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

Submitted by Mary Meade on March 10, 2021
Photo by Clay Banks 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: 5/11/2021

Federal Relief

The American Rescue Plan is a sweeping stimulus package that includes funding for vaccine distribution, testing and tracing, rental assistance, and support for industries hard hit by the pandemic. The legislation includes $350 billion for state and local government as well as direct payment of $1,400 for individuals earning up to $75,000. 

Tax Credit for Small Businesses that Provide PTO for Vaccinations is part of the American Rescue Plan. The tax credit is available to organizations with fewer than 500 employees and it also provides full pay for employees who take time to recover from the vaccination. The credit covers up to $511 per day for each vaccinated employee. 

The Paycheck Protection Program gets $7.25 billion for small businesses, including nonprofits. Larger nonprofits and organizations that engage in advocacy and limited lobbying will be eligible this round. As of 5/5/21, the PPP loan program has run out of funds and is no longer accepting applications. Some community lending institutions are still accepting applications from minority-owned and women-owned businesses and businesses in underserved communities to continue to disseminate funding earmarked for that purpose. When the program is updated with more funds, we will update this resource.

The bill allocates $15 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Grants. Small businesses in low income communities will be eligible for up to $10,000 each as they have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Unlike earlier rollouts, small businesses hurting from the pandemic—defined as less than 300 employees with a loss of more than 30 percent from March 2, 2020 through December 31, 2020—that didn’t get the full amount they applied for initially will be able to apply first. See loan details here. 

The second window is for micro-businesses that have less than 10 employees and have suffered losses of 50 percent. This group will be eligible for $5,000 in grant funding from the Small Business Administration.

The Employee Retention Credit will be extended until December 31, 2021. Eligible employers include companies that enacted a full or partial suspension of operations due to government mandates or can demonstrate at least a 20 percent reduction in quarterly gross receipts compared to quarters in 2019. Under the new provision, employers can qualify for up to $28,000 per employee. If your company applied under the 2020 relief bills, the total amount available is $33,000 per employee. 

The bill includes $28.6 billion in grants specifically for restaurants, bars, and caterers. The relief would total the difference between a business’ gross receipts from 2019 and 2020. Companies with fewer than 20 locations can get a grant of up to $5 million per location but no more than $10 million total. See program details here. 

Movie theaters, museums, performance venues, and other institutions whose primary activity are live events will be eligible for grants equal to the lesser of 45 percent of the venue’s gross revenue in 2019. Grants will be no more than $10 million. See program details here.

Additionally, the bill includes $175 million for a “community navigator” program, where community organizations or community financial institutions will receive funding for outreach, education, and technical assistance for small businesses to participate in the prior stated relief programs. In particular, access will be increased among businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged women, veterans, and individuals.

The bill initially included a $15 minimum wage increase through 2025, but was shot down by the Senate. A $15 minimum wage is supported by the majority of Americans; it consistently polls at 60 percent in favor. Getting the $15 minimum wage hike included in the initial relief package was due in part to socially and environmentally responsible businesses like yours voicing support for the measure. Join us and Business for a Fair Minimum Wage in gathering additional support by signing on to our petition.

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. 

The Barstool Fund (sponsored by Barstool Sports) is an ongoing crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for eligible businesses. There is no set grant amount, but the program has supported 339 businesses with over $39 million raised. You can submit your application for the grant here.

GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund has been in-action for over a year and is still receiving crowdfunded donations for small businesses. The campaign has raised over $2.7 million. To qualify for a grant, small businesses must meet certain criteria, which can be read in full on campaign page 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.

Inc. compiled a solution center chock-full of advice, from How to Hit the Ground Running After the Pandemic to How to Successfully Crowdfund in a Difficult Global Scenario. Check out the full list of resources here.

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.

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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