Small Business Assistance During COVID-19Pat Fontana
As a small business owner, you may be struggling with how to operate during the coronavirus outbreak. Some businesses have become busier during the pandemic, shifting their business model to accommodate changing needs, while others have had to close temporarily. Orders to stay at home have prevented many businesses from operating at all. You can access small business assistance during COVID-19, for financial support as well as strategic guidance.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is now charged with administering a number of financial support options. Although initial funding for some of the loan and grant programs was depleted relatively quickly, new legislation is being passed to provide additional funds for these much-needed programs.
- Paycheck Protection Program – loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance – loan advance of up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties
- SBA Express Bridge Loans – for small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
- SBA Debt Relief – a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delayed Tax Deadlines
To further provide small business assistance during COVID-19, the federal government has extended deadlines for individuals and businesses. The annual tax filing deadline has been shifted from April 15 to July 15. Any federal tax payments that would normally be due on April 15 are not due now until July 15.
The deadline for first quarter estimated taxes is also now July 15. However, the deadline for second quarter estimated taxes remains June 15. As a small business owner, you should plan accordingly, to ensure you will be able to meet the new filing and payment deadlines.
SBA and COVID-19
Beyond their financial programs, the SBA has also developed Guidance for Business and Employers which lists common issues small businesses may encounter and recommended responses to those issues, including:
- Capital access
- Workforce capacity
- Inventory and supply chain shortfalls
- Facility remediation/clean-up costs
- Insurance coverage issues
- Changing market demand
The SBA page provides guidance that may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.
SBA recommends strategies for employers to use now, including:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
- Separate sick employees
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Additional guidance for employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 themselves.
State Relief Programs
Most states across the country are providing small business assistance during COVID-19 as well. The National Governors Association (NGA) has established a website listing links to each state’s governor’s website. These sites provide up-to-date information about financial relief available within each state for small businesses.
The state of Arizona has created a number of helpful resources for small businesses. The governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, emphasizes that “As we work to combat the spread of COVID-19, access to resources that can help support families and businesses in this time of need is critical. We’re calling on Arizonans to be informed, get engaged, and support organizations doing important work to keep our communities safe and healthy. Arizona will get through this together.”
The Arizona Commerce Authority has compiled a list of financial resources for small businesses that includes answers to commonly asked questions such as which businesses are considered essential and how loan applications are processed. The Arizona Legislature approved a $50M coronavirus relief package for funding response programs related in part to business support and relief for nonprofits. The AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund is part of the Arizona Together initiative, supporting Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak.
CLEAR VIEW BUSINESS SOLUTIONS IS FOCUSED ON HELPING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
We understand the challenges you are facing during the coronavirus outbreak. We can help guide you through the many options for small business assistance during COVID-19. Learn more about how we can help you and your business by contacting Clear View Business Solutions to speak to our team about our services. Give us a call at (520) 544-0177.