As the state and the nation aim to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the economic losses suffered by people and businesses continue to increase. While some large businesses in specific industries like tourism, travel, and dining are struggling, small businesses are facing particularly difficult times. Unlike those bigger businesses, small businesses do not have nearly as much funding or other resources to help them stay afloat. Fortunately, the governments at both the national and the state levels have made many resources available to small businesses to help them weather the storm. If you have any questions about these programs, you should speak to a business law attorney.
Paycheck Protection Program
As part of the $376 billion CARES Act signed into federal law toward the end of March 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program’s aim is to incentivize small businesses into keeping their employees on the payroll. To do this, qualified small businesses are able to take out forgivable loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) as long as they keep all of their employees on the payroll for eight weeks and use the funding for payroll, utilities, mortgage interest, and rent.
To apply, find any SBA 7(a) lender, federally insured institution, or other lender enrolled in the program and begin the application process. Eligibility criteria may include at least one of the following:
- - Meeting SBA size standards (industry-based or alternative)
- - Be a business, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, 501(c)(19) vet organization, or Tribal business with the less than 500 employees or, for businesses with more than 500 employees, within the industry size standards
- - Any Accommodations or Food Service businesses (NAICS code 72) with more than one location and less than 500 employees per location
- - Sole proprietors, the self-employed, or independent contractors
This program is available through June 30, 2020.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance
The EIDL Emergency Advance provides small business owners with loan advances of up to $10,000 to compensate for temporary COVID-19 pandemic-related revenue losses. This advance does not need to be repaid. To qualify, in addition to being directly affected by the pandemic, you must have a small business with less than 500 employees or be either a private nonprofit or veterans organization.
SBA Express Bridge Loan
If you already have a relationship with an SBA Express Lender, you might be able to get up to $25,000 quickly as you wait for your EIDL application to be processed. By leveraging your current relationship with an SBA Express Lender, you can get that money right away and then pay it back with the revenue eventually produced by your EIDL.
SBA Financial Reprieve
In addition to these options, the SBA will also:
- - Automatically pay interest, principal, and fees for current 504, 7(a), and microloans for six months.
- - Automatically pay interest, principal, and fees on new 504, 7(a), and microloans issued before September 27, 2020.
COVID-19 Small Business Assistance in Illinois
In addition to federal programs to assist with the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, the state of Illinois is offering the following:
- - Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund—If you are a small business outside of Chicago with less than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue for 2019, you might be eligible for this loan, which will give you access to up to $50,000 in a low-interest loan for up to a five-year term with no payments for the first six months. Businesses who accept the loan must maintain at least 50% of their workforce for six months, and half of this funding must go toward their payroll.
- - Business Invest – Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program—The Illinois State Treasury has made up to $250 million available to financial institutions in order to offer low-interest small business loans to those affected by the pandemic. Ask your lending partners if they are enrolled in the program. To be eligible, you must:
- - Be an Illinois business or nonprofit
- - Be closed or limited in business due to the pandemic
- - Have less than $1 million in assets or less than $8 million average annual receipts
- - Have headquarters in Illinois or agree to use the funds in Illinois
- - Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund—Small businesses in Chicago with a 25% decrease in revenue, less than $3 million in revenue, less than 50 employees, and no tax liens/judgments, may qualify for up to $50,000 in low-interest loans with five-year terms.
- - Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program—$20 million from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Programs will be used for grants of up to $50,000 in working capital for small businesses in rural communities.
Contact an Arlington Heights Small Business Lawyer
If you are a small business that needs financial assistance, our Schaumburg business law attorneys can help you understand your options, and we will work with you to apply for relief that will help you weather this difficult time. Contact us at 847-934-6000 for a free consultation.