Are you overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there about COVID-19 relief loans? Not sure where to start when it comes to what you might be eligible for?
You’re far from alone. Information is being updated nearly hourly, and the various small business funding to make it through the coronavirus pandemic is a difficult concept to grasp.
I’ve spent the last few weeks with my nose to my computer sifting through hundreds of articles and resources, so I wanted to share the ones I thought were the most valuable in order to help you understand your options.
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Start with the SBA
Naturally, it makes sense to go to the source. The Small Business Administration is offering two loan programs to help businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19:
- The Economic Disaster Injury loan program will provide low-interest loans up to $ 2 million to businesses impacted by COVID-19. It includes an advance of up to $ 10,000, which does not have to be repaid.
- Then there is the Paycheck Protection Loans program, which will provide up to 2.5 times a business’ average monthly payroll for the previous 12 months (up to $ 10 million total). You may be eligible for forgiveness if you keep workers on the payroll for the eight weeks after you get one of these loans.
Check with local governments and nonprofit organizations
Each state (and most local governments) has COVID-19 resource pages, grants, and loans for local businesses. However, some of these programs are already closing out due to popular demand. It’s worth it to bookmark your city and state pages and check for the latest information, though.
Also, your local Small Business Development Center is a valuable asset, as many are helping with the loan application processes. And the SCORE Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub has great content for you, too.
Federal, state and city governments aren’t your only resource for financing to help you through. Many private companies are offering grants, including:
- Facebook’s Small Business Grants Program
- Small Business Relief Fund, sponsored by Yelp, Quickbooks and GoFundMe
- Google is offering $ 340 million in ad credit
- Amazon’s Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund
Some companies are helping in other ways. For example, Nav has a free CARES Act SBA Loan calculator to help you figure out how much you’re entitled to through SBA COVID-19 loans. Additionally, Nav has a Facebook group called the SBA COVID Loan Insight Hub, where experts answer questions from business owners like you about the SBA loans.
While you wait
Though all small business owners and entrepreneurs who are struggling wants the SBA funds to be available quickly, we’re already hearing about delays in the process, simply due to the sheer demand for these funds.
While you’re waiting to receive your SBA loan funds, you can get free training and educational content from:
- LinkedIn’s free content around working remotely
- Google’s free digital skills training
- Facebook’s Resilience Toolkit and remote work resources
This list serves as a reminder that you’re not alone. I know it can feel isolating to have your business disrupted and no customers coming in the door. But know that these resources are here to alleviate at least a little of the pain you’re feeling.
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