Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Resources

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.


Para obtener la informacion en español por favor seleccione el icono naranja en forma de mundo en la parte superior derecha de esta página y seleccione “Spanish”.

SCORE Assistance

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.

  1. Visit SCORE’s Website to find a local counselor.
  2. Please enter your zip code and you will start the process of identifying a local mentor to help you with the CARES Act.
  3. 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)

On January 11, 2021, the Paycheck Protection resumed accepting applications.  

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 employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.
  • The recent stimulus act created two types of PPP loans a First Draw for new applicants and a Second Draw for businesses who previously have received funding from the program.
  • For information, resources, and forms relating to the Paycheck Protection Program, please visit SBA’s PPP webpage.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness

  • Borrowers may be eligible for loan forgiveness if the funds were used for eligible payroll costs, payments on business mortgage interest payments, rent, or utilities during either the 8- or 24-week period after disbursement.
  • Borrowers can apply for forgiveness any time up to the maturity date of the loan or once it has used all the proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness.
  • If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, then PPP loan payments are no longer deferred and borrowers will begin making loan payments to their PPP lender.
  • Learn more about PPP Loan Forgiveness. Also available in  Spanish.  CFO Services Group has webinar recordings available about PPP loan forgiveness. 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) 

On January 4, 2021 the SBA announced it would begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL applications from qualified small businesses, nonprofits and U.S. agricultural businesses through December 31, 2021.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, a low interest, 30 year loan to meet financial obligations and operating expenses. Qualified small businesses include:

  • Independent contractors (for whom there is expanded eligibility criteria)
  • Freelancers
  • Sole proprietorships, with or without employees
  • Gig workers
  • Small businesses with less than 500 employees

Learn more about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and apply.

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.
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