Small Business Assistance
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and CARES Act include several initiatives to assist employers and protect employees, including:
Paycheck Protection Program
Small businesses that employ fewer than 500 people are eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. This is a loan to cover 8 weeks of payroll expenses. Any principal used to cover payroll expenses, rent payments, or utility payments over the 8-week period may be forgiven. These loans may be used to cover other business-related expenses, such as inventory, but that portion of the loan will not be forgiven. You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program at any lending institution approved by the Small Business Administration or Department of Treasury.
For more information please visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
Small businesses that employ fewer than 500 people are eligible to apply for an EIDL in addition to the Paycheck Protection Program. EIDL provides an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19. These funds are distributed to businesses within three days of applying for EIDL. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstances and may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, cover supply chain disruptions, or similar business-related expenses.
To apply for EIDL visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ or visit https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for more information.
Expanded Paid Sick and Family LeaveEffective April 1 through December 31, 2020, employees are eligible for two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee's regular rate of pay if the employee is unable to work because they were diagnosed with COVID-19 or were ordered to self-quarantine by a health care provider or government order.
Employees are eligible for two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee's regular rate of pay if the employee is unable to work because they are caring for a family member who has been quarantined due to COVID-19 or caring for a child whose school or childcare has been closed due to COVID-19.
More information from the Department of Labor can be found here.
Private sector employers that provide paid sick leave or family leave under this ruling are eligible for full reimbursement of the amount paid through a refundable tax credit. Employers can claim this tax credit through the IRS and more information is available at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs.
Farm Service Agency Loans
Agriculture producers can continue to apply for farm loans and have their current loans serviced. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need. FSA is expending the deadline to complete farm loan applications and temporarily suspending loan accelerations and non-judicial foreclosures.
More information can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus.