The SBA announced on April 16 that they will no longer be accepting new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. After two weeks of fulfilling requests from hundreds of thousands of business owners across the country, the relief funds have run dry. The PPP is expected to re-open at some point, and it’s possible the EIDL may be replenished as well.
So what should you do right now? We recommend three things:
- Get your 2019 bookkeeping and taxes completed
- Pre-apply for the Paycheck Protection Program
- Explore alternative funding
Get your 2019 bookkeeping and taxes completed
Most businesses have gladly taken advantage of the 90-day tax filing deferral to July 15, 2020. However, getting your taxes filed will give you the official documentation you need to get approved for the PPP and EIDL if they’re reopened. And in order to fill out an accurate tax return, you’ll need 2019 bookkeeping completed. (Plus, the sooner you file your return, the sooner you’ll get your tax refund.)
So if you want to position your business to be ready if the PPP or EIDL reopens, the best thing you can do today is to get your bookkeeping and taxes taken care of.
If you don’t have a bookkeeping and tax solution in place today, Bench can help. We’ll get your 2019 books caught up for a flat rate, and we’ll get your taxes filed too. Learn more.
Pre-apply for the PPP
It’s estimated that there are 800,000+ applications waiting to be processed once the PPP opens up again.
If you want to be first in line once the PPP opens, we recommend getting your application in order today and submitting it to a PPP lender.
Right now, that’s a little tricky since many lenders have stopped accepting applications, and the official SBA Lender Match page is currently displaying no lenders.
So what should you do?
We recommend reaching out to the financial institutions you’re already a member of first to see if they’re participating. Failing that, reach out to the community banks in your city, or check out online lenders that are taking applications such as BlueVine.
There is no harm in applying through more than one lender. The SBA will only approve one loan per Tax ID.
Further reading: Documents Required to Apply for the PPP
Explore alternative funding
If you don’t qualify for the PPP but still need cash flow to keep your operations going, here are resources we recommend looking into.
Support from government
The employee retention tax credit
You can be eligible for payroll tax credits if you keep your employees on payroll, if you paid COVID-19-related sick leave for employees, or if you had to suspend operations.
Further reading: Employee Retention Credits: A Simple Guide (COVID-19)
The Express Bridge Loan
You can borrow up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes from a lender you have an existing banking relationship with.
Further reading: The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program (A Simple Guide)
Support from large businesses
Many large companies have stepped up with resources and funding for small businesses affected by COVID-19.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook is providing cash grants and ad credit to small businesses with 2–50 employees.
- Applications will be open to cities on a rolling basis. Visit the site to see if it’s open for your city
- Must be a for-profit company that has been in business for over a year
You can apply here.
Google Ad Credits for Small and Medium-sized Businesses
Google is providing ad credits to small and medium businesses that advertised on Google in 2019. Credits will be added automatically.
Salesforce Care Small Businesses Grant
$10,000 grants for small businesses. Applications not yet open.
There are many region-specific supports and resources offering emergency funding. Check your local chamber of commerce, economic development office, or nonprofit for relief programs.
Further reading: COVID-19 Resources, State by State
Support for your industry
Your industry organization may offer grants and specialized support. Here are a few active funding sources:
Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is providing grants of up to $500 for impacted employees. Food delivery workers (such as those who work with Uber Eats and Doordash) are eligible.
The Photographer Fund
Format is providing up to $500 in grants to impacted photographers.
CERF+ Emergency Assistance
Up to $3,000 in grants to established artists working in a craft discipline.
Support for self-employed individuals
Federal Stimulus Checks
The federal government is providing up to $1,200 to eligible individuals. You can check the status of your payment at the IRS Get My Payment site.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Self-employed individuals and independent contractors are eligible for unemployment benefits if they find themselves unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work due to COVID-19. Visit your state’s Department of Labor site to apply.
Further reading: Unemployment Benefits and the CARES Act
Freelancers Relief Fund
Up to $1,000 in grants for freelancers experiencing financial or health hardship as a result of COVID-19. **Applications are temporarily closed**.
Banks, merchant processors, and other private lenders may offer lines of credit or other lending options. But the terms won’t be as favorable as the PPP and EIDL. One other thing: some of the below offers may have been changed due to COVID-19.
Traditional bank loans
We’ve compiled our recommendation of the best bank loans for small businesses in 2020.
Business line of credit
A line of credit is more flexible than a bank loan, and usually cheaper too. Here’s our recommendations of the best business lines of credit in 2020.
Business credit card
Using a credit card to float your business is usually a bad idea. However, some business credit cards offer 0% interest for the first year. Check out our recommendations for the top business credit cards to see if any fit your needs.