, titled the "CARES Act," includes thousands of dollars in direct payments to most Americans, and huge loan packages designed to help keep small businesses and corporations afloat.
The main features for small businesses under the CARES Act are emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. There are also changes to rules for expenses and deductions meant to make it easier for companies to keep employees on the payroll and stay open in the near-term.
: The bill provides $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 to provide emergency funds for small businesses to cover immediate operating costs.
: There is $350 billion allocated for the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10 million per business. Any portion of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books or pay for rent, mortgage and existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June.
Relief for existing loans
: There is $17 billion to cover six months of payments for small businesses already using SBA loans.
You are eligible for if you are:
- A small business with fewer than 500 employees
- A small business that otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard
- A 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees
- An individual who operates as a sole proprietor
- An individual who operates as an independent contractor
- An individual who is self-employed who regularly carries on any trade or business
- A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard
- A 501(c)(19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard
In addition, some special rules may make you eligible:
- If you are in the accommodation and food services sector, the 500-employee rule is applied on a per physical location basis
- If you are operating as a franchise or receive financial assistance from an approved Small Business Investment Company the normal affiliation rules do not apply.
Other CARES Act Resources:
Greater Houston Business Recovery Center (GHBRC)
- The Greater Houston Partnership has launched GHBRC to help Houston companies plan their next steps. The GHBRC is a business-led recovery program connecting businesses to available recovery resources. As a first step in this program, the Partnership aims to inform its members and Houston’s business community about federal programs and opportunities designed to help companies’ weather and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.