State and federal officials sent out the following information about assistance for small businesses during the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including information on loans, layoff prevention and emergency contacts.
Massachusetts state officials sent out the following information:
1 – Resources for the Business Community: COVID-1 MEMA’s Emergency Operations Center’s Private Sector Hotline
- The hotline will be staffed Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The number for the hotline is 508-820-2094.
2 – Small Business Recovery Loan Fund – https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/what-we-offer/emergency-loan-funds/covid-19-loan-fund
- $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, administered by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), to provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits.
- This fund is being offered with no payments due for the first 6 months, then 30-months of principal and interest payments and no prepayment penalties (annual interest rate of 3.0%).
3 – Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program – https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses
- EIDL offers Massachusetts businesses who are experiencing hardships resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak access up to $2M in emergency loan capital with rates capped at 3.75%.
- We are currently working with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to activate the EIDL program. We will update this group when the program formally opens.
- Businesses can learn more about the SBA’s response to COVID-19 here:
3 – Governor Baker’s Emergency Order (3/15) limiting gatherings to 25 individuals and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6.
- Read more about the Emergency Order here: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-emergency-actions-to-address-covid-19
- The Order does not apply to normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, polling locations, grocery or retail stores, pharmacies, or other spaces where 25 or more persons may be in transit.
- The Order does not apply to typical office environments, government buildings, or factories where large numbers of people are present, but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another.
- Additional guidance can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-15-2020-assemblage-guidance
4 – The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers resources for businesses related to employee benefits and will post additional guidance as it becomes available. Programs include:
- Updated information regarding unemployment resources can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-directives#businesses-&-employers-
- The WorkShare program, a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn – read more about WorkShare at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/workshareinformation-for-employers
- The Rapid Response program, which works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry; read more about how the Rapid Response Team can help businesses at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/rapid-response-layoff-aversion
The U.S. Small Business Administration also provided the following information about assistance being provided to help during the Coronavirus outbreak:
SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
- The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
- Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
- Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities as well as updated on our website: SBA.gov/disaster.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
- For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com.
- Visit SBA.gov/disaster for more information.