Assistance Programs
United States 

CARES Act FAQ

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the CARES Act. This guide will provide general answers and assist you with navigating your business through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that are, and will soon be, available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the CARES Act.

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Coronavirus Emergency Loans Guide

This easy-to-use guide will walk you through four main points: (1) eligibility, (2) what lenders are looking for, (3) amount that can be borrowed, and (4) loan forgiveness options.

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Paycheck Protection Program

Included in the CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Program. These are forgivable loans which are specifically designed to help small businesses with 500 or fewer employees and businesses can apply through their lender or bank of choice. Here are the main details of the Paycheck Protection Program in the CARES Act.

  • Up to $10 million: Up to two and a half times their average monthly payroll costs – payroll costs will be capped at $100,000 annualized for each employee
  • 1% fixed interest rate
  • Loan is due in 2 years; however, all loan payments are deferred for 6 months, but interest will accrue over this period
  • Loan Forgiveness: the full loan amount is forgivable if the conditions of the loan are met.

To qualify for loan forgiveness you must meet the following criteria:

  • Use at least 75% of loan on payroll
  • Full-time employee headcount cannot decline from average monthly levels in 2019 or the previous 12 months
  • Employers cannot cut salaries or wages

For the full details and requirements of the PPP loan program, click here.
This new program will be managed by the Small Business Administration, or SBA

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SBA Disaster Loan Program

The Disaster Loan Program is administered by the Small Business Association (SBA) and can provide up to $2 million in loans to cover financial obligations that cannot be met as a result of COVID-19. While the program has existed since 1953 to provide capital to small businesses affected by disaster, given the universality of the pandemic, all 50 states have made available these Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program.

Small businesses can qualify for up to $2 million in loans at low-interest rates (3.75% for for-profit and 2.75% for non-profit businesses) with repayment options up to 30 years. General requirements to qualify include having a credit score, the ability to repay the loan, and collateral for EIDL loans over $25,000.

To learn more about specific requirements and guidelines for your state, you can find information on the SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance page.

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Emergency Economic Injury Grants

As part of the CARES Act, this provision provides an advance of $10,000 to small businesses that apply for Emergency Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) within three days of applying. The grant does not need to be repaid even if the applicant is denied an EIDL.

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SBA Express Bridge Loan

The Express Bridge Loan (EBL) can provide up to $25,000 in loans very quickly with less paperwork for small businesses with an existing relationship with an SBA Express Lender. Express Bridge Loans give small business access to nearly immediate capital to assist with a temporary loss in coverage or bridge the gap when applying for an EIDL loan. You can visit the SBA’s Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program Guide page to learn more about these loans.

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Debt Relief for Existing and New SBA Borrowers

Also, as part of the CARES Act* small businesses can have loan payments covered by the SBA for six months including principal, interest, and fees. This applies to existing loans as well as new loans taken out within six months after the bill is signed by the President.

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State and Local Small Business Assistance

States and municipalities across the country are working to provide assistance to small businesses as well. We will soon make available, on avetta.com, up-to-date information on assistance programs across the country. You can also find information about programs in your state or local area from the National Governors Association list of websites. On that list, you can easily find your governor’s website and assistance programs being offered. Below are a couple of examples found from governor’s websites.

New York

  • New York is offering loans up to $50,000 for small businesses (50 employees or less) affected by COVID-19 through an Emergency Small Business Relief Fund. Find out more here.
  • The city of New York is also offering businesses with fewer than 5 employees grants to cover 40% of payroll for two months to help retain employees. To learn more click here.

Illinios

  • Small businesses in Chicago can apply, starting March 31, for the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, which provides loans up to $50,000 for businesses with revenue under $3 million and fewer than 50 employees. To learn more, click here.

California

  • San Francisco COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund provides loans to small businesses with at least 1 employee and fewer than 5 employees and less than $2.5 million in gross receipts. Businesses can qualify for $10,000 in emergency funding through the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund. To learn more about this fund, click here.
  • Los Angeles is providing a Small Business Emergency Microloans Program to companies that provide low-income jobs. Businesses be approved for $5,000 to $20,000 with repayment terms of six months to five-years with interest rates between 0% and 5%. To learn more click here.

Colorado

  • The Denver Small Business Emergency Relief program offers up to $7,500 to businesses who have seen significant damaged as a result of COVID-19. To learn more, click here.

Florida

  • The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides loans $50,000 (or $100,000 in special cases) for affected small businesses. For-profit businesses with two to 50 employees can apply for these short-term loans that are interest-free for the first year (12% after the first year). To learn more, click here.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.

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Google Ad Credits for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Google is giving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s) worldwide $340 million in ad credits. Businesses that have had active Google Ad accounts since the beginning of 2019 will automatically see notifications of credits in the coming months.

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