Small Business Owners - Financial Support During COVID-19 Pandemic As a business owner, you are concerned for the safety of your family and friends, your employees financially, and your own financial security. The United States’ social distancing policy—mandated to prevent the further spread of COVID-19—has unfortunately wreaked havoc on small businesses and the general economy.On March 27, 2020 Congress passed the CARES Act, which includes $350 billion in financial aid for small business owners. There are several programs included within this financial aid:Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)UPDATE: On June 4, 2020, Congress passed HR 7010, which allows small business owners more flexibility around use of and forgiveness of their PPP loans. Key highlights include:Borrowers now have five (5) years to repay the loan instead of two (2). The interest rate remains at 1%.The bill extends the eight-week period—when proceeds must be spent and workforce levels and wages returned to pre-pandemic levels for a loan to be forgiven—to 24 weeks or until the end of the year, whichever comes first. The previous deadline was June 30, 2020.Businesses that took a PPP loan can now delay payment of their payroll taxes, which was prohibited under the CARES Act.The payroll expenditure requirement dropped to 60% from 75%. However this is now a cliff, meaning that borrowers must spend at least 60% on payroll or none of the loan will be forgiven. Originally a borrower was required to reduce the amount eligible forgiveness if less than 75% of the funds were used for payroll costs, but forgiveness wasn't eliminated if the 75% threshold wasn't met.Two (2) new exceptions are added allowing borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they are unable to fully restore their workforce. These are in addition to the existing exception that allows borrowers to exclude employees who turned down good-faith offers to be rehired at the same hours and wages as pre-pandemic.Borrowers cannot find qualified employees due to COVID-19 related operating restrictionsBorrowers were unable to restore business operations to February 15th levels due to COVID-19 related operating restrictionsLaunched on April 3, 2020, this program uses Federally-guaranteed loans to assist small businesses maintain their payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic$10 million maximum loanLoan money that is used to pay for payroll costs, rent, utilities, interest on mortgage and group health insurance will be forgivenBusiness owners must apply through their SBA lendersJune 30, 2020 application deadlineNo personal guarantee or collateral is requiredU.S. Treasury Information SheetApplication Process Overview and PPP Lender Application FormS. Chamber of Commerce Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)This is an existing loan program typically used during catastrophic economic situations (i.e., post-hurricane recovery) and is now applicable to small businesses affected by COVID-19$2 million maximum loanBusiness owners must apply directly at the Small Business Association website$10,0000 advance can be requested within 3 days of application and does not need to be repaid Click here to view the on-demand JFL webinar called “Protecting Your Business with the CARES Act” to learn additional options for small business owners.