Coronavirus Resources for Small Businesses
The Coronavirus is a once-in-a-generation crisis, and it’s already wreaking havoc on our small businesses - from neighborhood restaurants, to optometry offices - like the small business my family owns. The news is scary, and a lot of folks have questions. Here are some resources to help you as we all figure out what comes next. If you have any questions or need help - please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office: Harder.House.Gov or 202-225-4540.
I HEARD CONGRESS PASSED DISASTER LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESS, BUT HOW DO I APPLY?
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by the outbreak. Click here for more info or to apply: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million.
▪ The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
▪ The interest rate is 3.75 [ and should not exceed 4 percent] percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere, and businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible to apply for assistance.
▪ The maximum term is 30 years.
IF SMALL BUSINESSES NEED HELP WITH THEIR APPLICATIONS, ARE THERE ANY OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO HELP THEM FILL?
Yes. The Small Business Association has coordinated with Resource Partners, including Small Business Development Centers, who can assist with the application process. You can reach the Modesto SBDC here: https://valleysierrasbdc.com/
HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION ON THE LOAN PROCESS?
For more information, small businesses should contact the SBA Disaster Assistance customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955 or emailing email@example.com. You can also visit SBA.gov/disaster.
I HEARD CONGRESS PASSED A BILL TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES COVER PAID LEAVE?
The President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will provide emergency paid sick and leave along with paid family leave for individuals impacted by coronavirus/COVID-19. Eligible employers will be able to claim a 100 percent refundable tax credit against payroll taxes for employers and sole proprietors. The paid leave provisions of this bill will go into effect April 1, 2020 and will remain in effect through December 31, 2020.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BUSINESS QUALIFIES?
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act small businesses with less than 500 full-time and part-time employees must provide paid sick leave or expanded family in medical leave. You have fewer than 500 employees if, at the time your employee’s leave is to be taken, you employ fewer than 500 full-time and part-time employees within the United States. Further guidance can be found here.
HOW DO I COUNT HOURS FOR MY PART-TIME EMPLOYEES?
A part-time employee is entitled to leave for their average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, you calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work. If the normal hours scheduled are unknown, or if the part-time employee’s schedule varies, you may use a six-month average to calculate the average daily hours.
WILL I HAVE TO INCLUDE OVERTIME HOURS?
Yes. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act requires you to pay an employee for hours the employee would have been normally scheduled to work even if that is more than 40 hours in a week. However, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act requires that paid sick leave be paid only up to 80 hours over a two-week period.
IS MY BUSINESS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL OR NON-ESSENTIAL?
Please see the list of Essential Infrastructure Workers (PDF). If your business is on the list of exempt sectors, it may still operate.
MY BUSINESS OFFERS A PRODUCT OR SERVICE THAT CAN HELP DURING THIS CRISIS - WHO SHOULD I CONTACT?
Please send California’s GO-Biz an email that describes your business, the product or service, and any other important details. They can be reached here.
Provisions for Small Business in the CARES Act
WHAT PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP ME KEEP EMPLOYEES ON PAYROLL?
Paycheck Protection Program Loans will provide cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven. Small businesses and other eligible entities will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program will be retroactive to February 15, 2020, in order to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.
The Paycheck Protection Program Loans can be used for employee compensation, including: salaries, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips or equivalents; vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; payment required for providing group health care benefits; payment of retirement benefits; and payroll taxes. You can get matched with an SBA lender here to apply for this program.
MY BUSINESS CURRENTLY HAS NON-DISASTER SBA LOANS, CAN I GET RELIEF ON THOSE PAYMENTS?
The Small Business Debt Relief program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, the SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the CARES Act taking effect.
WHAT ARE ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND EMERGENCY ECONOMIC INJURY GRANTS?
These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by Coronavirus within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
Eligible applicants who apply for an EIDL may request up to $10,000 be immediately disbursed. The amount need not be repaid, regardless of the loan decision. You can find eligibility requirements and apply HERE.
Has the state tax deadline been moved?
Yes, Partnerships and LLCs who are taxed as partnerships whose tax returns are due on March 15 now have a 90-day extension to file and pay by June 15.
Individual filers whose tax returns are due on April 15 now have a 60-day extension to file and pay by June 15.
Quarterly estimated tax payments due on April 15 now have a 60-day extension to pay by June 15.
More information can be found at California’s Franchise Tax Board website.
Further information on paid sick leave requirements for small businesses can be found HERE.
Small business owners can find updates from Opportunity Stanislaus and other local organizations here: https://www.cabizrelief.org/
I know this is a trying time. If there’s anything you need please reach out to my office at Harder.House.Gov or 202-225-4540.