Resources for Small Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Public health and safety is everyone’s priority right now. Here at Accion, we are focused on the small businesses we serve as they work to help their communities. Accion continues our focus on providing entrepreneurs flexible capital and other valuable resources. Our staff is currently working remotely so please contact us by phone or email for local details. Let’s keep that entrepreneurial spirit alive!

Local Resources

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.

 

Informative Webinars

Accion is hosting a COVID Response Webinar Series to keep entrepreneurs informed of their options, helpful resources, and best practices during this crisis.

Register for Upcoming Webinars
Watch Recordings of Past Webinars

Business Financing from Accion

Our staff is working remotely, but we are open for business! Please click here to apply for a small business loan.

One-on-One Business Advising through MicroMentor

To provide additional support to small business owners during the COVID crisis, Accion has partnered with international nonprofit MicroMentor to offer one-on-one business advising and mentoring to entrepreneurs completely free of charge. MicroMentor’s platform includes hundreds of expert business mentors from across the world who can give advice on finances, marketing, business planning, COVID relief strategy, and much more. This service is available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.

 

Simply log onto MicroMentor’s website, follow the very simple instructions to create a free account, and get matched with mentors today!

Federal Resources for Small Business Owners During the COVID-19 Crisis

For national help, consider these flexible loans and other valuable resources for small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 crisis:

Paycheck Protection Program

A central piece of the CARES bill passed by Congress and the President on March 27, the Paycheck Protection Program allocates hundreds of billions of dollars to small businesses through flexible loans designed to keep small business employees working and on the payroll.

 

SBA will forgive loans if business owners keep all employees on the payroll for eight weeks and the loan money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and/or utilities payments.

 

Small business owners will be able to apply for the PPP directly with SBA-authorized lenders. Learn more on the SBA’s website.

 

More Info on SBA Resources and Loan Guidance

SBA Emergency Funds: Economic Injury Disaster Loans Program

The US Small Business Administration offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through an existing program to support small businesses affected by the COVID crisis, as it has supported businesses in past crises like 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy. This existing program is open for applications directly through the SBA’s website right now.

 

Companies with up to 500 workers can borrow as much as $2 million at interest rates that are much lower than typical small business loan rates. Additional information on eligibility requirements, documentation, and process can be found on the SBA EIDL page.

 

If you plan to apply for an SBA EID loan, go ahead and start soon, since during past disasters, it has taken about two weeks for the SBA to process loan applications. Small business owners should apply for SBA EID loans directly through the SBA’s website.

Beware of Scams and Fraud Schemes

With an unprecedented amount of federal funding available through the CARES Act and other expanded programs, scammers and fraudsters are taking advantage of the pandemic situation. It’s important to be vigilant and careful so you don’t fall victim to these schemes.

 

For example, the SBA will never initiate contact to offer a loan or a grant to a small business. If someone contacts you before you’ve ever applied with the SBA, suspect fraud.

 

In addition, all of the SBA’s loan applications are completely free, so you should never pay an application fee for an SBA loan. Be sure to check the interest rate as published by the SBA, too, because many fraudsters will attempt to add interest to your loan. You can ensure that you’ll avoid these scams if you apply directly with the SBA or through a trusted, SBA-authorized lender.

Learn more about guarding against fraud by visiting the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General.

 

Additional Resources Available Nationwide

Small Business Majority Daily Updates

One of Accion’s national partners, Small Business Majority, provides a daily updated list of resources in English and Spanish to support entrepreneurs’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in a variety of ways.

 

Centers for Disease Control Health and Safety Guidelines for Businesses

The CDC is America’s most trusted resource for health information and guidance on keeping you, your family, and your employees safe. This page is updated often with the latest health and safety information.

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