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 twenty-four weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- Loan payments will also be deferred for up to ten 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
- Please see information on the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act below for updates and extensions on program requirements.
- 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 60% 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 24-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 Dec. 31, 2020
- 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.
Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
On June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was signed into law to provide borrowers additional time to qualify for forgiveness and eases the restrictions on how much of the forgivable portion of the loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs. Some key reforms to the program are as follows:
- Expands the forgiveness period from 8 weeks to 24 weeks;
- Reduces the share of funding that must be directed toward payroll costs to 60% (previously 75%);
- Extends the period in which borrowers must restore FTEs or certain salaries (or wages) from June 30, 2020, to December 31, 2020;
- Increases the loan repayment period from two to five years; and
- Extends the period of time in which a Borrower may defer interest and principal payments on the PPP Loan from six months after funding to either: (a) the date on which the amount of forgiveness is determined, or (b) ten months after the last day of the Covered Period if the Borrower fails to apply for forgiveness within ten months.
- Allows businesses that took a PPP loan to also delay payment of their payroll taxes, which was prohibited under the CARES Act. Borrowers can now defer 50% of the employer’s share of payroll taxes until 2021 and the remaining 50% until 2022.
See the legislation.
Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program
The Main Street Lending Program (Program) was established to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program will operate through three facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF), the Main Street Priority Loan Facility (MSPLF), and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF).
- U.S. businesses may be eligible for loans if they meet either of the following conditions: (1) the business has 15,000 employees or fewer; or (2) the business had 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less.
- Loans issued under the Program would have a four-year maturity, and principal and interest payments on the loans will be deferred for one year.
- Main Street loans are full-recourse loans and are not forgivable. Under section 4003(d)(3) of the CARES Act, the principal amount of a Main Street loan cannot be reduced through loan forgiveness.
Get more information and resources regarding the Main Street Lending Program.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance
On June 15, the SBA announced it would begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue, and will not have to be repaid. Qualified small businesses include:
- Independent contractors (for whom there is expanded eligibility criteria)
- Sole proprietorships, with or without employees
- Gig workers
- Small businesses with less than 500 employees
Businesses have been in business as of Jan. 31, 2020. The grants are available until Dec. 16, 2020, but it is anticipated that the SBA will quickly run out of money, so it is encouraged that qualified businesses apply as soon as possible. Visit the online application to learn more.
Small Business Debt Relief Program
The Small Business Debt Relief Program provides coronavirus 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.