Much thanks to Charlie Yacoobian, Quan Gan, Bank of Santa Clarita, the SBDC and the Small Business Majority, for providing the source material for this information.
UPDATE: April 27, 2020
Today, we get to focus on individuals, instead of companies for a while. Here is some critical info regarding applying for unemployment. We received this information today from our advisor with the SBDC, Charlie Yacoobian:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA ) Update
The earliest someone could file a new claim would be 4/28 at 2:00 am.
Fastest way is UI Online. OK by phone but expect delays and long wait times.
• If someone applied prior to 4/28/20, they must reapply.
• Provides 39 weeks of benefits between 02/02/2020 and 12/26/20.
• 13 week extension doesn’t apply because it’s woven into the program.
No waiting period.
• Claims are automatically backdated to the Sunday prior to the first date the claimant was directly impacted by COVID-19.
• Can only go back as far as 02/02/2020 to coincide with the effective date of the program. (For CA, most were impacted in mid-Mar.)
• Minimum weekly benefit amount is $167. (Everyone gets this.)
• Claimants need to report their 2019 net income when filing. (Estimates are fine.)
• To be considered for a higher WBA up to $450, verifiable income documentation will be required.
• Still working on process to get docs to EDD, but will make it retroactive to the date the claim began.
• $600 weekly stimulus applies but only between 3/29/20 and 7/25/20.
• EDD will automatically certify all weeks ending between 3/14/2020 and 05/09/20 to expedite payment processing.
• If wages are earned during this time, must report using Ask EDD (online tool).
• Payments will be made through the EDD Debit Card; allow at least 5 business days for mail time once the first payment is authorized.
UPDATE: April 23, 2020
I participated in a web panel yesterday (Wednesday) for the TEA. It should be posted shortly at the Themed Entertainment Association website. Here are some of my presentation notes for useful tips for those applying for aid:
1. Gather your information ahead of time. Have your payroll records, tax returns, and other info assembled before beginning the application process.
2. Don’t hesitate. I have several colleagues who were waiting to see how things would proceed, due to uncertainty in the process. Don’t do that. Get in early and apply, because the funds are first-come, first-served.
3. Banks are giving preferential treatment to long-term customers, with both business checking and business loans (such as lines-of-credit). If you don’t have that sort of relationship, consider one of the online lenders, such as lendistry.com or fundingcircle.com. They are working with the SBA to make PPP loans available to smaller, more diverse businesses. venturize.org has an extensive list of small business resources.
4. Find your nearest Small Business Development Center and sign up to be in their program. The SBDC is a completely free organization, funded by your taxes, that is a branch of the SBA. They can help guide you through the application process. They are not just for this crisis. We have used them for nearly 10 years to advise us on every aspect of our business.
5. Be patient and persistent. Nothing has happened on time so far. We applied for our EIDL loan on March 20. It was approved on April 9. We applied for the PPP loan on April 3. It was approved on April 9, but not funded until April 21. We applied for the EIDL grant on March 31. It was deposited into our account with no notification of any kind, on April 14… Far past the three days promised when the program was announced. Don’t be afraid to gently contact your banker if you don’t hear back from them after a few days. Remember, they are overwhelmed too. I find a helpful approach is to say something like, “Here are the documents you requested. I will check in with you in two days to check the status of the process.” That way, they expect your call or email.
6. As part of the CARES act, the Feds are forgiving mortgage payments for SBA 504 loans for six months. If you own your building, ask your coordinating bank. You may have to issue a stop payment order. If you are renting your building, make your landlord aware of the program, and ask if they will forgive that portion of your rent portion.
7. Check out the Small Business Majority. They are a Washington lobbying group that supports small businesses, and they are staying on top of the latest information. Get on their mailing list!
8. Check out the US Chamber of Commerce. They are an older lobbying group that is also lobbying for businesses. (Not just small businesses.)
9. Keep an eye open for other grants. Spanx, Verizon, Facebook, and the LA Country Chamber of Commerce have all offered small grant programs. These are typically less than $10,000, and only offered to a few hundred or few thousand applicants.
10. Our payroll service, Payroll Providers, sent us a couple of very helpful documents. The first contains helpful tips and information to help small businesses. The second is a compilation of financial assistance sources. Thanks to Richard and Deborah Grandinetti for this helpful info!
UPDATE: April 21, 2020
Thanks to Seth Cover for turning me on to this really helpful webinar from the US Chamber of Commerce and Inc. magazine. It is clear, concise, and presented by experts. There are two sections: The first 30 minutes presents many of the current available options. The second 30 minutes presents a panel of experts answering frequently asked questions.
UPDATE: April 17, 2020
I had an interesting webinar this morning through the College of the Canyons Chancellor’s Foundation. It included Catherine Grooms, Director of our local SBDC, and Tamara Gurney from Mission Valley Bank. They shared the following:
The customer service number for the SBA is 800-659-2955. They are open from 8am-8pm ET.
Go to EDD.CA.GOV to check eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for employers. It will be available starting April 28.
For the purposes of the PPP, utilities are electricity, gas and water. Not Internet or cell phone. You can pre-pay rent, and utilities, using the PPP as long as you don’t exceed 25% of PPP amount. If you do, that amount will not be forgiven.
In other news, the CARES Act included language regarding 401k plans. You can now withdraw 100% from an existing 401k plan up to $100,000, and the 10% early withdrawal penalty will be waived. (You may still pay income tax on it.) You may also take a loan against your 401k value, of 100% up to $100,000. You must self-certify you meet at least one of the following qualifications:
• The participant, a spouse or dependent has been diagnosed with the virus SARS-CoV-2 or Coronavirus (COVID-19) by a test approved by the CDC.
• They have experienced adverse financial consequences stemming from such virus or disease as a result of: being quarantined, furloughed, laid off, reduced work hours, unable to work due to lack of child care, closing or reduction of hours of a business owned or operated by the individual.
UPDATE: April 16, 2020
NPR is reporting that the PPP program has run out of money in less than two weeks. This means if you haven’t applied yet, you are not going to be able to enroll at this time. Congress will have to appropriate more funds before the program is re-opened.
UPDATE 2: April 15, 2020
The L.A. County department of consumer repairs portal that I posted about this morning opened at 1pm, and by 1:15 was reporting, “DUE TO HIGH DEMAND FOR SBA PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONTINUE ACCEPTING LOAN APPLICATIONS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.”
This is going to make it really tough for LA small business owners. As I mentioned yesterday, other funding options worth checking out are:
Funding Circle and Lendistry. There is also a website, Venturize, that has a list of local lenders who will work with new clients:
UPDATE: April 15, 2020
We received notification this morning that we did NOT receive approval for the LISC-Verizon $10,000 grant. There were 55,000 applications, but only 250 grants. I wish they had made that clearer in the application, as I would not have bothered.
I received the following from the L.A. County department of consumer repairs:
The County of Los Angeles, in partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative and Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) has created a new application portal for small businesses seeking to apply for the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a forgivable loan product created by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The online portal will open TODAY, April 15th at 1 p.m. and can be accessed at https://crfusa.com/ppp/la-ppp-inquiry/.
Business owners who access the application portal will initially submit an inquiry with CRF. Business owners should be prepared to provide information on their business. After successfully submitting an inquiry, loan processers at CRF will follow up directly with business owners to obtain necessary documents and information to process the loan request. All eligible business owners who have been unable to apply for a PPP loan through a bank or other financial institutions are encouraged to submit an inquiry.
We urge you to apply at your earliest opportunity.
If you have any questions, please contact the Los Angeles County Disaster Help Center at (833) 238-4450.
UPDATE: April 14, 2020
We have received notification of approval for 3 of the 4 packages we’ve applied for! The EIDL loan was applied for on March 20 and approved April 14. The PPP package was applied for April 3 and approved April 9. It should fund within 10 days (business days, we assume). The EIDL $10,000 grant was applied for March 30, and magically appeared in our bank account today, with no notice at all.
This morning, I sat in on a webinar that was run by the Small Business Majority. You can watch a replay of the webinar here. If you aren’t familiar with this group, you should be. They are a non-profit lobbying organization that advocates for small businesses in the U.S. The biggest takeaway from this webinar is that there are two lenders currently or about to provide PPP loans, who will work with new clients with whom they do NOT have a prior business relationship; These lenders are Lendistry and Funding Circle. Additionally, an organization called Venturize is working to help small businesses through this crisis, and has assembled a web page of resources, including a list of other vetted PPP lenders.
One important fact from this morning’s webinar was, “If you get an advance under the EIDL program, that amount is deducted from the forgivable portion of your PPP loan.” They recommend strongly that you work with an advisor, such as the SBDC to complete your loan paperwork, and they noted that it is illegal for anyone to charge you to fill out the paperwork.
UPDATE: April 10, 2020
Our PPP funding has been approved! Much thanks to the team at Bank of Santa Clarita for shepherding us through the process. We don’t know when we will receive the actual money, but we are hopeful it will be quick. We have heard from several other colleagues who have been approved as well, so keep the faith: We hope you are next!
Note: We applied via Bank of Santa Clarita. The application form that I shared in my April 3 update was emailed to me as a plain PDF, and I added the fields myself. At the time, it was presented to me as, “This is the form the SBA is sending to everyone,” but it seems that may not be precisely true, or perhaps some bigger banks are customizing it. So, check with your bank before submitting.
Regarding the EIDL loans, I received the following from the SBA this morning:
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.
If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application. But completing the new application on the website is necessary to continue with the processing of your application.
I found that the following URL took me to a page with a green “Check Application Status” button: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. Clicking that button shows a message similar to the one above, and takes me to a link where I can log in to the EIDL account and submit the streamlined application. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Account/Login
UPDATE: April 9, 2020
We are still waiting news of our PPP funding, but we have heard from a client who already received theirs. What is your status? Let us know!
The Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), announced that the L.A. County Employer Assistance Grant Fund [was] launched this Wednesday, April 8.
The LA County Employer Assistance Grant Fund will provide a total of $500,000 to local businesses. Individual businesses may be awarded up to $10,000 based on demonstrated need. Approximately 25% of awards will be reserved for social enterprises that demonstrate a need and ability to serve vulnerable populations. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis, and will close once 150 applications are received.
UPDATE 2: April 3, 2020
Our bank sent us the FINAL PPP Application this morning. Per our bank, this is the only form that will be accepted by the SBA, and earlier, sample versions are invalid. I edited the PDF to make it into an electronic form that you can fill out on your computer. Click here for the electronic form, or click here for the original, “print and fill-out” version.
UPDATE: April 3, 2020
I asked our banker the following questions:
Q: What is your advice regarding if we have already applied for an EIDL loan?
A: That’s an SBA program and one must apply directly through them. The purpose of that loan is different than the PPP.
Q: Does it have a bearing on our eligibility for a PPP loan?
A: I don’t believe so, but you should contact the SBA for some clarity.
Q: Will the PPP loan be affected if we applied for the $10,000 EIDL “grant”? Is it possible to get both?
A: I don’t know. As noted previously, we know little about the EIDL program.
So I reached out to the SBA, and sent them the exchange, and they replied:
“As of this writing, we know of no prohibition about applying for both programs.
“Duplication of Benefits analysis will be necessary should you actually receive loan/grant/forgiveness amounts from the Payroll Protection Program, or any other assistance initiative be it state, local, or privately funded.
UPDATE #2: April 2, 2020
URGENT! Verizon-LISC Small Business Recovery Grant Application
Who is eligible?
LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.
What it can be used for?
• Paying rent and utilities
• Meeting payroll
• Paying outstanding debt to vendors
• Other immediate operational costs
Your application must be completed by Saturday, April 4th, 11:59 p.m. ET. Please email email@example.com for questions and troubleshooting.
APPLY HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LISCSBGrant
UPDATE: April 2, 2020
The IRS is offering an Employee Retention Credit. 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. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-employee-retention-credit-available-for-many-businesses-financially-impacted-by-covid-19
Note: Per the IRS, an Eligible Employer may not receive the Employee Retention Credit if the Eligible Employer receives a Small Business Interruption Loan under the Paycheck Protection Program that is authorized under the CARES Act (“Paycheck Protection Loan”). An Eligible Employer that receives a Paycheck Protection Loan should not claim Employee Retention Credits. See attachment.
The 7A+ program has apparently been renamed the PPP program. Applications will be accepted beginning Friday, April 3.
UPDATE: April 1, 2020
Confirmed: The SBA is forgiving payments on SBA 504 loans for the next six months. This process is automatic. No application required! The SBA will simply not “pull” the payment. Per our banker: We received notice from the CDC that it is anticipated that the SBA 504 payment relief provided for in the CARES Act will begin with the April payment. CDC recommends that you reject any ACH payment pulls beginning with the April 1, 2020 payment through the September 1, 2020 payment. You would resume the normal ACH pull by your SBA representative bank beginning October 1, 2020.
POSTED: March 31, 2020
First of all: All business owners should go to this website and apply for $10,000 cash IMMEDIATELY, in the next day or two: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/# This is a simple process, but requires some very specific financial info. (Easily pulled from a Quickbooks P&L report.) It took about 15 minutes, but we are already in the SBA system. It may take longer if you are not. We had also already applied for an EIDL loan, and are not sure if that is a prerequisite; it does not seem to be. Note that not all businesses will fit into the available categories. We asked the SBA about this, and we were told to pick whatever was closest. They are not looking too closely at this at this time.
Then, here are the other resources I have come across. Most important is the 7A+ loan (also called the Paycheck Protection Program): This is an SBA loan made through a bank/lender, so it will help to have a relationship with an SBA lender already.
Next is the EIDL (Emergency Injury Disaster Loan). This is a loan directly from the government through the SBA.
Note that the 7A+ loan is for 2.5 months of payroll. If you do not have layoffs, and you spend the money within 2 months, the federal government will entirely forgive the balance of the loan that has been spent! The EIDL loan, on the other hand, must be repaid, starting after one year.
The 7A+ loan is not yet fully released. Lenders will have information by the end of the week. If you apply for and are approved for an EIDL loan, we have been told you will have to fold it into, or refinance it into, the 7A+ loan. You cannot have both at once! Details TBD.
Sorry some of the info below is out of order. I am updating the info as it arrives!
Here are a few points of clarification on the EIDL Loan:
• It is highly recommended that you submit the loan application online for faster processing.
• The SBA program is a Working Capital loan to help cover payroll, accounts payable (vendor bills) and debt payments. It is not intended to cover loss of revenue and profits. Therefore, you do not have to calculate the adverse effect on monthly profits due to the Coronavirus, as of now and into the future.
• You do not request a loan amount. The SBA will determine your financial needs and your ability to repay the loan based on the information/documentation provided in the loan application. Accordingly, if approved for a loan, the SBA will tell you the amount. You may accept the amount as stated or a lower amount, or say no thanks. There are no upfront frees (no points or origination fees like a bank loan) and no fees for submitting the application, even if you say “no thanks”.
• Because of the uncertainty of how long the Coronavirus will adversely affect businesses, if you are approved for a loan now, but find you need additional financing in the future, another request may be submitted.
• The first monthly payment on a loan is deferred for 12 months. Interest at the rate of 3.75% will be charged from the date the loan funds are disbursed to you.
• There are no prepayment penalties or fees.
• Tax returns are not required if the expected loan amount is under $500,000 (in my opinion, it is best to submit required tax returns regardless of the expected loan amount to prevent delays in the approval process).
Here are the certifications you have to make for the 7A+ Loan:
• Current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.
• The funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage payments, lease payments, and utility payments; I understand that if the funds are used for unauthorized purposes, the federal government may pursue criminal fraud charges.
• Documentation verifying the number of full-time equivalent employees on payroll as well as the dollar amounts of payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities for the eight week period following this loan will be provided to the lender.
• Loan forgiveness will be provided for the sum of documented payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
• During the period beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, the Applicant has not and will not receive another loan under this program.
• I further certify that the information provided in this application and the information that I have provided in all supporting documents and forms is true and accurate. I realize that knowingly making a false statement to obtain a guaranteed loan from SBA is punishable under 18 USC 1001 and 3571 by imprisonment of not more than five years and/or a fine of up to $250,000; under 15 USC 645 by imprisonment of not more than two years and/or a fine of not more than $5,000; and, if submitted to a Federally insured institution, under 18 USC 1014 by imprisonment of not more than thirty years and/or a fine of not more than $1,000,000.
• I acknowledge that the lender will calculate the eligible loan amount using tax documents I have submitted. I affirm that these tax documents are identical to those I submitted to the IRS. I also understand, acknowledge and agree that the Lender can share the tax information with SBA’s authorized representatives, including authorized representatives of the SBA Office of Inspector General, for the purpose of compliance with SBA Loan Program Requirements and all SBA reviews.
The steps are below for the SBA:
• Register Online:
Here is the type of information that the client will need to complete an SBA Disaster Assistance EIDL application:
• Loan application (SBA Form 5), completed and signed (this is electronic/online in the portal)
• Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506-T), completed and signed by each applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member; and, for any owner who has more than 50 percent ownership in an affiliate business. Affiliates include, but are not limited to, parent companies, business partners, subsidiaries, and/or other businesses with common ownership or management
• Complete copies, including all schedules, of the most recently filed Federal income tax returns for the applicant business; an explanation if not available – If the most recent Federal income tax return has not been filed, a year-end profit and loss statement and balance sheet for that tax year is acceptable.
• Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) completed, signed, and dated by the applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, and each general partner or managing member
• Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202 may be used)
• A current year-to-date profit and loss statement
• Additional Filing Requirements (SBA Form 1368) providing monthly sales figures
For the SBA Disaster Loans, Other Resources need to be explored first [dg – maybe not, with the Fed’s stimulus package] and a 660 Credit Score required and collateral required for a loan of $25,000 or more. [subject to waiving, due to the Fed’s stimulus]
• Business Insurance Policies
• EDD – Employer and Employee Resources:
• IBANK website https://www.ibank.ca.gov/small-business-finance-center/
California also offers small business loan programs to support small businesses:
IBank offers loan programs for businesses affected by disasters in California. IBank, a unit within California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), offers the following loan programs for businesses from one to 750 employees (small businesses):
DISASTER RELIEF LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM (DRLGP)
IBank will issue loan guarantees up to 95 percent of the loan through its partner Financial Development Corporations to help small business borrowers who were impacted by disasters or public safety power shutoffs and who need term loans or lines of credit for working capital. Small businesses, including small farms, nurseries, agriculture-related enterprises and nonprofits that have suffered an economic loss Resources for Businesses and/or physical damage may apply. This disaster program will help lenders and small businesses by providing loan guarantees of up to $1 million for small business borrowers in declared disaster areas.
JUMP START LOAN PROGRAM
IBank is offering loans from $500 to $10,000 to low-wealth entrepreneurs in the declared disaster and emergency areas through its Jump Start Loan Program. IBank established the Jump Start Loan Program in 2016 as a small loan and financial literacy/technical assistance program designed for low-income small businesses in low-wealth communities, including businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities and those previously incarcerated. Access to IBank’s Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program and Jump Start Loan Program can be made through its partner Financial Development Corporations (FDCs)
For more information on how to apply, visit the IBANK website. https://www.ibank.ca.gov/small-business-finance-center/
Here is the link to the recording of a presentation we watched last week. There are a lot of technical glitches, especially at the beginning, but there is some helpful info sprinkled throughout. They are supposed to send the deck of the presentation as well, but I haven’t received it yet.
Here is a link from the EDD regarding reduced work hours etc..
For your reference, it contains info both for Employees,
and for Employers too, with programs that might help hold off layoffs being necessary.
Also the SBDC can help you prepare the loan docs for free (if you need to re-submit):
LAEDC has daily been compiling and updating a COVID-19 resource page on their LAEDC website which you can reach at the following link. It contains helpful information from our federal state and local governments. https://laedc.org/coronavirus
Other immediate help:
Work Sharing: This State of California program provides an alternative to layoffs, for those businesses with reduced work or available production.
Paid Family Leave: Employees who need leave to take care of children or family issues can also apply for Paid Family Leave (PFL) through State of California EDD. Use this link to register online. Do not call — the phone lines are swamped. Use the online application:
Non-traditional loan programs are available to assist businesses. Please email LAEDC for details. Include your business name and city where the business is located so LAEDC can assign a regional manager to followup with you.
California IBank is another source for emergency loans, via Pacific Coast Small Business Development Corp.
Please visit LAEDC’s COVID-19 response page at https://laedc.org/coronavirus , which we are updating frequently, for more information.
Remember, businesses which are experiencing significant economic harm can contact LAEDC for strategic assistance, confidentially and at no cost, as part of LAEDC’s nonprofit mission. Email LAEDC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more at LAEDC.org
The SBDC (Small Business Development Center) has been a very useful resource to us for 10 years now. We highly recommend contacting your local office if you are not already familiar with them. IT IS FREE! The service is paid for by your state taxes. https://smallbizla.org They have posted a disaster resources page with lots of helpful information: https://smallbizla.org/covid19-response-guide/