5 Resources for Businesses Experiencing Financial Challenges

By: Gerri Detweiler

It’s easy to feel like you’re alone in suffering right now, as COVID-19 takes over your life and impacts your business. It’s important for you to know that there are resources available to help you, whether you’re looking at your financing options or simply want a little advice on what to do.

SBA

The Small Business Administration is in the spotlight right now, since Congress is in the process of authorizing some $367 billion funds to help small businesses via SBA loan programs. Business owners in every state can currently apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, which provides low-interest loans up to $2 million to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

And the President is expected to sign legislation making its popular SBA 7(a) loans—which are made by financial institutions, but guaranteed by the SBA—more widely accessible with even more borrower-friendly terms. You can find the latest on these loan programs here.

SBDCs and SCORE

Each state has several Small Business Development Centers, designed to provide resources for entrepreneurs. While branches are closed, many offer online resources that are helpful right now, like coronavirus checklists, webinars on managing finances during an economic downturn, and more. They can also often help with preparing Disaster Loan applications and refer you to other state assistance programs.

SCORE mentors can also help with free mentoring, online workshops and webinars. Visit the SCORE Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub.

Your State and City Governments

Many states are extending tax filing and payment deadlines to align with the IRS’ decision to do so. Some are coming up with their own financing and grants to help local businesses. Here’s an article with resources for each state.

Check the following to find the most updated information for your area:

  • Secretary of State
  • State business office
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Department of revenue
  • Economic development

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Useful Websites

We’re seeing more and more hubs of information about COVID-19 and how it impacts businesses. US Chamber has a Small Business Guide with plenty of articles and resources to help you. Inc has a list of free resources to help you, from free exercise classes to keep you sane during the stress to business services that are free or discounted right now.

Nav (where I work) offers a number of articles about financing and small business resources, updated with the latest developments.

Private Companies

Many private companies are stepping up to help struggling businesses right now. Yelp and GoFundMe have partnered up to let businesses add a donation button to their Yelp pages. Additionally, Quickbooks is getting involved, and the three companies have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund.

Facebook, too, is looking to help by offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.

If you happen to operate in Seattle’s South Lake Union and Regrade neighborhoods, you might be able to benefit from Amazon’s $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund that will provide cash grants to local small businesses.

And though it’s not specifically related to providing funds for COVID-19-impacted businesses, the Nav Small Business Grant awards between $1,000 and $10,000 to small businesses each quarter.

Likely we will continue to see more resources come available to small businesses in the near future, so keep your eye out for any that you find valuable.

The Author: Gerri Detweiler

About the Author:

Gerri Detweiler

Gerri's been guiding individuals through the confusing world of finance and credit for 20+ years. She is the author or coauthor of five books, including her most recent, Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. Today, Gerri serves as the Education Director for Nav, an online platform that matches small business owners to their best financing options and gives free access to personal and business credit scores.

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