levels for any changes made between February 15, 2020 and April 26, 2020.
How can I request loan forgiveness?
You can submit a request to the lender that is servicing the loan. The request will include documents that verify the number of full-time equivalent employees and pay rates, as well as the payments on eligible mortgage, lease, and utility obligations. You must certify that the documents are true and that you used the forgiveness amount to keep employees and make eligible mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments. The lender must make a decision on the forgiveness within 60 days.
What is my interest rate?
0.50% fixed rate.
When do I need to start paying interest on my loan?
All payments are deferred for 6 months; however, interest will continue to accrue over this period.
When is my loan due?
In 2 years.
Can I pay my loan earlier than 2 years?
Yes. There are no prepayment penalties or fees.
Do I need to pledge any collateral for these loans?
No. No collateral is required.
Do I need to personally guarantee this loan?
No. There is no personal guarantee requirement. ***However, if the proceeds are used for fraudulent purposes, the U.S. government will pursue criminal charges against you.***
What do I need to certify?
As part of your application, you need to certify in good faith that:
- Current economic uncertainty makes the loan necessary to support your ongoing operations.
- The funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or to make mortgage, lease, and utility payments.
- You have not and will not receive another loan under this program.
- You will provide to the lender documentation that verifies the number of full-time equivalent employees on payroll and the dollar amounts of payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities for the eight weeks after getting this loan.
- Loan forgiveness will be provided for the sum of documented payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
- All the information you provided in your application and in all supporting documents and forms is true and accurate. Knowingly making a false statement to get a loan under this program is punishable by law.
- You acknowledge that the lender will calculate the eligible loan amount using the tax documents you submitted. You affirm that the tax documents are identical to those you submitted to the IRS. And you also understand, acknowledge, and agree that the lender can share the tax information with the SBA’s authorized representatives, including authorized representatives of the SBA Office of Inspector General, for the purpose of compliance with SBA Loan Program Requirements and all SBA reviews.
PPP Loan Forgiveness Applications:
The SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised and more borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application. This new application is the result of the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, which President Trump signed into law on June 5, 2020.
In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application. The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers.
Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period. These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan.
Department of Labor Resources:
On April 1, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law.
Additional WHD resources include:
- Fact Sheet for Employees
- Fact Sheet for Employers
- Questions and Answers on the requirements
- Informational poster for federal workers
- Informational poster for all other employees
- Questions and Answers about posting requirements
- A Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy.
- WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19 and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.
Resources for Rural Businesses:
The CARES Act, which President Trump signed into law on March 27, provides $20.5M to the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee program to provide guarantees to loans made by private lenders to rural businesses, similar to SBA loans for rural communities.
You can find more information by clicking here.