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: 8/5/2020

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. 

The CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses with payroll and other business operating expenses. It has reopened and is available to apply until August 8th. 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. 

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. It reopened on June 15th. 

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

Clearinghouse CDFI is accepting loan applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. SBA funds are limited so applications are on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

State and City Government Relief

Some state and city governments have released assistance programs for small businesses. As of 8/5, we are aware of programs in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

If your business is in one of these states, read more about state-specific programs here and

here for an extensive list of resources for South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, California, and Illinois. 

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

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. 

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 is offering a live webinar series on adaptation and strategies for investment during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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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