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United States Small Business Response Plan

March 20, 2020

To our US customers,

Below we have pulled together some helpful resources for small business and entrepreneur relief options. We hope this information can offer some benefit to you and your team during this difficult time.

This post addresses:

  • New Federal Disaster Loans for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19
  • New Options for Unemployment Insurance Benefits Related to COVID-19
  • Benefits Accessible Across Federal Government Agencies in Response to COVID-19
  • Business Resources on How to Plan and Prepare for COVID-19
  • Small Business Grants from Facebook
  • Additional common questions we’re getting about income relief due to COVID-19

Basic Response Plan

1. Economic Recovery Package Relief

A $2 trillion aid package was approved by the House of Representatives and signed by the President on March 27.

As part of this package, most Americans can qualify to receive $1200, with funds for small businesses and unemployment insurance.

The original legislation was amended to also allow low-income individuals to qualify for the full $1200 ($2400) for joint returns.

To qualify, you must have filed tax returns in either 2018 or 2019 or receive Social Security or veterans’ benefits so the Internal Revenue Service can calculate the rebate.

This package is meant to give people relief right now.

These payments are expected to automatically start going out in the next three weeks to most Americans who filed individual tax returns in 2018 or 2019.

2. Apply for a Federal Disaster Loan from the SBA

The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans up to $2 million for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Here’s what the Small Business Administration is saying:

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

A list of areas eligible, and information on how to apply can be found here: SBA Disaster Assistance COVID-19

and here: COVID-19 Small Business Guidance Loan Resources

Full announcement can be found here: SBA to Provide Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)

3. Apply for Unemployment Insurance

There are new options available for unemployment insurance benefits related to COVID-19.

From the Department of Labor:

The federal government is allowing new options for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits related to COVID-19.

For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:

  • An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
  • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
  • An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.

In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.

For more information and to search the available UI programs, use the Unemployment Benefits Finder linked below to select your state:

Unemployment Benefits Finder

4. Federal Government Disaster Relief

Find benefits you can access across federal government agencies in response to COVID-19 here:

COVID-19 Benefits

5. Guidance and Resources for Businesses, Employers and Workers

We recommend checking out this resource from the CDC with guidance for businesses on how to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19.

Access this resource here: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

The U.S. Chamber of commerce has also compiled a toolkit with recommendations for businesses and workers. Inside the toolkit you’ll find sharable graphics and key messages based on the CDC’s latest guidance for businesses and employees.

You can access the toolkit here: Coronavirus Response Toolkit

6. Mortgage Relief (if your bank supports it)

Many banks across the country are realizing that if they pause the monthly mortgage payment requirement for a limited amount of time, that could free up 50-60% of a household’s income. That could be a huge help right about now!

Be sure you have a look at Bank of America’s commitment if your mortgage is through them. We’re seeing that they are allowing small businesses to request payment deferments and to take advantage of several other relief tools.

We’ve also heard that Ally Bank is offering deferred mortgage payments.

And other banks are starting to follow suite. Doesn’t hurt to give ‘em a call.

Common Questions on COVID-19 Income Relief

What do I need to know about filing my taxes this year?

The IRS confirmed that Tax Day for the 2019 tax year is July 15, 2020.

Federal income tax payments that are due on April 15 can also be deferred until July 15 without penalties or interest, and this is true for all taxpayers.

This is an automatic federal tax filing and payment relief so you do not need to file any additional forms, and you do not need to call the IRS.

Individuals who need additional time beyond July 15 can request a filing extension using Form 4868.

However, if you think you are due a refund, the IRS wants you to file as soon as possible, and their goal is to issue refunds within 21 days.

You can read the official announcement from the IRS here: Tax Day now July 15.

More information is available here: Coronavirus Tax Relief

Are the Facebook Small Business Grants Real?

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses over 30 countries. Stay tuned here for more information:

Facebook Grants

Please reach out and say hello if you have any questions or use the buttons below to share if you know someone else would benefit from this information.

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