Since the beginning of March, the entire world has faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. Businesses, both large and small, were forced to either shut down completely or severely cut back their hours and lay-off or furlough their employees. Over the past 7 plus months, many people who have worked their whole lives to own a business, had to close their doors for good. While many companies struggle to “stay afloat,” there has been grant funding, both at the federal level, as well as state and local governments that have issued assistance. In addition, bigger corporations and foundations have also offered financial resources. Even a small amount of aid can help businesses keep their doors open.
Unfortunately, many programs that were previously available are no longer accepting applications because of the volumes received. The need is greater than the aid available. When considering a new blog topic, we thought that these resources could help you or someone you know. If you are one of the 30 million small business owners in the U.S., you might benefit from one of the programs below.
Grant Funding: Federal and Other National Aid
United States Small Business Administration
This federal agency, also known as the SBA, is providing grants and low-interest loans to small-business owners who have been affected because of the coronavirus.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – These loans have advances up to $10,000, interest rates of 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere, and interest rates of 2.75% for non-profits. There are long-term repayment options on these loans of up to 30 years.
- Express Bridge Loans – These loans are available to small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender. These loans are up to $25,000.
- PRIME (Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs) – This program provides a variety of grants for small businesses, especially women-owned or minority-owned businesses.
LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and Lowe’s
- Rural Relief Small Business Grants – Small businesses located in rural communities (populations of 50,000 or less) are eligible. There are 4 remaining rounds of application submission dates.
Comcast Corporation’s RISE (Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment)
- These grants will roll out in waves.
- According to the initiative’s website, it is a “multi-year commitment to provide marketing, creative, media, and technology services to qualifying small businesses owned by underrepresented groups, beginning with a focus on Black-owned businesses.”
The fundraising platform has started the Small Business Relief Fund and will match up to $500 raised per business. GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp, Intuit QuickBooks, Bill.com and GoDaddy to provide owners with grants and resources. These businesses have donated $500,000 each to the fund.
The State of Mississippi
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has put together resources for businesses that have been affected by the pandemic. Through Mississippi Legislature’s House Bill 1799 and Senate Bill 3047, MEMA was given $70 million of CARES Act money to help counties and municipalities with their COVID-19 expenses. The state previously offered the Back to Business Mississippi grant program, but the application period is now closed. Additional counseling and resources are still available for small businesses through the Mississippi Small Business Development Center.
The State of Louisiana
Similarly to Mississippi, the Louisiana Economic Development organization has a plethora of up-to-date information for businesses facing the effects of COVID-19. This list includes safety information, as well as grants and other helpful resources. The LED also provided contact form to get updates. Additional funds are on-going approval and being discussed in the Louisiana state legislature. Here are some specific state of Louisiana programs:
- Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program – This program is providing loans up to $100K. Eligible small business owners may apply to one of the local banks and credit unions that have agreed to participate.
- Louisiana Main Street Recovery Program – Although this program has stopped taking applications, there are still resources on this website. Applications for small businesses located in Lake Charles are open until October 31, 2020.
- Louisiana Small Business Development – Multiple offices are located throughout the state to help consult small businesses.
There When You Need Us Most
Finally, with 4 locations and about 140 employees, Guarantee Restoration Services is considered a small business, so we certainly understand how difficult these times are. That’s why we work with our partners to find affordable, cost-effective solutions in order to provide COVID-19 cleaning or any of our other services. We also wanted to give you some grant funding resources if applicable to your business. If your home or business needs coronavirus cleaning, contact me at email@example.com or connect with me on LinkedIn.