COVID-19 Business Resource Update – What’s New?
These are unprecedented times when navigating the various Health Order updates and financial relief programs can be truly challenging. Still, the San Leandro business community remains resilient and open to adaptation, which is deserving of applause. That said, if your business is in need of additional funding or having trouble finding funding, below is an update to the resources currently available, along with other news about reopening. And, as always, you can reach out to San Leandro Economic Development staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for a free advisor with the Alameda County Small Business Development Center to walk you through the application process.
Topics covered in this post are:
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans – still open for new applications
- SBA Debt Relief – 6 months paid on pre-existing loans
- Paycheck Protection Program – Forgiveness Update
- Mainstreet Lending Program – Medium-Sized Businesses
- Alameda County Shelter-in-Place – No Changes Yet
- Recent State Actions impacting Businesses and Workers
Economic Injury Disaster Loans – still open for new applications
In June, SBA reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19, and there is still funding available!
Since this program is still accepting new applications, many small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, employees and the communities they support.
- EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or other expenses.
- The EIDL Advance is no longer available, but SBA Bridge Express Loans are a way for small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
- EIDL loan and Advance applications already submitted are being processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Small businesses that have already applied do not need to apply again. For information or to apply, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.
- To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
- These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
SBA Loan Relief – 6 months paid on pre-existing loans
As part of its coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. This relief is not available for Paycheck Protection Program loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans. Borrowers do not need to apply for this assistance. It will be automatically provided as follows:
- For loans not on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
- For loans currently on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due after the deferment period has ended, and will make six monthly payments.
- For loans made after March 27, 2020 and fully disbursed prior to September 27, 2020, SBA will begin making payments with the first payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
SBA has notified 7(a), 504 and Microloan Lenders that it will pay these borrower loan payments. Lenders have been instructed to refrain from collecting loan payments from borrowers. If a borrower’s payment was collected after March 27, 2020, lenders were instructed to inform the borrower that they have the option of having the loan payment returned by the lender or applying the loan payment to further reduce the loan balance after SBA’s payment.
Borrowers should contact their lender if they have any questions regarding this payment relief.
For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.
What does an “automatic deferral” mean to borrowers?
- Interest will continue to accrue on the loan.
- 1201 monthly payment notices will continue to be mailed out which will reflect the loan is deferred and no payment is due.
- The deferment will NOT cancel any established Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or recurring payments on your loan. Borrowers that have established a PAD through Pay.Gov or an OnLine Bill Pay Service are responsible for canceling these recurring payments. Borrowers that had SBA establish a PAD through Pay.gov will have to contact their SBA servicing office to cancel the PAD.
- Borrowers preferring to continue making regular payments during the deferment period may continue remitting payments during the deferment period. SBA will apply those payments normally as if there was no deferment.
- After this automatic deferment period, borrowers will be required to resume making regular principal and interest payments. Borrowers that cancelled recurring payments will need to reestablish the recurring payment.
For more information on the SBA’s Debt Relief efforts, click HERE.
Paycheck Protection Program – Forgiveness Update
The deadline for applying for the second round of the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was June 30, 2020 and there is no indication of a third round as of yet. Recipients of the PPP loan will want to remain aware of the forgiveness period, which is currently underway.
Applying for Loan Forgiveness
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. The loan forgiveness form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:
- Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
- Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the 24-week period after receiving their PPP loan
- Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
- Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
- Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined
- Click here to download the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application (06-16-2020) (Spanish version)
- Click here to download instructions for the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application (06-16-2020)
- Click here to download the Paycheck Protection Program EZ Loan Forgiveness Application (06-16-2020)
- Click here to download instructions for the Paycheck Protection Program EZ Loan Forgiveness Application
All of the PPP rules are published here: https://home.treasury/gov/policy-issues/cares/assistance-for-small-businesses
Main Street Lending Program – Medium Sized Businesses
The Federal Reserve continues to maintain the Main Street Lending Program (Program) which supports lending to small and medium-sized businesses that may not be eligible for other federal funding programs. The $600 billion initiative, is intended to fill the gap between the expired Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provided forgivable loans to small businesses, and alternative funding sources, such as corporate bond markets, available to large companies.
Firms with fewer than 15,000 employees or less than $5 billion in revenue are eligible for a Main Street Loan. A bank makes the loan and then sells 95% of it to the Federal Reserve (Fed), reducing its risk during a highly uncertain crisis and removing the loan from its books so it can lend to other companies. The Fed recently lowered the minimum loan amount to $250,000 and raised the maximum to $300 million to open the program to more firms. To reduce monthly payments, loan terms were extended from four to five years and principal payments now can be deferred for two years, up from a year.
To be eligible, a business must:
- Have been established before March 13, 2020.
- Must have 15,000 employees or fewer or have had an annual revenue in 2019 of less than $5 billion.
- Must not be a type of business ineligible to receive Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) funds, except with regards to number of employees.
- Be a US businesses, created or organized in the United States (including US subsidiaries of international companies)
- Have not participated in the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF).
- Not have received specific support under Title IV of the CARES Act, which consists of support to certain aviation-related businesses and businesses critical to maintaining national security.
Businesses that received loans under the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) may also be eligible for the Main Street Lending Program, subject to terms.
The Program will operate through three facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF), the Main Street Priority Loan Facility (MSPLF), and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF).
Term sheets for each facility and frequently asked questions (FAQs) (PDF) providing more information regarding eligibility and conditions can be found at https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/mainstreetlending.htm
Alameda County Shelter in Place – No Changes Yet
While limited cash flow remains the chief contributor to the struggles of businesses, being able to navigate the various tiers of reopening can be challenging as well. As has been the case since the shutdown began, the most restrictive jurisdiction prevails, be it the State, the County, or the City. Alameda has typically been more cautious with reopening measures than the State, so businesses are advised to keep updated on the County guidelines for pertinent and accurate information. In order to help with this, on September 2, 2020, the Alameda County Health Office revised this list of approved open and closed businesses at a glance.
On September 22, 2020, the County also released this press release, providing the County’s statement on the county’s change from the purple category to the red category, which by State guidance allows for more openings. However, the County will take a measured and phased approach to avoid dramatic increases in
disease transmission and re-closures. County officials are using the next two weeks (through October 6) to ensure the metrics remain stable and will release a phased plan that balances increased risk of spread of COVID-19 from newly permitted activities alongside appropriate mitigation strategies that can be implemented. At this time, there is no change to permitted or prohibited activities in Alameda County.
Recent State Actions Impacting Businesses and Workers
On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom signed legislation ensuring millions more Californians can utilize Paid Family Leave benefits they pay for without the fear of job loss. SB 1383 was developed through the Paid Family Leave Task Force convened by the Administration last year and builds on previous work to extend Paid Family Leave benefits from six to eight weeks for each parent of a newborn. Governor Gavin Newsom also signed two bills as part of his worker protection package. SB 1159 expands access to workers’ compensation and makes it easier for first responders, health care workers and people who test positive due to an outbreak at work to get the support they need, including necessary medical care and wage replacement benefits. AB 685 ensures timely notification of COVID-19 cases to employees and local and state public health officials. This notification will help workers take necessary precautions such as seeking testing, getting medical help or complying with quarantine directives.
On September 9, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed three bills into law to support small businesses grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and another to jumpstart state construction projects. AB 1577 allows small businesses to exclude PPP loans from gross income for state taxes, SB 1447 authorizes $100 million Main Street hiring tax credit program for small businesses, and SB 115 accelerates $230.5 million in state bond funding for construction projects. Governor Newsom also signed AB 1867, legislation that extends critical paid sick days protections to California’s workforce. Building on historic early action to expand paid sick days to employees in the food sector at the beginning of this crisis, this legislation means that every California employee that has been exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19 will have access to paid sick days for the rest of the 2020 calendar year.