Many Americans from all walks of life are looking for guidance and help in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Small business owners in particular, whose entire lives and livelihoods have likely been upended due to the pandemic, need economic and logistical help during this time.
That’s because one in three small businesses don’t have a rainy day fund to help deal with emergency expenses, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Many small businesses, from restaurants to ecommerce ventures, live week to week and are always fighting to see another day.
That means millions of small business owners are seeking coronavirus financial relief possibilities. With that in mind, we’ve created a roundup of all coronavirus small business relief options to help you identify what might work best for your business.
Coronavirus Small Business Disaster Loans
At the federal level, billions of dollars have been allocated to the Small Business Administration to funnel into its Disaster Loans programs, in particular the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program. EIDLs are available for businesses in every state via the SBA website.
Additional legislation (the CARES Act) has been passed to increase the funding available to small businesses through this program, both in the form of loans and immediate grants.
To find out more about applying for one of these loans, visit our overview of coronavirus business loans.
Other Federal Small Business Loans
The SBA has multiple loan programs, most of which are low-interest loans for small business owners looking to expand, renovate, or otherwise fund their ventures. These include the SBA 7(a), SBA Microloan, and SBA 504/CDC loans.
The CARES Act has made an enormous amount of low-cost small business financing available to small businesses that need help maintaining payroll, covering costs, and other expenses through the SBA’s 7(a) loan program.
Visit our SBA loan programs explainer for more information on SBA 7(a).
Tax Deadline Extensions
The federal government recently announced an extension of the income tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15, 2020. That means many small business owners (such as sole proprietors, LLCs, and corporations filing a tax bill for less than $10 million) will be able to hold on to capital without racking up interest payments and late fees for an additional three months.
If you think you’ll need more than the additional 90 days to submit your tax return, you can file for a six-month extension using IRS Form 4868. Just make sure to submit the request before the July 15 deadline.
State tax deadlines will likely end up mirroring federal deadlines, but make sure that’s the case by reviewing this deadline resource from AICPA to see where your state stands.
State and Local Government Financial Resources
Some state and local (city and county) governments have begun setting up and pivoting programs to provide financial assistance to small businesses affected by the pandemic. This includes Rapid Response teams, no-interest loans, grants to cover payroll, and more. Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce or visit our state-by-state coronavirus resources guide for more information.
Small Business Grants
Both public and private organizations have announced or rolled out grant programs for small businesses affected by the pandemic. Companies such as Facebook and Amazon, and governments in New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin have announced such programs. Visit our list of small business grants for more information.
Private, non-bank lending companies such as Kabbage, OnDeck, and BlueVine have emerged in the years following the recession as a viable source of funding for small businesses that can’t obtain SBA or other bank financing, or need financing quickly. Although the alternative lending space is in flux right now due to the pandemic, some financing options will be available to businesses looking to temporarily address cash flow issues.
For more information on what your business might qualify for, go here.
Credit Card Companies
Credit cards can be useful tools for covering cash flow gaps and giving you and your business a little breathing room when it comes to making big purchases.
Of course, if your revenue streams have dried up due to the coronavirus, paying off your business credit card becomes a difficult and scary proposition. Fortunately, some credit card issuers including American Express, Citibank, Capital One, Chase, and Apple have announced various forms of aid and leniency to their customers, such as waiving service fees, late fees, and early withdrawal fees on CDs.
To learn more, contact your credit card issuer—preferably through digital channels such as their mobile apps or online chat functions, since phone lines will likely be swamped.
If you have good personal credit and need help consolidating business debt, you might also look into credit cards with a 0% introductory APR for a period usually lasting nine-12 months. Note that once that intro period ends a variable interest rate will kick in and will depend on your creditworthiness and the prime rate.