Resources for Small Businesses During COVID-19
One of the most challenging aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is the loss of community. As we strive to distance ourselves for the sake of keeping each other healthy, it’s easy to feel isolated. But, none of us are alone. And, there are numerous resources that can help us weather this unprecedented time. Below are several programs and tools that can assist small businesses in our local community and beyond.
LOANS AND GRANTS
Florida Small Business Recovery Loans
Through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, small business owners throughout the state that are experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19 can apply for short-term capital loans to help hold them over. These loans are interest-free for one year and are available to privately-held businesses with two to 100 employees established prior to March 9, 2020.
Applications will be accepted through May 8, 2020, and interested businesses can apply online or via mail. More information on this program, including eligibility requirements, support documentation and frequently-asked questions, can be found on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website.
SBA Disaster Loan Assistance
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses that are experiencing substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus. These loans are available in amounts up to $2 million for working capital and may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. They’re offered to companies including hotels, recreational facilities, charter boats, manufacturers, sports vendors, restaurants, retailers, souvenir shops, travel agencies and wholesalers, as well as to owners of rental properties. To apply online, head to the SBA website.
Facebook Small Business Grant Program
Facebook will soon be offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. These funds are intended to help companies keep their workforce, assist with rent and operational costs and enable them to connect with more customers. Learn more and sign up to receive more information as it’s available here.
GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative
Social fundraising platform GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to provide small business owners with financial support and resources. Each of these companies has donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund, through which affected businesses that raise $500 will be eligible to receive $500 in matching grants. Learn more.
GUIDANCE, TRAINING AND TOOLS
The Centers for Disease Control is regularly updating its “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” This website is designed to help prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19 as well as community spread of the virus. It includes tips for maintaining a healthy work environment and business operations. View the guide.
Florida SBDC Network Resources
The Florida SBDC Network, “Florida’s provider of small business assistance,” is now offering confidential, no-cost professional business consulting through virtual appointments. Interested businesses can sign up for a one-on-one session on the organization’s website. This network has also posted links to a range of business preparedness and recovery resources.
In addition, to help businesses during this challenging time, the Florida SBDC Network is offering several online trainings. They include:
Empowering the Remote Worker During Uncertain Times
March 26, 2020, 9-10 a.m.
If you’re one of the many small business owners researching or implementing work-from-home solutions, don’t miss this webinar led by technology and cybersecurity expert Marc Farron. This workshop will offer insight into how to equip and empower your employees for effective and efficient remote work, and will include a question-and-answer time. Register here.
Keeping Your Small Business Operational: Financial Acumen During Crises
March 31, 2020, 10-11 a.m.
This training on cash flow management will equip you to plan well and obtain the clarity you need to help your business thrive even during difficult times. Neil Shnider, Lead Consultant at the Shnider Group, will share preventative strategies to help entrepreneurs and businesses remain resilient, with a focus on financial modeling, risk analysis, cash flow management and ways to stay conservative without hurting those most vulnerable at your company. Register here.
Numerous companies and organizations have published lists to help small businesses manage the numerous challenges of operating in this time of social distancing. The following guides provide a wealth of links to additional grant and loan programs, free technology tools, cybersecurity services, videoconferencing platforms, wellness resources and more.
- “Free Tools, Resources, and Financial Help for Business Owners Hit by Covid-19” from Inc.
- “COVID-19 Resources for Freelancers and Small Business Owners” from FreshBooks
- “Small Business Resources in Response to Coronavirus” from the National Federation of Independent Businesses
Now and always, we are part of a community. More than ever, as we’re forced to physically distance ourselves from one another, let’s continue to connect with each other as business owners and neighbors. Together, we will weather this storm.
If you’d like to get started on bringing your dream for your home to life while riding out this unprecedented time, please contact us! We’re happy to meet with you virtually to begin the process.