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 5, 2020.

In March 2019, Senator Duckworth voted for and Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that included several resources to help struggling small business owners weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is a new 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. Up to 8 weeks of payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs can be forgiven. Click here for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program or here for more information.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Loan Advances
SBA is also available to assist small businesses in the form of an Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advances. The CARES Act allowed for small businesses and private non-profits applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loans to 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
The CARES Act directed SBA to offer debt relief to small businesses that currently have an SBA 7(a), 504 or microloan for six months, by covering the principle, interest and fees of the loan. This relief is available to borrowers taking out new 7(a), 504 and microloan borrowers within six months of the President signing the bill into law. Paycheck Protection Program Loans are not eligible for SBA debt relief under this program. For more information, please click here or contact your loan officer.

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
Federal agencies may now modify terms and conditions of a contract 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. Small businesses are encouraged to work with their contracting officer and the agency’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).

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.