A Guide to Business Resources

Loans, grants and employment options
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Amidst COVID-19 concerns, the Office of Economic Vitality wanted to address local businesses in its aim to support them. They did so through the release of a business resource guide for COVID-19. The resource guide was launched to serve as the local resource for information and access to programs to strengthen businesses.

Below are some of the major points pertaining to loans, grants and employment acts:

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations, tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees or SBA fees — all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities and mortgage interest. 

The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit Home.Treasury.gov for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program. 

The Local Emergency Assistance for Non-profits (LEAN) grant program is a $1 million grant program, initiated by the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board of Directors, to assist local nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program provides a helping hand to eligible, local nonprofit organizations in order to support the continuity of their operations.

Eligible nonprofits for the LEAN grant program are human services, cultural arts and historical organizations. The award level for each eligible nonprofit application will be $2,500. The application deadline is Friday, May 15, 2020, or until all funds ($1,000,000) have been expended, whichever comes first.

To apply for the Local Emergency Assistance for Nonprofits grant program, click here.

If your employees have been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation efforts in Florida to stop the spread of COVID-19, they may be eligible to receive reemployment assistance through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The Reemployment Assistance (RA) program provides temporary, partial wage replacement benefits to qualified workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. It is funded solely by employers who pay federal and state payroll taxes and is provided at no cost to the workers who receive the benefits. For more information, click here.

If you are a bartender, brewery staffer or cocktail server who needs financial support, you can apply to the USBG National Charitable Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. A USBG membership is not required to receive funds. To apply, visit the USBG website here. 

The U.S. Small Business Association works directly with governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Find more information on the SBA’s business guidance and loan resources here. 

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Temporary Layoff program is for employees that are temporarily laid off from work may be eligible for reemployment assistance benefits. A temporary layoff occurs when the employee is separated from their job due to lack of work, and the employee has a return-to-work date within eight weeks of the separation. To see if you apply, click here.

Categories: Business