Every business is feeling the effects of COVID-19 in different ways. For example, while grocery stores and companies like Amazon need to hire more people to meet demand, restaurants have been forced to switch to carry-out or delivery only and some had to shut their doors completely.
As this virus spreads across the country, many small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. We love small business, and it hurts us to see you hurting. That’s why we wanted to share some small business resources we’ve found for Ohio and beyond. We hope these resources help you navigate this crisis and open your doors again when we make it to the other side.
1. Low-Interest Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis. These Economic Injury Disaster loans can provide working capital to help small businesses stay afloat during these difficult times. According to the SBA website, the loans “offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.” Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. Click here for the full details or to apply.
2. Emergency Loans for Co-OpsShared Capital Cooperative is also offering emergency loans to co-op businesses. If COVID-19 has disrupted or even closed your cooperative business, click here to apply for an emergency loan.
3. Tax Deadline Changed & Economic Stimulus PackageOn Friday, March 27th, the President signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to COVID-19. Information on stimulus payments is not yet available from the IRS. They will post information to the IRS website when it becomes available, and encourage checking the website instead of calling. In addition, the deadline to file and pay federal income taxes has been extended to July 15, 2020.
4. Debt Relief for Small Businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing some debt relief for small businesses during this difficult time. Under this program, the SBA will pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued before September 27, 2020. The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for six months. Click here to read more. The SBA has many offices across the country. To find a location near you, click here.
5. Flexible Unemployment Benefits
The federal government is providing many states with flexibility in providing unemployment benefits during this time. Contact your state unemployment agency or visit their website to see the options available to you. You can also visit the American Action Forum website to read more about the various response packages that deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
6. Small Business Grants
Facebook also plans to assist small businesses around the world by offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits. Applications will be accepted in the coming weeks, but for now you can click here for more information or to sign up to receive updates.
If your business is struggling, consider taking advantage of these or other resources that may be available in your state. It’s also important to stay informed by following reputable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, or your state’s government website. These sources will share reliable information on the spread of the pandemic along with options for additional financial assistance if it becomes available.
Prevent the Spread of Disease
It is also crucial to encourage everyone you know to follow the recommended measures for preventing the spread of disease. According to the CDC, these include:
1. Avoiding Close ContactAvoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. Some states have enacted social distancing orders to assist with this.
2. Staying Home When You Are SickIf possible, stay home when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
3. Covering Your Mouth and NoseCover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by coughing, sneezing, or unclean hands.
4. Cleaning Your Hands OftenWashing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains at least 60% alcohol.
5. Avoiding Touching Your Eyes, Nose, or MouthGerms are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practicing Other Good Health HabitsClean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
We know this is an extremely troubling time for you and your small business. While it may be a challenge to see past this crisis, we encourage you to look toward brighter days! We will get through this together.