Like you, the team at Florida SBDC at FIU, the small business development center within the university’s College of Business, has been following developments with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Here is some updated information the organization is sharing on COVID-19-related resources. We’ll start with some important updates on SBA financial assistance during these challenging times for small business. We’ve also added some new private sources of funding.
SBA Disaster Assistance
- Due to the hardships that so many of our country’s small businesses are suffering, Congress swiftly enacted the CARES Act to provide emergency capital to small businesses across the country through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance Programs, and the 7(a) Debt Relief Program. The Florida SBDC Network also developed a guide to these programs that is available here: http://floridasbdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID-19-Magazine-Insert_Florida-SBDC-Network_9-Pages.pdf
- Last week, it was reported that funding for these programs were depleted. That is true, and, by law, the SBA will not be able to process or issue new loan applications or approvals for either of these programs until additional funding is appropriated. The good news, there is consensus and bipartisan support to provide additional funding to these programs by Congress.
- While we expect additional funding to be appropriated, and expect that to occur soon, we do not know the exact timeline. Therefore, we recommend to those that have already applied, but not approved and funded, to be patient. For those that haven’t applied, we highly recommend to check often and be prepared to do so when more funding becomes available.
- More information and details on PPP is available on SBA’s website here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp
- For PPP applications, it is recommended that you start with a bank that you have an existing relationship. If you do not have a relationship with a lender or your lender is not accepting PPP applications, you can search for additional lenders and lending platforms here: https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find
- A good FAQ document on PPP and ensuring loan forgiveness is available in this Forbes article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonynitti/2020/04/15/ten-things-we-need-to-know-about-paycheck-protection-program-loan-forgiveness/#6219c5443291
- You can also review the U.S. Chamber’s guide here: https://www.uschamber.com/report/covid-19-emergency-loans-small-business-guide
- Ver en español aquí: https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/coronavirus_aid_spanish_3.31.20.pdf
- To apply for the COVID-19 EIDL and EIDL Advance, you can visit https://covid19relief.sba.gov
- The U.S. Chamber also has a guide to the EIDL program here: https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-sbas-economic-injury-disaster-loa
National Grant and Loan Programs
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program announced it will be providing $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in 30 countries. Applications are expected open for Miami-Dade County on April 22nd. In the meantime, more information on this program can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/business/grants
- The company also has a Business Resource Hub that includes free information for small businesses on how to deal with impacts from COVID-19, best practices, and a self-assessment tool that you can download. That site is here: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/resource
- Samuel Adams and the Greg Hill Foundation announced they are bringing the Restaurant Strong Fund to 20 total states (including Florida) to aid the restaurant workers impacted by the COVID-19 closures.
- To qualify, an applicant must:
- Submit a completed Application Form
- Be a Full-time employee (Minimum of 30 hours total per week, can be multiple restaurants)
- Be Employed for 3 months or longer at the same location
- Have worked in a restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub located in one of the 20 states (including Florida)
- Submit the last two full-time pay stubs
- More information and applications available at: https://www.restaurantstrong.org/index.html
- To qualify, an applicant must:
- The Save Small Business Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, opens on April 20th. Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as it can.
- Criteria include: 1) Employs between 3 and 20 people; 2) Be located in an economically vulnerable community; and 3) Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- More information and applications at: https://savesmallbusiness.com/#apply
- The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund is providing critical financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that, due to the COVID-19, have an immediate need for funds to pay set operating expenses and keep from going out of business.
- The fund exhausted its initial round of funding but you can encouraged to keep checking their website for when the program re-opens. More information here: https://www.jamesbeard.org/relief
- The Bartender Emergency Assistance Program was created by the USBG National Charity Foundation to assist bartenders or family members impacted by catastrophic events.
- More information on program criteria and applications is available at: https://www.usbgfoundation.org/beap
Local Grant and Loan Programs
- The SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Relief Fund awards grants of up to $15,000 per business ($500 per employee) to independently owned restaurants and bars in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. For more information and to apply, visit: https://sobewff.org/industry-relief/
- Miami-Dade County has “mom and pop” grants that you may apply for based on your particular district within the county. There is still funding available for certain districts. More information is available here: https://www.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser1471548035447835
- To assist North Miami businesses during the threat of COVID-19 pandemic, the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (NMCRA) has created two (2), emergency relief grant programs to aid businesses that have been severely impacted by the pandemic. More information on the Emergency Relief for Essential Businesses and Emergency Relief to Jump Start Businesses programs is available here: https://www.northmiamicra.org/sites/default/files/u3982/4_15_20_nmncra_miamitimes.pdf
- Are you looking to put some immediate cash into your business? Other businesses impacted by COVID-19 have been encouraging loyal customers to purchase gift cards. This is a great strategy to generate revenue as gift cards can be used online now or in-person later when COVID-19 conditions improve.
- The Washington Post has a recent article that features businesses having success with this strategy. Read more here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2020/03/18/gift-cards-merchandise-and-to-go-orders-heres-how-restaurants-say-customers-should-support-them/
- The Merchant Maverick Blog also features a walkthrough on how to create a gift card program for your small business. That information is available here: https://www.merchantmaverick.com/gift-cards-for-small-businesses/
How to Help Local Small Businesses
- The Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau compiled Miami Eats, a free listings service of Miami-Dade County restaurants regardless of location, cuisine or price point. To view the list and get more information on local restaurants, visit: www.GMCVB.com/MiamiEats
- The Florida Keys tourism council has launched a “Safer at Home” initiative to promote “stay-at-home” directives to combat COVID-19, while also sensitively maintaining awareness of the Florida Keys as a destination.
- The initiative features social posts showcasing virtual tours of local attractions and wildlife facilities, Keys nature scenes and nature-based activities, live sets by local musicians, offerings from Keys cultural organizations and museums, “how to” videos of recipes for favorite island dishes, local products and treats that can be ordered for delivery and other positive and engaging communications from Keys entities. More information is available via social media.
Florida SBDC at FIU Resources
- Our team of experienced business consultants is available to offer confidential, no-cost advising to business owners impacted by COVID-19. More information on our program and the services we offer can be viewed here: sbdc.fiu.edu
- You can view recent webinars and trainings, including three (3) COVID-19 webinars, on our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYXxvXf2QuS0Dso-i3xqd1w
- Florida SBDC at FIU has also set up a special email list for businesses that would like to receive regular updates from us on disaster-related information on the COVID-19 virus. If you would like to receive these periodic updates with additional COVID-19-related resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to that list.
- Reach Florida SBDC at FIU at (305) 779-9230.
Additional Business Resources
- Florida Short-Term Compensation: The Short Term Compensation Program is a voluntary employer program designed to help employers maintain their staff by reducing the weekly working hours during temporary slowdowns instead of temporarily laying off employees. More information is available here: http://www.floridajobs.org/office-directory/division-of-workforce-services/reemployment-assistance-programs/short-time-compensation-program-for-employers
- Florida Reemployment Assistance Program: Workers who have been laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 may be eligible for this program. It provides temporary wage replacement benefits to individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. More information on the program is available here.
- CareerSource South Florida: CareerSource South Florida administers programs to assist businesses with training needs and employees with re-employment. Contact CareerSource South Florida to learn more about its One-Stop services that may help you. More information is available here: http://www.careersourcesfl.com/
Miami-Dade County Website: https://www.miamidade.gov/global/initiatives/coronavirus/home.page
Monroe County Website: http://www.monroecountyem.com/1169/COVID-19-Coronavirus
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Website: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/index.html
World Health Organization COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Website: https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus
Resources to Help Small Businesses Survive COVID-19: https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/small-business-resources-for-surviving-coronavirus
National Grocers Association COVID-19 Guidance: https://www.nationalgrocers.org/news/national-grocers-association-coronavirus/
Food Industry Association COVID-19 Guidance: https://www.fmi.org/food-safety/coronavirus
Miami-Dade Beacon Council COVID-19 Business Resource Center: https://www.beaconcouncil.com/solutions/small-business/covid-19-updates-and-resources/