Support for Small Business Owners Struggling During the COVID 19 Pandemic

This page will be updated continuously to reflect the most recent information. This page was last updated on May 20, 2021.

Congress has passed several rounds of financial assistance and relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including most recently the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan includes additional relief to small businesses struggling as a result of the pandemic. Updated information on available resources is below.

Paycheck Protection Program
Update: The American Rescue Planprovided $7.25 billion nationwide for additional first- and second-round Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses and nonprofits. On May 4, 2021, it was announced that the program had run out of funds and that SBA would stop accepting new applications. The Paycheck Protection Program is a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program that helps qualifying small businesses and private non-profits retain their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing zero-fee loans of up to $10 million to cover payroll and other operating expenses. At least 8 and up to 24 weekworth of payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs can be forgiven. Click herefor more information on the Paycheck Protection Program or here for more information. If you are seeking updates on a Second Draw PPP Loan, please visit here for more information. More information on the simplified loan forgiveness process enacted in the December 2020 law can be found here

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Loan Advances
Update: The American Rescue Plan provides an additional $15 billion nationwide of targeted funding for the SBA's economic injury disaster loans (EIDL) emergency advance grants.
 SBA is also available to assist small businesses in the form of an Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advances. The CARES Act allowed small businesses and private non-profits to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and receive an advance of up to $10,000 prior to loan approval. The advance does not need to be paid back, even if the applicant is subsequently denied a loan. These loans may be used for payroll and other operating expenses. Click here for more information.

Debt Relief for New and Existing SBA Borrowers
Update: In the December COVID relief law, Congress extended the debt relief program at SBA. For small businesses that have an SBA loan (such as a 7(a), 504, or microloan) approved prior to September 27, 2020 (even if not fully disbursed by that date), the SBA can pay certain costs for borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six-months. SBA borrowers may also seek an extension of the duration of their loan and delay certain reporting requirements. For more information, please click here or contact your loan officer. Additional information can also be found here

SBA Live Venue Grants Program
Update: On April 8, 2021 the SBA will began accepting applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant program through an application portal, which you can accesshere.
 The American Rescue Plan provides an additional $1.25 billion nationwide for the SBA's Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grants, a new program created in the December COVID relief law.  The American Rescue Plan also allows eligible entities to access both SVO grants and PPP loans, which was previously prohibited by the COVID relief law. The December 2020 COVID relief law provides $15 billion for a new, nationwide SBA grant program for live venues impacted by the public health crisis. Eligible grant recipients include live venue operators, promoters or theatrical producers, independent movie theatre operators, museum operators, and talent representatives. Of the total amount, $2 billion is set aside for eligible entities that employ fewer than 50 full-time employees. Grants are awarded by the SBA, which will make application information available as soon as possible. For more information, please visit here and here.

SBA Restaurant Grant Program
Update: This program opened for applications on May 3, 2021. Interested applicants can find more information here. The American Rescue Plan provides $28.6 billion nationwide for a new SBA grant program specifically for restaurants and other food and drinking establishments impacted by the pandemic. The grants of up to $10 million per business ($5 million per physical location) can be used for a wide variety of expenses. Eligible entities include restaurants, food stands and food trucks, caterers, bars and lounges, brewpubs and tasting rooms, inns, taverns, and similar businesses, including those located in airport terminals. Eligible restaurants can find more information on the Restaurant Revitalization Program here. 

Employee Retention Tax Credit
Update: The American Rescue Plan extends the employee retention tax credit through December 31, 2021. Starting June 30, the tax credit becomes a refundable payroll tax credit against the hospital insurance tax. The bill also expands eligibility to start-ups that began after February 15, 2020.
The CARES Act created a refundable payroll tax credit for businesses, large and small, that retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. With passage of the December 2020 law, employers are eligible if they have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order, or they experience a 20 percent reduction in quarterly receipts as a result of the crisis. The credit is for 70% of up to $20,000 in wages paid to employees, for a maximum credit of $14,000. For employers with more than 500 employees, the qualified wage base includes wages paid to employees who are furloughed or otherwise unable to provide employee services. For employers with 500 or fewer employees, the qualified wage base includes all wages paid to employees. The Department of the Treasury has more information on the credit here and a FAQ page here. Additional information can be found here.  

Emergency Paid Leave for Employers
For more information on emergency paid leave for employers, click here.

Help for Farmers, Agriculture Businesses and their Employees
For more information on recently updates to help those in the agriculture industry, click here. 

SBA Resource Partner
SBA offers several resource partners for small businesses seeking technical assistance and advice on submitting their loan applications or creating an emergency preparedness plan. Click here for a link to search resource partners near you, like Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE Business Mentors.

Relief for Small Business Government Contractors
If you are a government contractor, there are a number of ways that Congress has provided relief and protection for your business. Agencies will be able to modify terms and conditions of a contract and to reimburse contractors at a billing rate of up to 40 hours per week of any paid leave, including sick leave. The contractors eligible are those whose employees or subcontractors cannot perform work on site and cannot telework due to federal facilities closing because of COVID-19. If you need additional assistance, please reach out to your local Small Business Development Center or SBA District Office

Additional Information
Small business owners seeking more information regarding the programs passed or changed in the CARES Act can click here for answers to frequently asked questions. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s website also has additional resources on the CARES Act and SBA programing available here. More information on tax credits and other business assistance available through SBA or the Treasury Department is available here.