COVID-19 Loan and Relief Resources for Small Businesses

Gusto Editors

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, federal, state, and local governments, along with private entities, are mobilizing to provide economic relief as businesses and workers enter a period of uncertainty.

We’ve compiled  a comprehensive list of public and private loans, grants, and financial support programs aimed at small businesses:

This list of resources will be updated regularly. You can find the ones that may be most helpful to you by state within the relief finder, but here’s a summary of what’s inside.

Federal government actions

Congress, the White House, and other federal agencies have been taking swift action to provide rapid financial relief to small businesses. Additional actions are likely in the coming days and weeks, and we will update you when those federal actions become final.

  • The Federal Reserve has announced that it will cut interest rates to 0% and take additional steps to stabilize the economy.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been given authority to issue $7 billion in loans for disaster relief. Through this authority, the SBA can provide up to $2 million in disaster loans to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of COVID-19. Check the SBA website to see if your area has been declared eligible for disaster loan assistance.

State resources

Most states have issued their own guidance and relief programs for employers and employees in response to the coronavirus. Search for your state in the relief finder for the latest list of resources available to you locally. Here are a few highlights from impacted states:

  • California’s IBank, a unit within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, is providing disaster loans of up to $1 million for small business borrowers as well as $500 to $10,000 loans for low-wealth entrepreneurs in declared disaster areas. The state’s Employment Development Department is also providing a work sharing program for employers who need to reduce work hours, support teams for businesses planning closures or layoffs, and deadline extensions for filing payroll reports and taxes. The City of San Francisco has created the COVID-19 Small Business Resiliency Fund allowing impacted small business owners to access up to $10,000 for employee salaries and rent.
  • New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) has created a program to assist businesses seeking emergency loans or lines of credit to deal with negative economic impacts from COVID-19. NMEDD can guarantee a portion of a loan or line of credit up to 80% of principal or $50,000. Loan proceeds are flexible and can be used for working capital, inventory, payroll, and more.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced zero interest loans of up to $75,000 for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more due to COVID-19. The City is also offering businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months.
  • Washington State issued new rules that waive financial penalties for employers who file their tax reports late, pay their taxes late, or do not respond to information requests in a timely fashion as a result of COVID-19. The City of Seattle has also expanded its Small Business Stabilization Fund to help supplement the SBA loan program. Eligible small businesses will receive a grant of up to $10,000 to mitigate revenue lost by COVID-19. 

Private relief programs 

Private corporations around the country are also finding ways to support small businesses, either through funding or free use of their services.

  • UberEats is waiving delivery fees for all orders from independently-owned restaurants to keep them in business as many cities begin to mandate closure of storefronts.
  • Amazon created a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to local small businesses that will be impacted by fewer customers due to COVID-19. The fund is intended to support small businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue located near Amazon’s Seattle office weather the outbreak.
  • Google has rolled out free access to its advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite customers until July 1 so businesses can stay connected with their teams and vendors.

Our relief finder will regularly be updated with financial resources for small businesses. Check back for the most up-to-date information, and share it with a business owner who may benefit from the support.

We’ll also be creating similar resources for unemployment benefits and sick leave. Visit the Talk Shop homepage for our latest publications, and see our COVID-19 employer guide for more helpful info.

Gusto Editors Gusto Editors, contributing authors on Gusto, provide actionable tips and expert advice on HR and payroll for successful business management.
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