Small Business Guide to COVID-19 Loans, Grants, and Other Resources

Submitted by Mary Meade on April 6, 2020
Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

Looking for financial relief during the time of COVID-19? Check this list of resources for opportunities available to your small business.

Small businesses across the country are suffering from the economic disruption of COVID-19. Luckily, financial institutions have unveiled a variety of loans and other funding opportunities to alleviate financial stress during this time.

Disclaimer: Green America’s Green Business Network has collected this information from existing sources to provide a consolidated resource. This information is not intended to be legal or financial advice. Please consult an appropriate professional if you require further assistance. 

Last updated: 6/24/2020

Federal Relief

The $12 trillion stimulus package from the federal government is called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It is designed to keep small businesses and families afloat during the global pandemic. Mainly, the CARES Act pauses the payment of payroll taxes, offers lending and grants for small businesses, and establishes a bridge loan facility to enable businesses to continue paying employees and running essential operations. Several programs within the CARES Act are outlined below.

Section 7(a) loan has existed under the Small Business Administration for a long time, but under the CARES Act, borrowers will have the first six months of principal, interest, and any fees are forgiven. Existing loan balances will also be reduced as if the payments were made. Section 7(a) offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000. This can provide much-needed capital for recovery and expansion. Learn more here

The CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses with payroll and other business operating expenses. It is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. All loan payments will be deferred for six months and the Small Business Administration will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. Small businesses, non-profits, veteran organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees are eligible. Learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program here

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan was expanded under the CARES Act. These low-interest loans are for businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. At this time, the SBA is only accepting new applications from US agriculture businesses. Previously submitted applications from businesses not the in the agriculture sector are being reviewed on a first come, first serve basis. Learn more about the disaster assistance loans here and apply directly through the SBA’s website.

Small businesses can apply for the CARES Act programs outlined above as long as the funds are not used for the same purpose.

State and City Government Relief

Some state and city governments have released assistance programs for small businesses. As of 5/5, the states offering programs are Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Wisconsin; the cities offering relief programs are Atlanta, Birmingham, AL, Chicago, Denver, the District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacremento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Syracuse. Click here to be directed to more resources regarding city and state relief programs and here for an extensive list of resources for South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, California, and Illinois.

Various Grants

The Cooperative Development Foundation is offering grants via the Disaster Recovery Fund for cooperatives and cooperative support organizations. It funds aid for basic necessities and covering uninsured expenses needed to return the business to viability. Learn more about the grant program on their website.

Google is offering $340 million worth of Google ad credits to small and medium-sized businesses around the world. Funds are available to businesses that have had active Google Ads accounts over the past year. The credits are automatically available, so you don't need to apply and can be spent throughout 2020. Read more here.

Additional Resources

The US Chamber of Commerce released a Coronavirus Small Business Survival Guide that is constantly undergoing updates as the situation evolves. This helpful guide contains everything from how to apply for a federal relief loan to managing a remote workforce.

Jump Scale is offering a live webinar series on adaptation and strategies for investment during the Coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about their webinar series and join their next one here.

Frustrated with the lack of resources and support for small and mid-sized businesses or worried about the economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic? Us, too. Sign on to American Sustainable Business Council's demands to Congress to save our economy and protect American businesses during this crisis

Stay in the know on the latest information on COVID-19 by following updates from the World Health Organization. 

This article will be updated as more resources are made available. If there’s a small business resource for getting through the COVID-19 pandemic that you highly recommend please let us know:

More from the Blog