Small business owners have been one of the leading groups severely impacted by COVID-19. As a result, The CARES Act included a provision to offer $350 billion in the form of SBA loans for small businesses to take care of business expenses and pay their staff. Unfortunately, according to senior banking officials, most of this money was claimed within minutes of the applications being open.
Congress just passed another $370 billion to distribute more loans to small businesses. In this new bill, $310 billion was set aside for the Paycheck Protection Program (a provision that allows the SBA to forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks after the loan is made, and the money is used on payroll and business expenses). The other $60 billion was set to be distributed as general disaster business loans. However, it may still not meet the demand of small businesses that need support.
What are your options if you have not been able to receive these SBA and PPP loans? Here are some tips below:
Apply for the Facebook Small Business Grant Awards
As of Monday, April 20th, businesses could apply for Facebook’s Small Business Grant Program. The social media giant is offering $100 million globally, and the state of Georgia can expect to receive $225,000 in total. The breakdown is as follows: $125,000 for 31 businesses located in the Metro Atlanta area, with $100,000 for companies in Newton, Jasper, Walton, and Morgan counties. Businesses that have been running for over a year and employ two to 50 employees are encouraged to apply. Facebook has also slated 50 percent of funding to help minority-run companies directly.
Reach out to Invest Atlanta
Around the start of this outbreak, Invest Atlanta partnered with the City of Atlanta to distribute SBA disaster loans to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. While these funds may be currently exhausted, it doesn’t mean you cannot still work with Invest Atlanta. This organization has a Business Assistance arm that offers client services like consulting and financing advice. Check-in with Invest Atlanta for some help if you are stuck and looking for resources to help you locate funding or figure out a new strategy.
Take Advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit
If you need funds quickly, this could be a viable way for you to locate and receive money to keep your business afloat in the short-term. There is a tax credit equal to 50 percent of wages that business owners pay their employees (including yourself if you are on the payroll). The maximum wages are $10,000 per employee, which means you can receive up to $5,000 per staff member. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you need to show that your company has been impacted by COVID-19, fill out Form 941, and meet other additional requirements.
Apply for the Salesforce Care Small Business Grants
Salesforce is granting small businesses $10,000 to take care of inventory, pay salaries, and adapt to a new way of work. You are eligible if you are a for-profit company, have between two and 50 employees, have been in business two full years, have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19, and meet the other stated criteria on the application. Small business owners in Georgia are welcome to apply before the May 1st deadline.
Check into Clayton County Small Business Grants (See if Your County is Offering This)
The Development Authority of Clayton County is offering a one-time $2,500 grant to businesses located in the unincorporated Clayton County area that have held business licenses in 2019 and 2020. Eligible companies have to have less than 25 employees and need help paying employees, delivering goods to customers, or changing their business model to handle this ever-changing crisis. Applicants can visit InvestClayton to apply and receive more details.
There Are Funding Opportunities Available
Even in times of distress, you do have options. Many for-profit companies, local governments, and organizations are setting up ways for businesses to receive funding and resources to keep them afloat during this time. So, be sure to always keep an eye on your county, city, and chamber of commerce websites. Since this is an ever-evolving situation, organizations are continually developing strategies to help those impacted by COVID-19. Keep searching, and also continue to check deadlines for new SBA loan opportunities.