There is not a single aspect of life that has not been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. One third of Americans are unemployed and local and state governments have issued ordinances shuttering countless businesses that are now struggling to stay afloat. Likewise, nonprofit organizations that normally rely on regular and annual donations are watching their revenues streams dry up in the face of a global recession.
In response to the economic slowdown created by the Coronavirus, the U.S. Congress has passed several bills that expand or create new federal aid and relief programs, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
If your business or nonprofit has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has prepared the following fact sheet to break down and disseminate information sourced directly from the Small Business Administration (SBA), Depart- ment of Treasury, IRS, and Department of Labor on these federal aid and relief programs that may lessen the financial impact of this pandemic and aid in your recovery.
The policies and procedures governing the implementation of these new benefits are evolving, please contact a trusted financial advisor prior to applying for benefits.
[NOTE: CAIR advises Muslim business owners and nonprofit organizations to consult with their trusted Islamic religious scholars in regard to the permissibility of accepting those small business loans which may require interest payments.]
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. This program is available for small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
Under this program:
• Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan of 2.5 times their average monthly payroll up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll.
• Loan payments will be deferred for at least six months.
• If you maintain your workforce, SBA may forgive a portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.
For more information or to see if you qualify, go to: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) EXPANDED EIDL & EMERGENCY GRANTS
Business owners and nonprofits, with some exceptions, are eligible to apply to the SBA for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital eco-nomic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. There are some restrictions on co-mingling EIDL funding with funding from the Paycheck Protection loan, consult with your lender for further details.
For more information or to see if you qualify, go to: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) EXPRESS BRIDGE LOANS
The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses and nonprofits 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 or nonprofit 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.
For more information or to see if you qualify connect with your local SBA District Office: https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/?type=S-BA%20District%20Office&pageNumber=1
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) DEBT RELIEF
The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small business-es as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis. Under this program:
• The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
• The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
It is being reported that this debt relief is automatic, but make sure to check with your lender to make sure. Also inquire with your bank or lender to see if they provide these loans or contact SBA.
DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY AND IRS: EMPLOYEE RETENTION PAYROLL TAX CREDIT
The employee retention tax credit is a broad based refundable tax credit designed to encourage business and nonprofit employers to keep employees on their payroll. The credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an employer whose business is fully or partially sus-pended because of the Coronavirus or whose gross receipts decline by more than 50%.
Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees’ wages by the amount of the credit.
For more information or to see if you qualify, go to: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm962
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYERS ON EXTENDED SICK AND FAMILY LEAVE
On April 1, the U.S. Department of Labor announced guidelines on how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
FFCRA helps the U.S. combat the workplace effects of the Coronavi-rus by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave taken for specified reasons related to Coronavirus. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. This temporary rule is effective from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
Under this temporary rule, certain employers are required to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who need to take leave from work for certain specified reasons related to COVID-19. These reasons may include the following:
• The employee or someone the employee is caring for is subject to a government quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
• The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical attention; or,
• The employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavail-able for reasons related to COVID-19.
Certain employers are also required to provide up to 10 weeks of paid, and 2 weeks unpaid, emergency family and medical leave to eligible employees if the employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
For more information on new temporary requirements for employers on extended sick and family leave, in addition to related tax credits, go to: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200326