55 federal, state and nonprofit relief efforts and funds to help you through the coronavirus pandemic

Is your small business struggling? These resources can help you get through this difficult time.

By Entrepreneur

In 2018, over 30 million small businesses accounted for 99.9 percent of the total businesses in the United States. Over 59 million small business employees accounted for 48 percent of the total employees in the United States. And our unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, according to the SBA.

Now, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis estimates 47 million Americans could lose their jobs by the time the coronavirus allows our economy to begin recovering. That’s a 32 percent unemployment rate.

Enough said. It’s time to take action. Here’s a list of relief efforts and funds that might be able to help you during this trying time.

Federal government

• The stimulus package of $2 trillion includes $377 billion for small and medium businesses.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance to small businesses.

• The Main Street Business Lending Program will support lending to small-to-mid-sized borrowers facing temporary financial difficulties.

State and local governments

• Alabama: The Birmingham Strong Emergency Loan Fund will provide zero-interest, 180-day loans to small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) of no more than $25,000 (with an average loan size of $10,000) to:

1 Prevent staff reductions.

2 Offset losses related to the coronavirus.

3 Help companies sponsor sick pay for workers.

• Arizona: A cooperative agreement with the state’s banks to protect small businesses and families from eviction and foreclosure. Banks also committed to expediting the application and approval of small-business loans as part of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program passed by Congress and signed into law last week.

• Arkansas: The Quick Action Closing Fund will allocate $4 million, and eligible companies may apply for a loan or loan guaranty of up to $250,000. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will make available up to $12 million in CDBG assistance.

• California: The Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program provides loan guarantees of up to $1 million for small-business borrowers in declared disaster areas. Jump Start Loan Program offers loans from $500 to $10,000 to low-wealth entrepreneurs in declared disaster and emergency areas. The Small Business Emergency Microloan Program will provide loans of $5,000 to $20,000 for small-business enterprises in Los Angeles that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund was created for small-business owners in San Francisco to access up to $10,000 for employee salaries and rent. The Workers and Families First program will include $10 million in public funding that will provide businesses with funding to provide an additional five days of sick leave pay to workers beyond their existing policies.

• Colorado: A $4 million relief fund with priority to support local small businesses and others involved in the food industry. The Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) is creating cash grants of up to $7,500, with the highest priorities being those most affected by the coronavirus such as the food industry.

• Delaware: HELP (Hospitality Emergency Loan Program) will provide financial relief for restaurants, bars and other hospitality industry businesses that employ thousands of Delawareans. The no-interest loans are capped at $10,000 per business per month. The money can cover rent, utilities and other unavoidable bills but cannot be used for personnel costs.

• Florida: Emergency Bridge Loan Program will provide short-term, interest-free loans up to $50,000 per eligible small business. Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business.

• Georgia: A $7 million coronavirus emergency fund that will allocate $1.5 million to small businesses.

• Kansas: HOST Relief Program will provide up to $2 million in economic stimulus for businesses and workers affected by COVID-19. The program will provide both private sector dollars to Shawnee County small businesses through purchases and public sector dollars through emergency grants.

• Illinois: Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund is providing $100 million to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans. The Hospitality Emergency Grant Program provides $14 million to help hospitality businesses with working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery.

• Louisiana: NOLABA is standing up a relief fund to meet the needs of gig economy workers who have been directly impacted by the loss of income. They are committing $100,000 to initiate the fund, with a goal of increasing the fund assets to a minimum of $500,000.

• Maine: Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and participating lenders will make special terms available to Maine-based businesses that have experienced interruption or hardship due to COVID-19. Various benefits include: loans up to $50,000 offered at reduced interest rates; interest-only payments; up to 75 percent pro-rata loan insurance on loans up to $100,000; interim financing in conjunction with the SBA wherein FAME makes loan proceeds available while approved SBA borrowers await federal funding.

• Maryland: The Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund will allocate more than $175 million to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Up to $130 million in new funding, through the Maryland Department of Commerce, will help support new loan and grant programs as well as manufacturers, and $7 million in funding through the Maryland Department of Labor is designed to help small businesses retain their workforce.

• Massachusetts: The $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits.

• Michigan: Small Business Relief Program Funding will provide up to $20 million in grants and loans to provide economic assistance to Michigan’s small businesses.

• Minnesota: Small Business Loan Guarantee Program provides another option for financing to help small businesses weather this difficult time. DEED estimates that this $10 million will guarantee $20 million to $25 million in loans for Minnesota small businesses.

• Nebraska: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are allocated to assist qualified businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The guide outlines eligible activities for providing loans or grants to private, for-profit entities to support a range of eligible activities.

• New Jersey: The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. Taken together, they will provide more than $75 million of state and private financial support, with the opportunity to grow to more than $100 million if additional philanthropic, State, and federal resources become available.

• New Mexico: The Economic Development Department (EDD) has created the COVID-19 Business Loan Guarantee Program to assist businesses seeking emergency loans or lines of credit to deal with negative economic impacts from COVID-19. EDD can guarantee a portion of a loan or line of credit up to 80 percent of the principal or $50,000. Loan proceeds are flexible and can be used for (and not limited to) the following: working capital, inventory, and payroll. New Mexico Recovery Fund will provide discounted, short-term loans to businesses struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis. All Together NM Fund will provide a phased response to the pandemic. First, it will address immediate needs in New Mexico communities, including procurement of food and medical and cleaning supplies for at-risk communities, support for childcare workers who are supporting our front-line employees, and grants to address income insecurity among smaller businesses and employees affected by COVID-19 disruptions.

• New York: The NYC Employee Retention Grant Program is for businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25 percent or more will be eligible for zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40 percent of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Additionally, consumers and small businesses experiencing coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period.

• North Dakota: North Dakota Development Fund Loans and equity investments are available to companies certified as a primary sector under the North Dakota Development Fund, Revolving Rural Loan Fund and the Venture Capital Program with up to $1 million at a lower-than-market interest rate, which can be in the form of a loan or equity investment. This funding can be used for working capital, equipment or real estate.

• Oregon: With the Beaverton Emergency Business Assistance Programs, businesses 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. Hillsboro (Oregon) Small Business Emergency Relief Program offers grants of $5,000 for businesses in Hillsboro, Oregon, to offset losses associated with the coronavirus.

• Pennsylvania: The Small Business First Fund has $61 million available initially for business assistance. This will be providing working capital loans of up to $100,000 directly to small businesses and hopefully nonprofits (those that employ 100 or fewer persons. The interest rate is currently 3 percent, however, the PIDA board can adjust the interest rates to as low as 0 percent. Also, the Small Business Relief Fund offers grants or zero-interest loans to Philadelphia small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Rhode Island: Pawtucket, R.I. has emergency loan resources for local small businesses.

• South Carolina: A $6 million COVID-19 emergency economic stimulus package will include $500,000 for zero-interest forgivable loans for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and allows bars and restaurants to delay and avoid penalties for hospitality tax payments through June.

• Utah: Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development is offering a bridge loan to Utah-based small businesses with 50 or fewer employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000 with 0 percent interest for up to a 60-month period.

• Washington: The $2.5 million City of Seattle fund will invest directly in small businesses financially impacted by COVID-19. The fund is an expansion of the Office of Economic Development’s (OED) Small Business Stabilization Fund, which the Mayor created to support small businesses whose operations were jeopardized by a destabilizing event. Eligible small businesses will receive a grant of up to $10,000 to mitigate revenue lost by COVID-19.

• Wisconsin: Small Business 20/20 is a $5 million grant program that will give companies with fewer than 20 employees up to $20,000.

Private or nonprofit companies

• Amazon: The Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund will provide $5 million of cash grants intended for small businesses with fewer than 50 people or less than $7 million in revenue that need assistance during this difficult time. The fund is intended for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue, physical presence within a few blocks of our Regrade and South Lake Union office buildings, that are open to the general public and reliant on foot-traffic for customers. The Amazon Relief Fund will be established with a $25 million initial contribution focused on supporting our independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees under financial distress during this challenging time.

• California Community Foundation: The COVID-19 LA County Response Fund addresses the immediate and emerging needs of our region’s most vulnerable residents—from mitigation to eventual recovery. This fund will support community needs identified by our partners in health, housing, education and immigration, and will aid impacted individuals through our Pass it Along Fund.

• Citi: $15 million will be given to support COVID-19 related relief activities globally. It will be allocated as follows (1) $5 million will be directed to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, (2) $5 million will be directed to No Kid Hungry to support emergency Food Distribution Programs in the U.S. and (3) $5 million will be directed to additional international, country-specific efforts in places that are severely impacted.

• Facebook: $100M has been offered in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. We’ll share more details as they become available.

• GoFundMe: As part of the Small Business Relief Fund, GoFundMe, Intuit QuickBooks and Yelp have each donated $500,000.

• Google: Announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.

• Hello Alice: $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by the 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.

• James Beard Foundation: The new Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund will provide microgrants to independent food and beverage small businesses in need.

• JPMorgan: $50 million has been pledged to help struggling customers and another $8 million in aid will be given to small businesses.

• Lurn: The company’s COVID-19 Relief Fund will help entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing emergency grants ranging from $50 to $500 to help with necessities such as groceries, medicine, transportation, etc.  To date, it has raised over $50,000 and dispersed roughly $32,000 in emergency relief grants to individuals.

• Mailchimp: $10 million worth of service will be offered for existing customers who want to continue using Mailchimp’s platform but need some financial support during this period. As an additional response to the crisis, Mailchimp will invest up to $100M to help drive new and ongoing business for our small-business customers through price discounts, product upgrades, add-ons and more.

• Mercatus: Emergent Ventures program and Prize Fund can help innovators working to combat COVID-19.

• Miller Lite: $1 million will be given to laid-off bartenders after bars and restaurants around the country were forced to shut down in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus

• Morgan Stanley: $10 million cash has been committed in aid to support critical frontline medical responders globally as well as community providers serving those economically impacted by the crisis. The first three grants of $2 million each were announced for Feeding America, the CDC Foundation and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Health Fund.

• Otto Bremer Trust: A $50 million emergency fund will be offered through the trust’s Community Benefit Financial Company (CBFC) subsidiary to provide financial support to Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Montana nonprofits and other community organizations impacted by and responding to the pandemic. The fund will provide resources in the form of short-term loans, lines of credit, and emergency grants. All nonprofit organizations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Montana are welcome to apply for emergency funding.

• PEN Writer’s Emergency Fund: PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund is an emergency fund for professional — published or produced — writers in acute, emergency financial crises. PEN America will distribute grants of $500 to $1,000 based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

• Restaurant Employee Relief Fund: This fund will provide one-time grants of $500 on a first-come-first-served basis to restaurant owners and employees in need. The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for small businesses and their restaurant workers is accepting donations.

• Restaurant Workers Community Foundation: The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation was founded in 2018 to advocate for gender equality, racial justice, fair wages, and healthy work environments in the restaurant industry. In the wake of the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, RWCF’s full focus is on supporting workers, small-business owners and an industry in crisis

• Salesforce: The Give2SF Fund supports the city of San Francisco and has committed $1.5 million to the effort.

• The Chronicle: The Season of Sharing Fund expedited $2 million in emergency funding to all nine Bay Area counties to provide a rapid response to our neighbors affected by the pandemic.

• US Bank: $30 million has been committed to support COVID-19 relief efforts in communities around the country. This community commitment will support immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts and includes $4 million in the next two weeks to national organizations focused on small business recovery and crisis relief and an additional $26 million to local nonprofits across the country by year’s end.

• USBG National Charity Foundation: The bartender emergency assistance program will help service industry personnel who may be experiencing financial hardship during the coronavirus outbreak. Eligible applicants can receive a grant to help with bills and other costs due to sudden loss or decrease of income. In order to qualify, an applicant must be a bartender or the spouse or child of a bartender.

• Wefunder: The company’s Coronavirus Crisis Loans program enabling small businesses to crowdfund loans of $20,000 to $1 million from supporters. • Zapier: The $1 million assistance program is meant for their most impacted small-business customers. Zapier’s support team will set up qualified customers with a free month credit for a Starter plan.


Adam Soccolich for Entrepreneur

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