I Got Rejected from the PPP. What Now?

By Owen Yin on April 30, 2020

If you were rejected from the Paycheck Protection Program because of an incomplete or incorrectly filled out application, you can still work with a bookkeeper or accountant to get accurate numbers and submit your application through another PPP lender.

If you were disqualified from the PPP, take heart. There are lots of other funding options out there.

Unemployment benefits

Under the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, self-employed folks are now eligible for unemployment benefits.

That means if your business doesn’t qualify for a PPP loan, you and your employees can still receive regular, sizable payments to get you through these difficult times.

To learn more about what unemployment benefits you (and your employees) can qualify for, check out our guide on unemployment benefits and COVID-19.

Support from government

The Save Small Business fund

The Save Small Business fund is a grant made available by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and supporting partner companies. It provides $5,000 to small businesses with 3–20 employees.

  • $5,000 grant

  • Applications open April 20, 2020 at 12PM PDT

  • Requires W-9 form

  • Your business must be located in an economically vulnerable community. You can enter your business’s zip code on the site to see if you qualify.

You can apply here.

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.

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

Verizon has partnered with the nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation to provide grants of up to $10,000 to impacted businesses, with a focus on entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities. The next round of funding will open May 14.

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 who have been in operation for at least 2 years and have annual revenue between $250k and $2M.

Regional support

There are many region-specific supports and resources offering emergency funding. There are too many to list here, but we recommend checking with your local chamber of commerce, economic development office, or nonprofit groups 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.

Beauty Changes Lives

$1,000 grants for impacted beauty professionals or students of beauty programs who must not be currently earning an income.

Hairdressers At Heart

230 $1,000 grants available for beauty professionals. Essay required.

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**.

The Workers Fund

Rapid funding for gig and contract workers.

Support from vendors

Your vendors, especially technology and IT vendors, may be offering financing options with low or no interest rate. Communicate with your vendors to set up deferred payment plans to increase cash flow.

Private lenders

Banks, merchant processors, and other private lenders may offer lines of credit or other lending options. Just note that 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.


This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

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