Federal resources for small businesses

Mar 26, 2020, 12:21pm EDT Updated Mar 29, 2020, 6:59pm EDT

Here’s a compilation of federal government resources and links for small and midsized businesses, from emergency financial relief to counseling services. This will be updated as new information becomes available.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing continuous updates to its guidance for businesses and employers on  its Covid-19 website .

The U.S. Senate passed the $2 trillion stimulus bill March 25 and the House passed it on Friday. President Trump was expected to sign it into law later Friday. In addition to $1,200 direct payments to many individuals and expanded unemployment benefits, the bill includes:

$350 billion in federally guaranteed zero-interest loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Loans would be available up to $10 million. In certain circumstances, such as using proceeds to pay employees, the loans could be forgiven. The loans would be made primarily through Small Business Administration-certified lenders, although other FDIC banks, credit unions and fintech lenders would be authorized to make the loans, subject to certain approvals. In an interview on Fox News Sunday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Treasury and the SBA are working to have the program up on
April 3.

Additional information about the Paycheck Protection Program, including details from a Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship FAQ, can be  found here.

$500 billion for government lending and grants to distressed companies This includes $425 billion that will go through the Federal Reserve.

$150 billion to health care providers.
Small businesses in every U.S. state and territory can apply for a SBA low-interest  Economic Injury Disaster Loan . These loans provide working capital of up to $2 million to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses with repayment of up to 30 years.

Applicants are encouraged to apply online.

SBA also offers its traditional loan programs for working capital, fixed assets and more. It also has express loan and microloan programs.  Detailed information  on these loans and how to connect with a lender is available on its website. The SBA’s  Lender Match  is a free online tool to connect a business with participating

SBA-approved lenders within 48 hours.
And SBA has small business development centers across the country that can help match businesses with resources.

The Federal Reserve says it expects to announce soon a Main Street Business Lending Program for small and midsized businesses that will complement SBA programs.
The Treasury Department partners with community banks and community development loan funds with its Small Business Lending Fund to encourage small-business lending. More than institutions participate.
The Families First Corona Virus Response Act legislation was passed March 18 and will take effect April 2, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.The law requires employers with 500 or fewer employers to provide paid leave to certain employees in a temporary expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act and it requires employers to provide paid sick leave.
The act allows payroll tax offsets to employers.
The IRS, Labor and Treasury departments issued details about the  two refundable payroll tax credits  available for small and midsize employers who provide Covid-19 related leave to employees.
Labor’s Wage and Hour Division offers a website for common issues faced by employers and employees in response to Covid-19 and the Families First Act:

Wage and Hour staffers can be confidentially reached by phone, 1-866-487-9243, or via its  Contact Us  form (not anonymous).
A three-month delay  for federal tax payments owed up to $1 million was announced by the IRS. Federal tax returns will still need to be filed by April 15 but entities will have until July 15, 2020, to pay. This will apply to individual returns but should also cover many pass-through entities and small businesses.
The IRS has a website focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others  affected by the coronavirus . The section is updated as information is available.
The IRS has closed its Taxpayer Assistance Centers but continues to process tax returns, issue refunds and respond to questions.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is posting guidance related the impact of  Covid-19 response  on its regulated public companies and financial advisers.
For public companies, the SEC has:

• Emphasized the need to consider potential disclosure of subsequent. 

• Articulated its policy to grant appropriate relief from filing deadlines.

• Provided guidance about shareholding engagement, including virtual annual meetings.For investment advisers, the SEC has updated its guidance for investment advisers  conducting business from a temporary location  and other items.
Not sure if your workers are considered essential?
The Department of Homeland Security help determine if companies and their employees are considered essential infrastructure. This guidance has been offered to states to help their determinations.
For the latest on travel advisories, the CDC has a site dedicated to  updated travel health notices , searchable by country. The Department of State also issues  travel health advisories . As of March 19, it is advising all U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel.
The Federal Housing Administration has put in place a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for 60 days, starting March 18.

Usa.gov has compiled an overview of all  federal government responses  to Covid-19.


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