In the wake of all the business closures, lockdowns, and cases popping up all over the world, it can seem hard to find the silver lining in all the coronavirus madness. But in all actuality, there is a small but powerful silver lining, and it’s how many people are coming together to offer help and aid for those in need.
So many different companies and organizations are coming together and offering small businesses the financial help they need to get through these troubling times. Between advice, money and loans, and free supplies, it’s nice to see the good in this world after so many bad news headlines.
Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program
Probably one of the most beneficial programs for small businesses during this time, the PPP is designed to give companies funds with which they can retain or rehire employees. Starting on April 3rd, this $349 billion emergency loan program provides forgivable loans up to $10 million to small businesses left financially distressed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The loans, which will be administered at the local level by a national network of banks and credit unions, are designed to maintain the viability of millions of small businesses struggling to meet payroll and day-to-day operating expenses. “If businesses use the loan to pay rent, utilities and payroll for eight weeks after they start the program, they can have the loan forgiven,” Steven Dickinson, International Practice Group attorney at Cozen O’Connor, said.
It’s super easy to apply for. All businesses have to do is apply through their bank and provide all of the information on their expenses. It’s then up to the bank to approve the loan. More information on the PPP as well as additional funding resources for your business can be found at www.sba.gov.
Small Business Resource Pages
Besides the Small Business Administration, tons of other organizations are offering COVID-19 resource pages on where businesses can get loans or grants, survival guides, support programs, and other helpful links. NY NOW (www.nynow.com/attendee-resources) has such a resource page with over ten links available to retailers, offering helpful marketing strategies, using this downtime to prep your business, and other business-related news that can be useful to indie retailers.
The National Retail Federation also has a resource page for small businesses, and retailers can even sign up to get COVID-19 updates directly to their inbox. Other resource links include those to loan and financial information. Other resource pages include those from America’s SBDC, The University of Chicago, The Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, and The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, among others.
eBay Launched “Up & Running” Program for Small Businesses
On April 2nd, eBay launched this new accelerator program designed specifically to help retailers without an ecommerce presence transition to selling online, pledging up to $100 million in support for small businesses across North America, according to a press release. Through the program, eBay will give new businesses a free basic eBay store for three months, offering access to the marketplace’s 180 plus million buyers around the world. All retailers have to do is create an account here: reg.ebay.com/reg/PartialReg, and then follow the steps on how to get started here: pages.ebay.com/seller-center/run-your-store/set-up-your-store.html.
Citizens Bank Offering $225,000 for Nonprofits & Small Businesses
As part of the relief efforts from the pandemic’s economic fallout, Citizens Bank announced in early April that they will be offering $225,000 to assist nonprofits and the small business community in Connecticut. The bank will direct more than $5 million to support relief and recover across its overall footprint, in addition to removing programming restrictions for nonprofits, and provide $175,000 that will go directly to small businesses across Connecticut, according to a press release.
This is only a handful of what communities and organizations are doing to help out small businesses across the nation. Let’s continue to look on the bright side and focus on good news until this pandemic is over.