Leveraging Small Business Resources to Survive and Thrive Beyond COVID-19

Accion Loan Consultant Michael Medina gives tips and ideas to keep the doors open for your small business during all phases of the Coronavirus shut down and beyond. There are many educational and financial resources available to entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 shutdown, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out which ones are best for your business and how to access them. Medina gives small business owners tips for understanding what resources they should use to best help their business stay viable, including Economic Injury Disaster Loan, ‎Paycheck Protection Program, ‎SBA Debt Relief, SBA Disaster Relief, and more.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Relief Loan Fund

Medina says that if your business is struggling due to the Coronavirus shutdown, then your business may qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. He says applications are processed and funds are disbursed directly by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

 

COVID-19 emergency loans provided through the SBA are up to $2 million, have up to 30-year terms, and a 3.75% interest rate. Medina says your small business can use these funds for COVID-19 related issues, as a working capital loan, or to pay off higher interest rate debt.

SBA Debt Relief

Medina says that as part of SBA’s debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. Additionally, the SBA will also pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. If you have or plan on applying for an SBA-funded loan, please contact your lender to secure this automatic debt relief.

 

If you need help with the loan application process, reach out to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) office for no-cost help preparing your application.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

PPP applications are processed and the funds are disbursed by local community banks and large national banks such as Wells Fargo, Chase, and Bank of America, and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), which provide credit and financial services to underserved markets and populations.

 

The application process will be different depending on the institution, and the funds are disbursed by the banks. The PPP is approved through the CARES Act and is being regulated by the SBA. The loans go up to $10 million and are for payroll and certain other expenses.

 

Businesses, including non-profits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors with 500 or fewer employees may apply. In order to apply, contact the bank of which you are a customer. This is a first-come-first-serve loan program until the funds are depleted, so Medina urges you to hurry to apply.

Eligible Uses for Loan Forgiveness (PPP)

If all employees are kept on your payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100% of the loan is forgivable if you use the money for the required expenses. Here is the list of expenses in more detail:

  • Eligible expenses to calculate salaries
  • Payroll (salaries, commissions, wages, and tips)
  • Vacation, Parental, Family, Medical, or Sick Leave Payments
  • Allowances for separation or dismissal
  • Payments for group healthcare coverage, including insurance premiums and retirement
  • Payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees
  • Interest on any debt incurred prior to February 15, 2020
  • Interest on mortgage payments (principal or prepayments excluded)
  • Rent
  • Utilities

Microloans

Accion is a microlender supplying loans up to $50,000 to help with the Coronavirus crisis. Click here to contact us. We will work with you to make sure your small business financial needs are met during the coronavirus crisis.

 

Here is a list of our regional Accion lending offices, which are all working virtually until the quarantine is over and the country opens for business:

Educational Resources

Accion is dedicated to providing ongoing education for business owners to get back on their feet following the pandemic and as the economy continues to reopen and improve. Check back frequently here for new events and webinars.

 

The National Entrepreneur Center has an events resource calendar with events for small business owners almost daily.

 

The National Entrepreneur Center President Jerry Ross urges entrepreneurs to check the Nationalec.org website for tools and resources available to entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19. This site details resources available nationwide on the federal level, as well as local resources available to those headquartered in the state of Florida.

 

Rafael Pratts from the University of Central Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) helps business owners to apply for Coronavirus business loan programs, plus they offer no-cost professional business continuity and strategic planning consulting throughout all stages of recovery from the economic shutdown.

Health Resources

Medina points out that tending to your stress levels is more important than ever! To support yourself, he recommends taking breaks from the news media. The news rarely (if ever) focuses on good things, and overexposure is upsetting and needlessly stressful. He also promotes taking breaks from social media as well so that you can disconnect, unplug, unwind, and truly destress.

 

Medina also recommends caring for the body. His tips include taking deep breaths, stretching, and meditation. He says to eat healthy, balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.

Conclusion

We hope that you found this list of resources helpful as you navigate the impact of the economic shutdown. As business returns to normal continue to lean on resources that can make your business’s recovery go as smoothly as possible.

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