Small Business Relief Programs: Do They Work?
The dreadful events of the year 2020, including COVID-19 pandemics followed by a financial, economic, and social crisis, severely impacted the world of business. Indeed, the crisis significantly hurt almost all industries. However, it was the businesses based on face-to-face services, such as restaurants and movie theatres, which took the biggest hit.
In fact, with large funds and a steady cash flow, most big companies were able to handle the crisis and even shut down their services without the threat of going bankrupt. However, it was very clear from the very beginning that small businesses’ situation is going to be much more severe – especially for the companies without a sound risk management strategy or professional continuity software, enabling them to keep operating in the time of crisis.
To allow small businesses to function in those challenging times, governments worldwide developed complex business relief programs meant to help business owners and their companies impacted by COVID 19. Consequently, the USA’s government came up with a small business relief program to help businesses that need support and additional resources due to economic injury.
To find out what small business relief programs are available, how to obtain them, and whether they provide real help to the companies, follow our short overview.
Available Small Business Relief Programs
Small businesses that greatly suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for one of a few relief programs, whether on a federal, state, or local level.
Federal relief programs for eligible small businesses include:
Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is the program developed to ensure economic relief and enable economic development to the small businesses affected by COVID-19 experienced severe revenue losses. The program is to support small companies in meeting their financial obligations and other regular expenses. The low-interest loan is up to $2 million through the Small Business Administration (SBA).
The terms include a 3.75% fixed interest rate for businesses and 2.75% for non-profit organizations. Notably, the loan maturity is for 30 years. Importantly, there are not required prepayment fees or penalties. A collateral guarantee is only required for loans over $25,000.
SBA Express Bridge Loan
SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program is dedicated to helping small business owners with an already existing business relationship with an SBA Express Lender. The loans up to $25,000 provide a quick grant to the companies that have already applied for a different loan but are still waiting for the information regarding the decision. Thus, the SBA Express Bridge Loan is meant to serve as a means of emergency to bridge the gap while applying for another program. Importantly, it is to be repaid fully or in part by EIDL loan proceeds.
SBA Debt Relief
To ensure COVID 19 relief to small companies, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal and interest which borrowers of the debt owe for 7(a) loans for six months.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program was a loan program open until the 8th of August, 2020. It was meant to help small businesses keep their workers on payroll by providing companies a loan up to even $10 million. In general, PPP’s main goal was to cover the payroll costs and thus help companies avoid firing employees.
Under certain conditions (using the funds for specified expenses and complying with employee retention criteria), the loan was to be forgiven. The PP loans had a maturity of 2 years or 5 years, depending on the issuing date. Moreover, it also had a 1% interest rate. Small businesses weren’t charged any additional fees from the government or lenders and weren’t required any collateral or personal guarantees.
Please note that this loan is no longer active. For any updates, it’s advised to follow the governmental information.
Besides federal assistance, the small companies in need of financial grants might also ask for state help. Each fund and program, though, varies on each state. For instance, some states allow loans up to $10,000, while others up to $50,0000. Similarly, in certain states, the assistance includes withholding tax, which is not the case for others. Please make sure of specific regulations for each state on governmental sides, keeping in mind what businesses are eligible for application and any new updates regarding the fund.
A small business can also apply for a local relief program funded by the city. Similarly, the application requirements vary, just as much as the requirements and funding itself. Contact your local city counselors for more information.
How to Apply for a Small Business Relief Program?
To discover your options and apply for a small business relief program with the assistance, you should visit governmental sides. Before you start application, please remember to check the requirement for each program, along with your resources, income, eligibility, and any other necessary information regarding your business.
The pandemics became deadly to many small businesses, leaving multiple employers and workers unemployed and without a source of income.
Indeed, the relief programs certainly require business owners to dedicate a lot of time to ensure meeting all the requirements and expertise regarding necessary documentation and forms. However, with the right counsellor, it can be done quickly and professionally.
Consequently, the relief programs have already helped numerous companies and still may be used by many businesses that struggle due to the coronavirus crisis. Thus, it’s definitely worth applying for one. In case of any doubts and questions, please contact the professionalist for help.