Apr 15, 2020

COVID-19 Relief: The Best Resources for Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you may be scrambling to get your finances in order and doing everything you can to stay operational. At times it can feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of resources available to help you get through the coronavirus.

Below are 7 resources to make life easier as a small business owner. 

1. Paycheck Protection Program Loans

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is one of the main resources for small businesses looking for financial support right now. The PPP was created within the $2.2 trillion CARES Act approved by Congress in March. 

The Paycheck Protection Program provides 8 weeks of financial aid up to $10 million for small businesses struggling as a result of COVID-19. The funds from a PPP loan are designed to cover payroll expenses, rent, insurance, and other benefits. If used appropriately, the full loan amount may be forgiven.

PPP loans can make your life easier because it gives you an 8-week cushion to cover most of your expenses. Small businesses can use this window to save capital for when the loan runs out and make strategic decisions to extend the life of their business.

2. Main Street Business Lending Program

If your small business is operating on the cusp of the PPP and you aren’t sure that your company will qualify, then you may be able to tap into the Main Street Lending Program set up by the Federal Reserve. 

This program is meant for mid-size businesses that are too big for many of the small business benefits but still can’t access capital markets like major corporations. Congress has approved $454 billion in federal programs to stabilize the economy. Consider exploring the Main Street Business Lending Program if you don’t qualify for SBA loans because of your size.

3. Facebook Cash Grants

Facebook is also stepping up in a big way to help small business owners. They recently introduced their cash grants program, where they plan to distribute $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to more than 30,000 eligible businesses in 30 countries. 

These grants can be used to keep the workforce going, help with rent, and cover other operational costs. Sign up for updates to see if your business qualifies.  

4. Kiva Loans

Kiva is a nonprofit that provides capital to entrepreneurs. The company has provided more than 2.5 million people with more than $1 billion. Applicants can request a loan from Kiva up to $15,000 with 0% interest. 

This option may be viable for startups that launched recently and need extra capital to mitigate the effects COVID-19 has had on business.

5. GrubHub’s Deferred Commissions

Restaurants are considered essential businesses in most states, but dine-in business has dropped more than 75% across the country. Many states require takeout only, and cautious diners are ordering delivery instead. 

During this time, GrubHub is deferring commission fees for independent restaurants. By delaying its cash flow, GrubHub can help restaurants stay open and keep their staff employed. It is also matching all promotions to give customers an even deeper discount. 

If you operate a restaurant and have been on the fence about setting up a delivery program, now might be the time to try it out. Any added bump that comes from GrubHub sales can help your business. 

Additionally, you may discover industry-specific support for your business. For example, as part of its #RaiseYourSpirits campaign, Bacardi Limited (yes, the rum company) has pledged more than $3 million to help restaurants and bars over the next few months. This amount is on top of the $1 million pledged by its Patrón tequila brand already. 

6. Freelancer’s Union

Self-employed individuals and sole proprietors make up 1/3 of the US workforce and contribute more than $1 trillion to the economy. However, they are also one of the most at-risk groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Freelancers Relief Fund is offering up to $1,000 per freelance household to help cover food and utility payments and to provide other cash assistance. These grants can help freelancers in need who are unable to work right now. 

7. State-Centric Relief Funds

Along with national resources, many states are stepping up with financial aid and resources for small businesses. Local publications are curating lists of restaurants that are open and chambers of commerce, highlighting relevant businesses and the work they do. 

Check to see what kinds of resources are available in your state, county, and city. Brianne Garrett and Maneet Ahuja have curated a state-by-state list with resources on Forbes, along with other companies you can work with for grants, services, and other opportunities. They keep updating the content as they discover new tools for you to use.    

You may feel like your company is in a place of instability right now, but you are not alone. You can expect to see more resources and support systems for small businesses as the country continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the author

Derek Miller
Derek Miller
Derek Miller is a writer specializing in entrepreneurship, small business, and digital marketing. His work has featured in sites like Entrepreneur, GoDaddy, Score.org, and StartupCamp. He’s currently the CMO of Smack Apparel, the content guru at Great.com, and a marketing consultant for small businesses.

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