COVID-19 Small Business Relief Programs – what businesses need to know

COVID-19 Small Business Relief Programs

Small businesses have been hit hard by mandatory closures and safety measures required to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). However, businesses have a growing number of resources and relief programs to turn to, including many new provisions included the stimulus package enacted by Congress. The FDIC is also encouraging banks to work with customers to provide coronavirus-related assistance, related to both personal and business finances.

Following is a summary of two Florida Programs and two Federal Programs.

1. Florida Short Time Compensation Program for Employers

The Short Time Compensation program helps employers retain their workforce in times of temporary slowdown by encouraging work sharing as an alternative to layoff. The program permits prorated reemployment assistance benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of a Short Time Compensation plan to avoid total layoff of some employees.

2. Florida Emergency Bridge Loan

Below is a link to the press release from the other day regarding the bridge loan program released by the Florida SBA. This may be of use to you, family/friends and/or your clients. Seems like the eligibility requirements are pretty generic. Up to $50K, in some cases $100K.

3. SBA $2m Disaster Loans

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

4. Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Included in the recently passed CARES Act are additional business loan options, changes to tax policies and changes to the FFCRA, all designed to ease the burden of COVID-19. With a massive $2 trillion allocated for businesses, individuals, federal agencies, and state and local governments, the CARES Act has been designed to distribute capital quickly and broadly. There are a number of provisions that impact small businesses. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

Paycheck Protection Program – The Paycheck Protection Program, one of the largest sections of the CARES Act, is the most important provision in the new stimulus bill for most small businesses. This new program sets aside $350 billion in government-backed loans, and it is modeled after the existing SBA 7(a) loan program many businesses already know.

Changes to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) – Another important aspect of the CARES Act for small businesses is that it expands eligibility for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs). In early March, the SBA’s disaster loan program was extended to all small businesses affected by COVID-19, but the CARES Act opens this program up further and makes it easier to apply.

Business Tax changes – The CARES Act makes select changes to taxes and tax policies in order to ease the burden on businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Changes to paid sick leave and paid FMLA leave from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – The CARES Act makes small changes to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in regard to paid sick leave, paid FMLA and more.

If you need assistance with preparing the information, introductions to SBA lenders, or submitting the information, please contact us. We are here to help.

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