Accion has long been a critical financial and educational resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners, but never has there been a time in recent human history when business owners have needed to know exactly where to go to stay afloat while the country is at a near economic standstill due to coronavirus fears.
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!
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.
- Accion Serving Southern California local resources
- Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana local resources
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
- Build or Maintain Good Credit After Crisis – Monday, June 15th at 1pm ET
- Reopening Your Business During Uncertain Economic Times – Thursday, June 25th at 1pm ET
Watch Recordings of Past Webinars
- Budgeting and Forecasting for Unstable Revenues
- Revising Your Business Plan for Recovery
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Explained
- Recursos para Empresas Pequenas Durante la Pandemia de COVID-19
- Legal and Practical Questions for Employers
- Adapting Your Supply Chain
- Protect Your Business from Predators and Fraud
- Managing Cash During Emergencies
- Leveraging Resources to Survive and Thrive – also available in Spanish
- Crisis Management for Small Business Owners
- Recursos Para Pequeñas Empresas en EE. UU. Afectadas por COVID-19
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
- Stay Connected To Your Customers
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.
National Resources for Small Business Owners During the COVID-19 Crisis
For national help, consider these organizations with grants, loans and other resources for small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 crisis:
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.
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.
As part of newly-added support through EIDL, the SBA has expanded the program and will defer payments on existing disaster loans through the end of the year. In addition, a $10,000 advance on the loan is available immediately upon application. This advance does not have to be repaid if the loan is denied.
Companies with up to 500 workers can borrow as much as $2 million at a 3.75 percent interest, and nonprofits can borrow at 2.75 percent, both of which are 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 new CARES Act and other expanded programs, scammers and fraudsters are already 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.
Tax Credits for Paid Sick Leave
On March 18, President Trump signed a coronavirus relief package into law to take effect by April 2. The law provides tax credits for businesses with fewer than 500 employees to be used for the following paid leave mandate expenses:
- Two weeks of paid sick leave for employees who have been quarantined, have a sick family member, or have been affected by school closings.
- Up to three months of paid family and medical leave amounting to no less than two-thirds of regular pay for those employees listed above.
The law includes the option for the Labor Department to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from abiding by the paid leave mandate, if the Labor Department deems the new law poses an existential threat to the company.
Federal Income Tax Deadline Extension and Tax Deferments
Please note the April 15, 2020 federal income tax filing deadline for the 2019 tax year has been extended to July 15th. Check with your individual state’s government to determine your state income tax filing deadline.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said individuals will be able to defer up to $1 million in tax payments to the IRS for 90 days, and corporations would be able to defer up to $10 million in tax payments.
Additional Resources Available Nationwide
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.
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.