How Can Small Businesses Address Financial Issues Related to COVID-19?

Web Admin - Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Buffalo Grove small business lawyer coronavirus economic reliefAs 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. 

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.






The Legal Consequences of Canceling an Event Due to the Coronavirus

Web Admin - Monday, March 16, 2020

Schaumburg breach of contract lawyer coronavirusAs a result of the growing threat from the coronavirus, numerous events have been canceled, postponed, or modified out of fear that this virus might continue to spread and put attendees’ health in jeopardy. Some sporting events have been canceled or postponed, such as international rugby games, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and the NCAA March Madness tournament. In addition, many sporting activities have adapted with the times: some events will not allow crowds, and most professional leagues in the U.S. have restricted locker-room access.

In terms of cultural events, the South by Southwest festival has been canceled. Annual St. Patrick’s Day parades in both Ireland and Boston have been canceled. In addition, many conferences and other educational opportunities have been canceled. With so many events being canceled due to the coronavirus, understanding how you can legally safeguard your company against such cancelations and postponements is critically important, especially when it comes to corporate law.

Breach of Contract and Force Majeure Provisions

The easiest way to make sure you are covered in case the coronavirus causes the cancellation or postponement of your event is to review your contract and see if it contains any force majeure provisions. A force majeure clause in a contract enables both parties to legally breach the contract. However, for something to be considered “force majeure,” it must meet the following requirements:
  • - The events must be unavoidable and unforeseeable.
  • - The events must not be a consequence of either party’s actions.

Most force majeure arguments imply there was an “Act of God” involved. Some examples of force majeure include:

  • - Unpredicted natural disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes
  • - A war or other type of massive violent activity like riots
  • - Government laws taking effect that prevent the event from taking place

What to Do if You Have to Cancel an Event Due to the Coronavirus

If your contract has a force majeure clause, you should check to see if it explicitly enumerates epidemics like the coronavirus as a possible reason for not being able to complete what is expected from the contract. In those cases, any breach of contract charge brought against you will probably be dismissed.

If, however, you do not have epidemics specifically spelled out in the force majeure clause, then you may need to defend against a breach of contract claim. If your contract has no force majeure clause at all, the case would revert to the common law doctrine of “impossibility of performance,” which states that an unforeseen circumstance has rendered your execution of the contract objectively impossible. When addressing these issues, you should work with an attorney to determine the best strategy for demonstrating that you should not be held liable for a breach of contract.

Upon reviewing your contract, if you find that there is no force majeure clause, or if the clause contained therein does not address epidemics, you may want to add that to a newer draft of that contract and all future drafts. If you enumerate epidemics in your contract, you will not be held in breach of contract. It is also a good idea to include contingency plans in case an epidemic like the coronavirus does cause you to cancel an event, such as plans for rescheduling.

Contact a Palatine Corporate Lawyer

The coronavirus is having a significant effect on the economy. This means that more events will be canceled, and more companies could be considered in breach of their contracts for not hosting a promised event as agreed to in the contract. If your business is faced with this predicament, contact an Inverness breach of contract attorney with the experience necessary to renegotiate your contract or prove that it is impossible for you to fulfill the obligations of your contract. Give Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, at 847-934-6000 a call for a free consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.





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