Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updated Guide to Relief and Response for Small Businesses

In response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020 in order to gain access to $50 billion in federal resources.

Many businesses have shut their doors, either by local mandate or in an effort to maintain the safety and health of their employees and customers.

In order to offset the effects of this impact on small businesses, federal and state governments are working on emergency aid packages, while private companies attempt to offer some additional relief.

Updated as of: March 24, 2020

Federal aid for small business owners in response to coronavirus

Federal Aid For Businesses

As of March 18, 2020, the government has proposed four measures to provide businesses with financial relief and assistance from the impact of Coronavirus.

  1. SBA Low-interest Loans (Economic Injury Disaster Loans)
    • What it is:
      • Loan to help pay for bills your business cannot afford due to the effects of Coronavirus closure, such as payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debts
    • What is offered:
      • Up to $2 million in capital
      • Low-interest rates - 3.75% for businesses without credit available elsewhere, 2.75% for nonprofit organizations
      • Long-term repayment plans - 30 year maximum
    • Who is eligible:
      • As of March 23: Businesses in all US states
    • How to apply:
      • Complete the online application via the SBA website
        • TIPS:
          • Choose "Economic Injury" as the reason for seeking assistance
          • Have these things ready when you apply:
            • Employee Identification Number
            • Date of establishment
            • Personal information (Date of birth, Social security number, ownership percentage for business owners)
            • Financial statements & past year's tax returns
    • More information
      • For more information, please visit the SBA website, or call 1-800-659-2955 to speak to the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center
    • Do You Need An Accountant To Help?
  2. Business Tax Credit
    • What it is:
      • A credit allowing businesses to expand employee benefits during Coronavirus closures
    • What is offered:
      • Families First Coronavirus Response Act
        • Businesses
          • 80 hours of paid leave for businesses with less than 500 employees
          • 100% qualified paid sick leave tax credit
        • Self-employed
          • 67% refundable tax credit if you take care of a child or family member
          • $200 per day sick leave, or the average daily income rate (whichever is less) 
    • More information:
  3. Payroll Tax Cut
    • What it is:
      • A change in FICA lax liability owed in response to Coronavirus
    • What is offered:
      • A reduction or elimination of FICA tax liability for business owners and self-employed individuals
  4. Federal Income Tax Deferment - Now in effect as of March 20
    • What it is:
      • An extension of the usual April 15 federal income tax payment deadline for businesses
    • What is offered:
      • 90-day extension for tax filing and payments, without penalty, making the deadline July 15, 2020.
    • More information:

State and local aid and response to coronavirus for business owners

State and Local Aid for Businesses

Local and state governments have also started to initiate programs to help small business owners during this time of crisis.

  • California
    • Statewide
      • 60-day extension to file state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest
    • Los Angeles
      • $5,000 - $20,000 microloans to businesses who provide low-income jobs
    • San Fransisco
      • $10,000 in emergency funding to businesses with 1-5 employees who have lost 25% or more revenue
  • Colorado
    • Denver
      • $7,500 grants to small businesses
  • Florida
    • Statewide
      • $50,000 - $100,000 loans to businesses to 2-50 employees
  • Illinois
    • Chicago
      • $50,000 low-interest loans to businesses with less than 50 employees, have less than $3 million in revenue, and who have lost 25% or more in revenue
  • Massachusets
    • Statewide
      • $75,000 loans to businesses with less than 50 employees
  • Michigan
    • Statewide
      • $10,000 grants to businesses with less than 50 employees
      • $50,000 - $200,000 loans to businesses with less than 100 employees
  • New York
    • New York City
      • Zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to businesses with less than 100 employees who have had sales decrease by 25%
      • Grants to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to small businesses with fewer than 5 employees
  • Washington
    • Seattle
      • $10,000 grants for businesses with less than 5 employees that make 80% or less of the area’s median income
      • Business and occupation tax deadline extension
      • Deferred payment plan for utility bills


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bank and credit card companies offering assistance to businesses in response to coronavirus

Bank and Credit Card Company Assistance

  • Citi
    • Monthly service fees waived for 30 days for small business customers
    • Fees on early CD withdrawals waived
    • Fees on remote deposit captures waived for small business customers
    • After hours bankers available for small business customers
  • US Bank
    • Increased credit limits, waived fees, and expedited card replacements
    • Reduced loan prices for small businesses
  • Goldmann Sachs (Apple Card)
    • Customer Assistance Program, allowing March payments to be skipped without interest charges
  • Truist
    • Payment relief on consumer loans, personal credit cards, business credit cards, and business loans
    • ATM surcharge fee waivers

Commercial Aid

  • Amazon
    • $5 million in grants to businesses with 50 employees or less or less than $7 million in annual revenue in Bellevue, Washington, and Seattle neighborhoods
  • Facebook
    • $100 million in grants for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries, including the United States

Do You Need Help?

If your business is suffering hardship brought on by the Coronavirus, we can help connect you with a local accountant to help you navigate the relief efforts available to you.

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Posted: 18 Mar, 2020

The Ageras authors don't provide any personal advice with regard to financial or fiscal matters - but accountants do. Fill in the form and receive non-binding quotes for professional tax advice.


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