On Thursday, March 19. 2020, the White House held a briefing about coronavirus and emergency relief resources for small businesses. Below are WBCS President & CEO Debbie Hurst's notes from the briefing.
1. Health & Human Services:
Testing update; supplies status. Help with supplies has to be requested by the state. All 50 should be declared in next few days; most are now.
2. SBA Administrator:
Available to our 30 Million small businesses 7 days a week. Working to expedite the process for disaster loans. Again, states have to request. Trying to cut red tape, i.e. only need 5 small businesses in need and the whole state qualifies. If you receive a decline on your application, within 2 days you will get a follow-up call regarding next steps. www.SBA.gov/coronavirus for latest info. Other coronavirus resources are listed there in addition to the disaster loan. Disaster Loans can provide up to 2M low-interest, long term, working capital to pay business expenses for many different reasons related to the coronavirus. Eligibility – nonprofits are also eligible. Churches are not eligible; all other nonprofits are eligible. 1year deferment from the date of the loan on repayment terms.
Bill Passed: Federal Government will reimburse small businesses for 2 weeks of sick leave for coronavirus. Employees will get 100% of wages up to 80 hours. Caregiver would get 2/3 of wages up to 200/day up to 80 hours. Paid family leave 2/3 of wages up to 200/day up to 10,000 or 10 weeks. More details about how this can get paid; pay employees and make a claim to government for reimbursement. Looking at possibility of direct deposit for reimbursements. Temporary – 12/31/2020. Even if it was a benefit you were going to pay, the government will still reimburse you for it for coronavirus affected employees. Bill Pending: SBA Loans. Loan forgiveness program for keeping employees on the payroll: Business Interruption Loans
4. Labor & Workforce:
Unemployment insurance program – state/federal partnership; eligibility will vary from state to state. Guidance outlining flexibility that states have:
- If employer ceases operations, employees are eligible
- If individual test positive they are eligible
- If individual leaves employment to take care of sick family they are eligible
- Employee does not have to quit in order to be eligible for this insurance related to coronavirus. www.careeronestop.gov where you can learn how to apply for unemployment.
- If you already have a loan, are you eligible for the disaster loan. Yes, but disaster loan couldn’t be used to refinance your existing loan.
- Franchisees are eligible for these loans. Use of working capital can be for any regular business expenses you have including leases.
- Specific questions should be directed to www.whitehouse.gov and www.sba.gov