Small Business Coronavirus Relief Programs

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) was signed into law, providing $2 trillion for loans/grants to small and large businesses, grants to state and local governments, hospitals, individuals, and non-profits. Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees, sole proprietors, and self-employed are eligible under two parts of the Act.

The CARES Act provides $349 billion to small businesses in loans/grants to cover for payroll, expenses and losses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and $10 billion for loans/grants through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The intent of both is to encourage employers to keep employees on payroll and pay expenses. Applicants may apply for both, but funds may not be used to cover the same expenses.

The PPP provides loans/grants of up to $10 million for businesses operational on February 15, 2020 to cover payroll and expenses, such as rent, utilities, and health care costs. The loan may be forgiven and not counted as income, if 75% of the loan goes toward payroll and is spent within eight weeks of loan origination date. The recipient must maintain the same average number of employees for eight weeks after the loan origination date, as were employed from February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019 or January 1, 2020 to February 15, 2020. Applications are filed through national and local banks. The SBA’s Lender Match Portal at, provides some instruction.

The EIDL program allows small businesses in existence on January 31, 2020, to go onto the SBA website and file a simple application on-line at for loans up to $2 million for payroll, paid sick leave, rent or mortgage payments, and repayment of unmet obligations. The best part of the EIDL is that it gives a $10,000 emergency cash grant, even if the applicant does not qualify for additional funds. The funds are available on a first come, first served basis. The application should be processed in about one week.

Jim Hood