The CARES Act was passed to offer new business relief programs through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Below is the latest information on the CARES Act and related programs.
SCORE is the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. SCORE is committed to helping businesses like yours through the unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus outbreak.
- Visit SCORE’s Website to find a local counselor.
- Please enter your zip code and you will start the process of identifying a local mentor to help you with the CARES Act.
- Include in the online form that you are seeking assistance with the CARES Act (Covid-19) applications.
Additional SCORE resources, webinars and information can be found on SCORE's Coronavirus Resource Hub.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan that was designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
- SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
- For information, resources, and forms relating to the Paycheck Protection Program, please visit SBA’s PPP webpage.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness
- For businesses that were awarded a PPP loan, the loan may fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll).
- 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 eight-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
- Download the Paycheck Protection Forgiveness Loan Forgiveness Instructions and Application. Also available in Spanish.
- CFO Services Group has webinar recordings available about PPP loan forgiveness.
Small Business Debt Relief Program
The Small Business Debt Relief Program providescoronavirus debt relief efforts to small businesses with prior debt obligations SBA loan programs. 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.
For more information on this program, please visit the following link.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. 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. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender by connecting with the SBA Washington DC Metropolitan Office and approved lenders are listed in the Resource Guide on pages 31-32.
Employee Retention Credit
The Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. Eligible Employers may claim the Employee Retention Credit for qualified wages that they pay after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.
Credit for Sick and Family Leave
Many businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 will qualify for the Credit for Sick and Family Leave.
- Employees unable to work due to coronavirus quarantine, coronavirus sickness, caring for someone with coronavirus, or caring for a child that is without child care is entitled to paid sick or family and medical leave.
- Eligible employers are entitled to receive a credit in the full amount of the required sick leave and family leave, plus related health plan expenses and the employer’s share of Medicare tax on the leave, for the period of April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
- The refundable credit is applied against certain employment taxes on wages paid to all employees. Eligible employers can reduce federal employment tax deposits in anticipation of the credit. They can also request an advance of the paid sick and family leave credits for any amounts not covered by the reduction in deposits.