The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was recently passed by Congress to assist small business owners with dealing with the economic stress of the Coronavirus outbreak. The aid is supposed to start on Friday, April 3, 2020. Banks are concerned about whether the required terms of the loans are viable and also with the aggressive start date of this Friday, April 3, 2020.
The Act has three parts relevant to small business owners, all of which are discussed in more detail in the CARES Act Guide. This guide, prepared by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business, is a great resource for the details of each of the programs.
- Paycheck Protection Program:
- Cash flow assistance loans through the Small Business Administration up to $10 million to help pay wages for workers if the employer keeps them employed. The loans can be forgiven for payroll for employees that the employer retains on the payroll without a reduction in pay. The program is retroactive to February 15, 2020;
- Borrowers can apply at existing SBA lenders. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Click here for link to a sample application.
- Click here for the SBA’s information sheet;
- Dates to apply: small business and sole proprietorships, April 3, 2020; independent contractors and self-employed, April 10, 2020.
- Economic Injury Disaster Grant: Up to $10,000 from the SBA for small businesses, which are supposed to be advanced within three days of application, to use for payroll, pay for sick leaves, and business obligations. The grants do not need to be repaid.
- Small Business Debt Relief Program: The SBA will cover six months of principal and interest on existing non-disaster SBA loans.