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Government Relief Updates
16 min read

Government Relief Updates

Below is various financial support opportunities and resources in the United States.  
Disclaimer: Please note information is rapidly changing.  Information will be updated regularly.  All information is presented solely as a resource. When possible direct link to government resources are provided.  This author does not claim to be a business, tax, law specialists. I recommend you contact your tax, business representative if you have any questions. Donna Martinez

Reminder! The deadline to apply for the PPP is June 30.

There is one week left for small businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and other eligible borrowers to access a forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

More than $128 billion in PPP funding is still available.

PPP loans are made by more than 4,500 participating PPP lenders nationwide and are guaranteed by the SBA. Interested borrowers should apply with local lenders who then submit the application to the SBA for approval.

PPP loans are forgivable in many cases.

The SBA will forgive PPP loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

Senate Passes Paycheck Protection Program Extension

Update4/21/2020: Legislative text and related documents have been released pertinent to the interim PPP deal Legislative Text

  • Amendment to the Paycheck Protection Program authorized under section 7(a) of the Small Business Act: (pdf.) Link
  • Section-by-Section of Legislation: (pdf.) Link
  • Dear Colleague from Senate Minority Leader Schumer on the pending legislation Link
  • Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement on Agreement with Administration on Interim Emergency Package Link
  • McConnell Announces Agreement to Keep Supporting Workers, Small Businesses, and the Public Health Link

The House is expected to take up the Senate-passed bill and President Trump has already given an endorsement

Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Announce $2.3 Trillion in Expanded Lending

Update 4/09/2020: The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve  announced new and expanded lending programs authorized by the CARES Act. Of note is the Main Street Business Lending Program, which will provide up to $600 billion in new financing for businesses with up to 10,000 employees or $2.5 billion in annual revenues.

Update 4/11/2020: Treasury will also invest CARES Act funds into a new Municipal Liquidity Facility that will offer up to $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities. And additional funds will go to the existing Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility and Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility—all to support $850 billion in liquidity for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

SBA Expands List of Paycheck Protection Program Lenders

4/13/2020: The Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury have once again updated their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs Link)

You can find out if your business qualifies as small by using the Size Standards Tool, or by referencing the SBA's table of small business size standards. Both the tool and the table help you find the small business classification requirements according to individual NAICS codes.
Note: Short Term Rentals NAICS code is 721199

This revises  their April 6 guidance for borrowers and lenders. The SBA has made it clear that the U.S. government will not challenge actions by lenders that conform to the Interim Final Rule, supporting guidance, and FAQ document.

April 10, 2020 for independent contractors and self-employed individuals, the Interim Final Rule was issued without advance notice and public comment as authorized by Section 1114 of the CARES Act

Eligibility:

“You are eligible for a PPP loan if you have 500 or fewer employees whose principal place of residence is in the United States, or are a business that operates in a certain industry and meet the applicable SBA employee-based size standards for that industry, and:

i. You are:

a. A small business concern as defined in section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 USC 632), and subject to SBA’s affiliation rules under 13 CFR 121.301(f) unless specifically waived in the CARES Act;

b. A tax-exempt nonprofit organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), a tax-exempt veterans organization described in section 501(c)(19) of the IRC, Tribal business concern described in section 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act, or any other business; and

ii. You were in operation on February 15, 2020 and either had employees for whom you paid salaries and payroll taxes or paid independent contractors, as reported on a Form 1099-MISC.”

  • “You are also eligible for a PPP loan if you are an individual who operates under a sole proprietorship or as an independent contractor or eligible self-employed individual, and you were in operation on February 15, 2020.”
  • “You must also submit such documentation as is necessary to establish eligibility such as payroll processor records, payroll tax filings, or Form 1099-MISC, or income and expenses from a sole proprietorship. For borrowers that do not have any such documentation, the borrower must provide other supporting documentation, such as bank records, sufficient to demonstrate the qualifying payroll amount.”

Update 4/09/2020: Small Business Administration issued new instructions to allow non-bank lenders to offer loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  Link

Federal financial regulators issued a new rule for PPP lenders, removing regulatory barriers so that more banks can participate in the program. Information for new prospective lenders is available. Link

Companies can find a lender in their area by visiting the SBA website Link.

CDC Issues New Interim Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Workers

Update 4/08/2020: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new interim guidance for critical infrastructure workers who have faced a potential exposure to COVID-19 through a household contact or have had close contact with a confirmed or suspected case. The CDC advises “critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to return to work following potential exposure to COVID-19 provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.” The CDC’s guidance lays out several important practices that must be managed prior, during and after the work shift as well as other considerations for an employee’s participation in the workplace. The
Find interim guidance pertaining to personnel in 16 different sectors, including manufacturing. Link.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Private Section Regional Coordinators

For questions or inquiries pertaining to COVID-19 resources provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), contact your regional FEMA representative. Their map provides an overview of and contact information for the respective private sector coordinators by state/region. Link

CARES Act (H.R. 748)
03/27/2020 Signed by President

The full text of the Act is available here: Link

CARES Act As Reviewed by VRMA

(April 1, 2020) UPDATE: Due to the CARESAct, small businesses and non-profits can get up to a $10,000 advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan even if your previous application was declined or still pending. Apply now: http://sba.gov/disaster Learn more: http://sba.gov/coronavirus

(March 27, 2020):  This bill has provisions specifically targeting affected businesses in the tourism industry. These specific targeted provisions will be available through grants at the state and local level. Advocating on behalf of the Vacation Rental Industry is extremely important during this economic crisis. For other resources related to the pandemic see VRMA's Resource page

VRMA is reviewing the entire bill. Below is their high level overview.

  • Help for Small Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations: Provided through $377 billion in loans and loan forgiveness.
  • Help for Severely Impacted Industries and State and Local Governmental Entities: Provided through $454 billion in loans, loan guarantees and other financial instruments.
  • Business Tax Relief: For the current tax year and previous tax years.
  • Help for Affected Workers: Provided through cash payments, tax relief, and unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Help for Hospitals, Healthcare Workers, and Infected Individuals: Provided through grants and other forms of relief.
  • Help for States, Local Government, and Transportation: Provided through grants, including direct support for the tourism industry and airports. Once enacted, agencies will have to issue regulations to make the benefits available.

Specific help for the travel industry (and other affected businesses) are included below:

AIRPORT AND TOURISM GRANTS

Eligibility: For any airport, State, territory, municipality, subdivision of a State, or instrumentality thereof.

  • Provides $10 billion in grants to airports for the purpose of maintaining airport operations, distributed through FAA’s Airport Improvement Program by formula.
  • Provides $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants to States and local governments to mitigate economic disruptions in impacted industries, including making direct grants to tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • Provides $1.5 billion in Economic Development Agency grants to State and local governments for economic injuries to impacted industries, including grants to support economic revitalization of tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION LOANS

Please go to the Small Business Administration website to complete the application Link

Existing SBA Loans:

Eligibility: For small business or franchises with 500 employees or less, including tour operators, meeting and event services, hotels, attractions, restaurants, wineries, and more.

  • Provides $17 billion for the SBA to cover the next 6 months of loan payments due on existing SBA 7(a) loans, Certified Development Company loans, and microloans. Any business with an existing loan under these programs are eligible for relief.
  • SBA Disaster Loans:
  • Eligibility: Broadest eligibility, including private nonprofits, sports leagues and DMOs organized as 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(3) organizations, along with small businesses such as tour operators, meeting and event services, hotels, attractions, restaurants, wineries, and more.
  • Provides $10 billion for the SBA to provide economic injury disaster loans to small businesses, private nonprofits (including 501(c)(6) organizations), small agricultural cooperatives, self-employed individuals, and any business that employs less than 500 employees until December 31, 2020.
  • Allows applicants to be approved for the loans based on credit score alone and waives personal collateral requirements for loans totaling less than $200,000. Additionally, the bill waives rules requiring borrowers to be in businesses for at least a year, and the requirement that an applicant be unable to obtain credit elsewhere.
  • SBA is also authorized to give grants (up to $10,000) to any business or private nonprofit eligible for a loan within 3 days of receiving a disaster loan application, to cover needed expenses (including payroll, rent, mortgage payments, and materials). SBA Interruption Loans: Eligibility: For any small business, including small tour operators, hotels, attractions, meetings and events, wineries, and more; and any DMO organized as a 501(c)(3) organization that doesn’t receive an SBA Disaster Loan, with certain exceptions. U.S. Travel position: We fought to expand the amount of loans available to small businesses and reduce red tape. More needs to be done to expand eligibility and increase support for travel businesses.
  • Provides $349 billion for the SBA to provide “interruption loans” to small businesses, self-employed individuals, 501(c)(3) organizations, and veteran organizations, provided they have less than 500 employees or they meet SBA small business size standards, whichever is greater—with exceptions for businesses that provide food and accommodation services.
  • The loan amount is based on 250% of the borrower’s average monthly payroll cost before the crisis hit (including the cost of wages, paid leave, severance, healthcare benefits, retirement benefits, state and local taxes, and compensation for independent contractors making less than $100,000 per year), up to $10 million.
  • Waives collateral requirements and loan fees and defers repayment for at least 6 months.
  • Recipients are eligible for tax-free loan forgiveness for a portion of the loan used cover payroll, rent or mortgage interest, and utilities for the 8-week period after the loan is originated—with conditions for maintaining employment and wages during the crisis.
  • SBA Express Loans:
  • Eligibility: For any small businesses, including small tour operators, hotels, attractions, meetings and events, wineries, and more.
  • Increases the maximum loan amount for an SBA Express loan from $350,000 to $1 million. These loans currently have a much faster approval process through SBA and provide borrowers with revolving lines of credit for working capital purposes.

ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ASSISTANCE

Eligibility: For any impacted business of any size, including sports leagues, sports teams, major hoteliers, travel technology companies, rental cars, and more. Also includes eligibility for States, territories, municipalities, subdivisions of a State, or instrumentalities thereof (including DMOs organized as an instrument of government, DMO’s classified as 501(c)(6) organizations).

  • Provides $454 billion for the Treasury Department to provide secured loans to U.S. businesses, States, tribes, and municipalities (including DMOs organized as instruments of a State or local government) or to fund liquidity assistance through the Federal Reserve, in support of businesses, States, tribes, and municipalities that haven’t already received economic relief through any other loan provided under the bill.
  • There is no deadline for when Treasury or the Federal Reserve must issue regulations setting up a program providing this assistance.
  • To receive a direct loan from the Treasury Secretary or Federal Reserve, businesses must have a majority of its employees based in the U.S. and agree not to conduct until 12 months after the loan is repaid: 1) stock buybacks; 2) pay dividends on common stock; and 3) agree to certain limits on executive compensation.
  • The liquidity assistance provided by the Federal Reserve can be in the form of direct loans to businesses and governmental entities (including certain DMOs, hotels, restaurants, rental car companies, software companies, and retailers) or the direct purchase of debt obligations or securities from the business. Assistance can also be in the form of the purchase of bonds, loans, and securities directly from banks or from investors in the secondary market. Collateral is required for all loans given by the Federal Reserve and Treasury, and all loans, bonds, and securities purchased by the Federal Reserve must be collateralized.
  • • Directs the Treasury Secretary to establish a program that provides banks with liquidity to make loans to businesses and nonprofit organizations (including travel businesses and 501(c)(6) organizations) with between 500 and 10,000 employees, capping interest rates for the loans at 2 percent and providing 6 months of forbearance, on condition of the entity maintaining employment and meeting collective bargaining and other requirements.
  • Also provides $46 billion for the Treasury Department to give direct loans to airlines, cargo air carriers, and businesses critical to national security (e.g. Boeing).
  • Treasury is also able to provide $32 billion in grants to passenger airlines, cargo air carriers, and air service contractors (including airline catering services) under strict conditions.
  • Companies that receive a direct loan from the Federal Reserve or the Treasury Department cannot engage in stock buybacks or pay dividends until a year after the loan is fully paid back. They must also limit executive compensation, and employment requirements may apply depending on the form of assistance.
  • Creates a Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery and a 5-member Congressional Oversight Commission to oversee direct loans and financial assistance provided by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve.

BUSINESS TAX RELIEF

Eligibility: For any business of any size, sports league, sports team, or DMO organized as a 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(3) organization, as applicable.

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit: Provide a temporary tax credit against employer payroll taxes, worth 50 percent of wages (up to $10,000 of qualified wages per employee per quarter) paid this year by a qualified employer. Qualified employers include those forced to suspend activities due to the coronavirus outbreak but does not include employers that receive an SBA interruption loan.
  • Payroll Tax Deferral: Defers payment for Social Security taxes on employers and the self-employed until January 1, 2021—not including any employers that get loan forgiveness on an SBA interruption loan.
  • Net Operating Loss Deduction: Allows businesses to fully carry back net operating losses occurring in 2018, 2019, or 2020 to the previous 5 years, allowing them to amend previous tax returns to get a refund and help cover liquidity demands.
  • Refundable Credits for Prior Year Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT): Accelerates the ability for corporations to recover AMT credits, allowing them to claim a refund now and obtain additional cash flow.
  • Business Interest Expense Deduction: Temporarily increases the cap on the business interest expense deduction for the 2019 and 2020 tax year.
  • Qualified Improvement Property: Allows restaurants and retail stores to fully expense the cost of property improvements in the year the cost occurs, rather than over time through a depreciation schedule.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ASSISTANCE

Eligibility: For any worker of an affected employer, including private businesses, sports leagues, sports teams, and DMOs, as applicable. U.S. Travel position: We fought to ensure unemployment insurance could be used to support as many travel industry workers as possible during this crisis.

  • Provides enhancements to existing State unemployment insurance programs, including allowing furloughed workers to receive unemployment insurance benefits, waiving the 7-day waiting period for regular unemployment insurance, extending the duration of unemployment insurance benefits, and promoting short time compensation benefits for workers forced to cut hours.

Small Business Administration  

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) coronavirus resource page provides a list of relief programs, as well as offering guidance to small business owners during this crisis. Loans are available for up to $2 million and can be used to help retire fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the pandemic’s impact.  Link

Filing is open for EIDL loans. Interested businesses and nonprofits can apply online. Link

Should you find the site "runs slow" or has "crashed" consider using the paper forms found here Link

Online applications are preferred, but organizations can also call 1-800-659-2955 and request a paper application by mail.

Applicants should have their most recent federal income tax return and a completed and signed IRS Form 4506T, which authorizes the release of tax information.

To help you move your small business EID Loan process along, you may find here the forms and email addresses you will need to submit your application

You will only need to submit the SBA EIDL application form at this time.
Attached SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) forms:

  • ELAL0 Loan Application
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Schedule of Liabilities
  • IRS Form 4506T
    Please email your completed application to: Ela.doc@sba.gov
    Before summiting, be sure to check to see if the SBA porthole is up and running.

Analysis of Small Business Loans under CARES Act

For an analysis of Small Business Loans under the CARES Act see Forbes article,
"Congress Reaches Agreement On A Coronavirus Relief Package: Tax Aspects Of The CARES Act" Link
[Note: The Forbes author is by no means a small business loan expert. His findings were reviewed by David Sobochan at tax partner at Cohen & Company and Eric Hjerpe, a tax partner at Hjerpe & Tennison CPAs, who assisted in this section]

Federal Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extension

(UPDATE: March 31, 2020) IRS: Employee Retention Credit available for many businesses financially impacted by COVID-19

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service  launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. Link

Tax Filing Deadline: July 15, 2020

The federal tax return filing deadline is now July 15, 2020. For tax payments of up to $10 million, the IRS has also extended the deadline for both individuals and businesses to July 15, 2020. Estimated tax payments for 2020 originally due on April 15 will now be due on July 15.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

Note: You may offer yourself and your employees paid sick leave and paid family leave, starting April 1, 2020. This will be available to W-2 employees and to Schedule C Sole Proprietors. True relief will be somewhat faster for W-2 employee situations. Since the forms aren't actually out yet, that's the only update for now- that we should get more info by April 1. Link

Individual State and Municipalities

Check your governor’s website for up-to-date information about relief available in your area. The National Governors Association offers a list of governors’ websites. Link

US Chapter 11

The benefits of US chapter 11 relief in a time of economic crisis is outlined in a COVID19 Alert DLA-Piper Article. The article provides information regarding Chapter 11 and restructuring. Link

Banks Offering Assistance

For Banks that are offering assistance see American Bankers Association’s ongoing A-Z list of coronavirus response programs. Link

Other Grants and Microloans

Below are grants and microloans available. Visit the granting site for details and to determine if you are eligible for any of them. Visit your state or local government's websites for other possible grants or loans not yet listed.

Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund

To be eligible for a grant, recipients must have fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue. Link

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is committed to offering up to 30,000 small businesses $100 million in cash grants and Facebook advertising credits. The grants will be provided to businesses in more than 30 countries. Information is limited. Sign up to get more details from the company when they’re available. Link

GoFundMe

The social-fundraising platform has launched the Small Business Relief Initiative, partnering with Yelp to provide small-business owners with grants and resources. Link

GoFundMe and Yelp have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund, and it is open for anyone to make a donation. There will also be $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. Link

Hello Alice

Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus, as part of our broader mission to ensure Business for All. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community. Link

California

Update- Effective March 30, 2020: All taxpayers who file a return less than $1 Million dollars will have an additional 3 months to file their return, between now and July 31, 2020. If you qualify for this extension it is automatic and you do not need to apply. Review Chart of New Due Dates

If your tax liability of $1 million or more, you may still request an extension if you are unable to file and pay timely. These requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and taxpayers will be notified if their extension has been approved or denied.

San Francisco COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund
Businesses with between one and five employees can apply for up to $10,000 in emergency funding to help cover rent and employee salaries. Link

City of Los Angeles Small Business Emergency Microloan Program
Businesses and microenterprises in Los Angeles that are responsible for providing low-income jobs can get an emergency microloan of $5,000 to $20,000. Link

City of San Diego Small Business Relief Fund (SBRF)
Provides grants and forgivable or low- to zero-interest-rate loans to eligible small businesses for working capital. Link

Colorado

Denver Small Business Emergency Relief
This program offers cash grants of up to $7,500 to businesses in industries particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus. Link

Florida

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Loans of up to $50,000 — $100,000 in certain special cases — are available to coronavirus-affected small businesses. Link

Illinois

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund
Starting March 31, small businesses in Chicago can apply for low-interest loans of up to $50,000 with repayment terms of up to five years. Link

Michigan

Michigan Small Business Relief Program
State of Michigan will provide both grants and loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus starting on or around April 1. Link

New York

New York City Employee Retention Grant Program
Small businesses with one to four employees can apply for a grant of up to $27,000 that covers 40% of payroll costs over the course of two months. Link

New York City Small Business Continuity Fund
For small businesses with fewer than 100 employees for up to $75,000 in interest-free loans from the city to cover revenue losses. Link

Oregon

Beaverton Emergency Business Assistance Program
This is a first come-first served program. Businesses in Beaverton that were ordered to close as a result of government coronavirus guidelines can apply for $2,500 per month in rent or mortgage reimbursement while the city is in a declared state of emergency. Link

Other Resources

USA Chamber of Commerce

Coronavirus Small Business Guide provides a breakdown of all the federal programs and aid for small business coronavirus assistance. Link

DLA Piper

Provides business-focused Coronavirus Resource Center has for more COVID19 information Link
Topics include:

  • Corporate Governance, Disclosure, and Risk Management
  • Finance, Restructuring, and Transactions
  • Government and Regulatory
  • Insurance, Real Estate, and Commercial Contracts
  • Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Distribution
  • Workforce and Employment

National Domestic Workers Alliance

COVID 19 support for in-home care workers, nannies, and house cleaners. Link
Please review their FAQ page. for more information regarding their "Care Fund." Link

Lift Fund COVID-19 Disaster Relief Programs

A registered nonprofit organization that offers small business lending in 13 states. Link

Main Street Business Lending Program

Federal Reserve announced an extensive new measures to support the economy, called the Main Street Business Lending Program to support lending to eligible small-and-medium sized businesses, complementing efforts by the SBA. Link

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