COVID-19 Disaster Relief Options for Small Businesses
To keep you up to date on information which may be helpful to you and your business, we have summarized below some options that may be available to you. Please keep in mind that this is a very fluid situation and details are subject to change. This information is current as of March 23, 2020.
Please note: The SBA program that is to be channeled through banks has NOT been passed by Congress yet, thus as of this moment that is not an option.
In summary, here are some current options available for Florida businesses:
- Request an SBA Loan Deferment from the bank: You can request a deferment if you have an SBA loan.
- The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Apply directly with the SBA (banks are not involved). https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
- The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program: Apply directly to the State of Florida, up to $50M available, no interest, no monthly payments, full repayment of the loan at end of 12 month period. Again, the bank is not involved. https://floridadisasterloan.org/
- The CARES Act is the proposed legislation that will provide funds, through an SBA loan, that will be administered through the banks. This legislation has NOT yet passed and as such, it is not yet available. In current form, the proposed legislation would provide a loan of up to $10,000,000 that can be used towards payroll, fixed debt payments and rent, among other things. Under the proposed bill, borrowers would be eligible for some debt forgiveness if they keep their payroll levels the same as they were prior to receiving the loan. We hope that Congress can come together and pass the legislation soon.
It is important to note at this time, a business can only elect ONE loan choice between the EIDL and the CARES Act (if it becomes available). A business cannot borrow from both funds. Because the CARES Act has not yet passed, it may be difficult to make a choice.
If you are in need of help right now, we suggest you make sure your financials are complete and apply online for the EIDL. Processing takes time, and the hope would be that the application is in process while the CARE Act is finalized. At that time, you may be able to make a more informed decision. The EIDL application can be cancelled should it be determined the CARES Act, when finalized, is more beneficial.
We encourage all business owners to have their financials ready to act quickly when the opportunities become available.