COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses

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The Virginia SBDC Network staff is located throughout the state and is capable and able to meet with you virtually (phone, web conferencing) to assist with your questions.We offer confidential, no-cost technical assistance to help create a strategy specific to your business needs. Visit our website to find an Advisor near you and to learn some immediate implementable tips.

Contact your local Virginia SBDC Network location to make an online appointment by clicking here.

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How do I get Financial Assistance?

Small businesses in Virginia are now eligible to apply for Federal Disaster Loans for economic damage. To begin the application process please use this link: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ Here’s key information you need to know: What is the EIDL? The EIDL is a low-interest, fixed-rate loan that can provide up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLs) funds come directly from the U.S. Treasury. Applicants do not go through a bank to apply, and instead, apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program. Actual loan amounts are based on the amount of economic injury. These loans provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing because of COVID-19. The EIDL helps meet the necessary financial obligations that your business or private non-profit organization could have met had the disaster not occurred. EIDLs do not replace lost sales or revenue.
How do I apply for $10,000 emergency grant? The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which was passed on 3/27/2020 establishes an emergency grant to allow an eligible entity who has applied for an EIDL loan due to COVID-19 to request an advance on that loan, of not more than $10,000, which the SBA must distribute within 3 days. It also states that applicants shall not be required to repay advance payments, even if subsequently denied for an EIDL loan. To apply for the EIDL loan, click here.
Who can apply? In order to be eligible, you must be a small business (499 employees or less).
  • Virginia small businesses affected by the disaster – common eligible businesses include: retailers, restaurants, recreational facilities, tourism-based businesses, manufacturers, owners of rental property, hotels, wholesalers, andmany more.
  • Private nonprofits
  • Small agriculture cooperatives are eligible, but agricultural enterprises are not
  • Small aquaculture businesses
How can the loan be used? The loans are for working capital which includes fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid due to the disaster’s impact. It does not cover lost sales. How much can I apply for? You will not be asked how much you would like to borrow. The SBA uses the information you provide to determine the loan amount. Small businesses can receive a secured loan up to $2 million, and an unsecured loan up to $25,000. What is the lending criteria?
  • Credit History – Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA. Traditionally, this has been around 620, but SBA will look at extenuating circumstances and consider the impact of the pandemic on the business.
  • Repayment – As with all loans, you will need to prove you have the ability to repay. Repayment term can be as long as 30 years.
  • Collateral – To get loans greater than $25,000, you must provide collateral. Loans under $25,000 can be unsecured.
What are the terms? The interest rate is 3.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. When can I apply? Applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans are now open in Virginia. Click here to access the loan application.  How do I navigate the application system? Video presentation on filling out the EIDL Application Here are screenshots of the application process: Gather Your Materials Business information
  • Contact information and social security numbers for all applicants
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) for business applicants
  • Insurance information
Financial information
  • e.g. income, account balances and monthly expenses)
  • Know the total  amounts and payments due for debts that will be paid over the next 10 months or longer (i.e. mortgages, student loans, credit cards, etc.)
Other key information:
  • Use Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox to apply. Not Chrome
  • Write your password down (or remember it!). You’ll likely need to access the system again.
  • The ‘Help Button’ provides useful information for each page.
  • Use the ‘Save Button’ frequently.
  • Be patient and keep trying if you experience slow load times.
  • If your loan request is denied, you can provide more information
What’s next? What should you expect?
  • You will receive email confirmation that your application has been submitted
  • You will receive an email letting you know that your application is under review.
  • BE PREPARED: You will be contacted by someone from the SBA. Have your monthly expenses and financial projections ready (the SBDC can help with this!)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which was passed on 3/27/2020 establishes an emergency grant to allow an eligible entity who has applied for an EIDL loan due to COVID-19 to request an advance on that loan, of not more than $10,000, which the SBA must distribute within 3 days. It also states that applicants shall not be required to repay advance payments, even if subsequently denied for an EIDL loan. To apply for the EIDL loan, click here.

The Virginia SBDC has business advisors that can help you with loan package preparation. If you have questions about the process or need assistance in gathering information or filling out application forms contact us and we will get you connected with a business advisor as soon as possible.

Contact your SBDC advisor. Request advising here.

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. The Service Center is open 7 days a week from 7:00am to 9:00pm.

On March 25, 1-2 PM EST  the Puerto Rico SBDC will be delivering a Webinar: Préstamos de Desastre del SBA ante el COVID-19 (SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for COVID-19 Emergency)  https://bit.ly/2WuUYAw

Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call SBA’s Customer Service Center via the Federal Relay Line by calling (800) 877-8339. You may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.  The Service Center is open 7 days a week from 7:00am to 9:00pm.

Some local cities and counties throughout Virginia  have begun to make loans available to their local businesses. Check your local county sites to see if there is one in your locality. You can find a list of county websites here:

Harrisonburg Disaster Impact Loan Program (HDILP)

Northern Virginia- New Rapid Response COVID-19 Business Support Grants

Staunton Creative Community Fund

Waynesboro Emergency Loan Fund

DC Small Business Recovery Microgrants (Application deadline is 6 PM EST on March 31, 2020)

 

Qualifying small businesses in Virginia will be able to apply online for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 from Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund). The online grant form will launch by the end of the day, Thursday, March 26. To qualify, businesses must employ fewer than 10 full-time employees and have annual gross revenue no more than $1 million from all business activities at all business locations.

State resources for small businesses navigating the coronavirus crisis

Many banks have offered deferment and forbearance to business loan customers having trouble making payments. Search for your bank on the American Bankers Association’s ongoing A-Z list of coronavirus response programs.  

Facebook has 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, but sign up to get more details from the company when they’re available.

GoFundMe and Yelp are partnering together to launch the Small Business Relief Fund. Find out more information here

The  Natural Capitol Investment Fund has partnered with Truist to distribute $1 million in grants to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the Truist Cares small business grant program, click the link below: https://media.truist.com/2020-03-25-Truist-Commits-2-Million-to-Support-Small-Businesses-Affected-by-the-COVID-19-Pandemic

Grants And Resources For Artists And Nonprofits

Verizon and LISC  $2.5 Million Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund-especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Learn more here
 

To help local restaurants and bars, Yelp announced $25 million in relief in the form of waived advertising fees, free advertising, and products and services.

James Beard Foundation, the national nonprofit culinary arts organization, has launched the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund.

Kiva is providing eligible US businesses with loans up to $15,000. https://www.kiva.org/blog/support-local-businesses-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

What about Federal and State Taxes?

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.

  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also request to defer the payment of state sales tax due tomorrow, March 20, 2020 for 30 days.
  • When granted, businesses will be able to file no later than April 20, 2020 with a waiver of any penalties.
  • The Virginia Department of Taxation is extending the due date of payment of Virginia individuals and corporate income taxes. While filing deadlines remain the same, the due date for individual and corporate income tax will now be June 1, 2020.
  • Please note that interest will still accrue, so taxpayers who are able to pay by the original deadlines should do so.

What do I need to know about unemployment?

No, employers who do slow or cease operations will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.

They should file their claim on-line (**preferred method**) through our Website at www.vec.virginia.gov after you have been out of work at least 1 full day.  If they do not have access to a computer, they can file your claim through our Customer Contact Center by calling 866-832-2363 Monday through Friday 8:15am – 4:30pm.  Their claim will be effective Sunday of the week in which they submit your on-line application or file through our Customer Contact Center.

Yes, they can file due to a reduction in hours. If their gross earnings is less than their weekly benefit amount.  Currently, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Virginia is $378.

Once your claim is processed by the VEC (Virginia Unemployment Commission), you will receive three important documents. The Benefit Rights document explains eligibility requirements and what you need to do each week to claim your benefits. The Monetary Determination document shows how much money you may be eligible to receive. You will also receive a PIN. You need the PIN to claim weekly benefits and to make inquiries about your claim.
 

Yes, they can file due to a reduction in hours. If their gross earnings is less than their weekly benefit amount.  Currently, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Virginia is $378.

What else should I be thinking about?

Almost all businesses carry insurance and for many, business interruption insurance exists within their policy. The detailed information below will outline the basic premise of business interruption insurance and what could generally be considered a
claim. You should check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and what, if any claims you may have.

WHAT BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE COVERS

    • Profits. Based on prior months’ performance, a policy will provide  reimbursement for profits that would have been earned had the event not occurred.
    • Fixed costs. These can include operating expenses and other incurred costs of doing business.
    • Temporary location. Some policies cover the costs involved with moving to and operating from a temporary business location.
    • Commission and training cost. In the wake of a business interruption event, a company will often need to replace machinery and retrain personnel on how to use the new machinery. Business interruption insurance may cover these costs.
    • Extra expenses. Business interruption insurance will provide reimbursement for reasonable expenses (beyond the fixed costs) that allow the business to continue operating while the business gets back on solid footing.
    • Civil authority ingress/egress. A business interruption event may result in government-mandated closure of business premises that directly cause financial loss. Examples include forced closures because of  government-issued curfews or street closures related to a covered event.
    • Employee wages. Coverage of wages is essential if a business does not want to lose employees while shutting down. This coverage can help a business owner make payroll when they cannot operate.
    • Taxes. Businesses are still required to pay taxes, even when disaster hits. Tax coverage will ensure a business can pay taxes on time and avoid penalties.
    • Loan payments. Loan payments are often due monthly. Business Interruption coverage can help a business make those payments even when they are not generating income.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has information to help employers address the coronavirus pandemic, including:

To see all of the COVID-19 information available from OSHA , click here.

  • It is important that your customers have a clear understand of your capabilities during this time. Make sure they know you are still open!
  • It is also important that your employees know exactly what is going on and how the situation impacts them. 

Guidance for Specific Types of Businesses

CDC Guidance for Business

Upcoming Webinars

Live Webinars

For more information about online training, please refer to our Webinars & Recordings page.

Unless otherwise noted, all listed webinars are FREE

March 31,  12:15 PM – 1:15 PM EST from the SBDC- Lynchburg Region: Good Hiring Processes When You Are Hiring OnLine, Register Here

April 2,  12:15 PM – 1:15 PM EST from the SBDC- Lynchburg Region: Understanding and Mitigating Supply Chain Risks Remotely, Register Here

Previously Recorded Webinars

Filling out the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Application: Watch the Recording Here

Employer Exposures and Protecting Your Business from the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce : Watch the Recording Here
 
Managing a Remote Workforce by Jennifer Woofter of the SBDC – Lynchburg Region, Watch the Recording Here
 
Leading, Marketing and Being Productive in a Crisis by Ray Sidney-Smith, W3 ConsultingWatch the Recording Here
 

Tips and Tricks for Working From Home by Jennifer Woofter of the SBDC – Lynchburg Region, Watch the Recording Here

 

Webpages

Virginia SBDC