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: 1/11/2021

Federal Relief

On December 27, 2020, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act was signed into law. The Act reopens the Paycheck Protection Program for first-time borrowers, allows the hardest hit small businesses and nonprofits to apply for a second loan, and makes the forgiveness rules and process more flexible. It reopens on January 11th. Self-Help Credit Union provides extensive guidance on the program here. Applicants cannot apply on their own and must apply through an institution; however, you can get started on the forms at the Small Business Administration website here. The PPP was originally launched in the CARES Act, the first relief act during the pandemic. Additional programs from 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 if disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. Existing loan balances will also be reduced as if the payments were made. For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: if the disaster loan was in "regular servicing" status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through March 31, 2021.

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. Learn more about the disaster assistance loans and apply directly through the SBA’s website. Advance funds are no longer available.

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

If your business or nonprofit is in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, California, or Illinois, read more about state-specific programs here and

Here is a toolkit from the Vermont Business for Social Responsibility including webinars, mutual aid resources by county, financial support, and employee wellness. This applies to businesses that operate in the state of Vermont.

Various Grants

The Amber Grant was founded in honor of Amber Wigdahl, who passed away at 19 years old, before realizing her business dreams. WomensNet gives $4,000 in grant funds every month to a woman-owned business. At the end of the year, one of the twelve winners is given an additional $25,000. 

For restaurants and restaurant workers, the Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation has compiled an extensive collection of resources for reopening, financial relief, and support for restaurant workers. 

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 offered a live webinar series on adaptation and strategies for investment during the Coronavirus pandemic. Explore topics like risk management, disaster capitalism, business strategies to maintain health, morale, and motivation, as well as responsible investing at this time.

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: GBN@greenamerica.org.

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