Covid-19: A Guide for Small Businesses on Available Assistance

There’s been a flood of information since the federal government announced the rollout of a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at providing some relief for small-to-medium sized businesses and individuals.

To help you wade through the deluge of resources information, the Sparklight Business team has compiled a list of resources, from government assistance and grants for small to medium businesses to articles that may spark ideas to creatively market products and services during this period of social distancing. 

Government Assistance

The CARES Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package, includes more than $350 billion aimed to help small-to-medium sized businesses. Included in this is the Paycheck Protection Program, a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan to assist businesses retain their employees during the coronavirus outbreak. There program includes loan forgiveness to qualifying businesses. To find a lender in your area who’s among those providing assistance in the Payment Protect Program, the SBA has this tool. Apply for the SBA Payment Protection Program to provide relief to your small business.

The SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus offers designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses experiencing significant economic impacts due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The SBA Debt Relief provides reprieve to small businesses with its 7(a), 504, and microloans. 

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance allows up to $10,000 in loan advances to businesses in need of funds during this economic crisis.

The Telehealth Program was included in the CARES Act, allocating $200 million to help the healthcare industry expand telemedicine services, allowing for providers to communicate and serve patients remotely. The FCC released a public notice on April 8, detailing the application instructions.

Check your state’s governor’s website for relief that is available in your areas. The National Governors Association provides a list of the governor’s office addresses and websites

Grants and Other Funding Options

The Amazon $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund offers cash grants to small businesses with less than 50 employees or has an annual revenue fewer than $7 million in the Seattle area and certain neighborhoods.  

Facebook’s Small Business Grant Program is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help businesses facing challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. There are up to 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries where Facebook operates that are eligible. The grants are to help with employee payroll, rent, reaching more customers and other operational expenses.

GoFundMe has created the Small Business Relief Initiative and the Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses devastated by the coronavirus crisis. The ultimate fundraiser partnered with Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, GoDaddy, and Bill.com for the initiative. Each company donated to the Small Business Relief Fund, which has since raised more than $2.3 million since March 24. 

The Council of Fashion Designers of America’s A Common Thread is a grant program aimed at providing assistance to fashion designers impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The program offers help to small to medium-sized businesses such as retailers, factories and designers. Applications for the first round of grants will be accepted until April 19. Round 2 will take place from April 20 until May 3. 

Resources for Small Businesses

Inc. has curated its own list of ‘Free Tools, Resources, and Financial Help for Business Owners Hit by Covid-19.’ It lists government assistance as well as other funding options available. Additionally, the list includes ways to support small businesses going through economic challenges, and software and program companies that have extended their products’ free trial periods.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce updates their Coronavirus Small Business Guide daily. Through the webpage, the chamber provides resources to help small businesses steer through these stressful times.

America’s Small Business Development Centers Network is offering assistance through its COVID-19 Small Business Resources page. In addition to webinars, the network that’s funded in part by the U.S. Congress through the SBA provides information on government funding options.