Small business support
No. If you represent a small business or nonprofit, for information visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 loan resources page. If you are unemployed due to COVID-19, please contact your local unemployment office.
The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. There are only two exceptions: State and local governments and their instrumentalities and small businesses who take Small Business Loans. Qualifying employers must fall into one of two categories:
- The employer’s business is fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter.
- The employer’s gross receipts are below 50 percent of the comparable quarter in 2019. Once the employer’s gross receipts go above 80 percent of a comparable quarter in 2019 they no longer qualify after the end of that quarter.
Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees’ wages by the amount of the credit.
Eligible employers will report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns or Form 941 beginning with the second quarter. If the employer’s employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may receive an advance payment from the IRS by submitting Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19. Eligible employers can also request an advance of the Employee Retention Credit by submitting Form 7200.
- Detailed IRS guidance on the Employee Retention Credit (PDF)
- Additional FAQs are available from the Department of the Treasury.
Yes, as it has for more than 65 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering various trainings and educational assistance for small businesses across the country to help them start, grow, expand and recover. You can find your local SBA District Office at www.sba.gov/localassistance.
Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at www.sba.gov.
For more information, please visit Treasury.gov/CARES.
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.
For more information, please visit Treasury.gov/CARES.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, gives businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid sick leave and family and medical leave related to COVID-19.
Eligible employers can receive a credit in the full amount of the qualified sick leave and family leave wages paid for between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Employers can be reimbursed immediately by reducing their federal employment tax deposits. If there are insufficient federal employment taxes to cover the amount of the credits, employers may request an accelerated payment from the IRS.
For more detailed information, please visit the IRS.
SBA’s long-term, low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance are currently available. In response to user feedback, the application is now easier and takes less processing time. You can find the application at www.sba.gov/disaster. Additional programs will be available the coming days.
Some companies are taking advantage of the pandemic to engage in unethical behavior by promising expedited relief or fast help getting a PPP loan. In June, the FTC and SBA sent warning letters to companies that may be misleading small businesses seeking SBA loans as a result of the coronavirus 2019 pandemic.
In addition, the application deadline for the PPP loans was August 8, 2020.
Remember, applying for a loan was a step-by-step process before the coronavirus crisis and it’s a step-by-step process now. To find legitimate information about PPP loans, visit sba.gov/coronavirus.