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National and State Financial Assistance Programs for Small Business Impacted by COVID-19

Several federal, state, local and private organizations have implemented programs to support businesses that are struggling because of the coronavirus and the related economic downturn. As of April 21st, here is a list of loans, benefits, and programs:

Federal Programs

The federal government has issued three major pieces of legislation to address the needs of the country during the pandemic. The main piece of legislation directed toward small businesses is the CARES Act.

According to the SBA, since its inception, 14 million businesses have already applied for the programs included in the CARES Act. Currently Congress is voting on a fourth stimulus bill to extend the funding to help even more businesses.

SBA – Small Business Association

                CARES Act:

The SBA operates four different programs that make up the CARES Act:

                        The federal government created this program to help                                                         employers maintain and pay their employees. It includes a forgivable loan                       that matures after 2yrs at an interest rate of 1%. Currently the SBA is not                                 taking new applications for this program due to funding restraints.

                        This is an advance of up to $10,000 in economic relief that will not have                           to be repaid. The SBA has also put this program on hold until Congress                             votes in more funds.

Small businesses that currently have a business relationship with SBA qualify for this loan of up to $25,000. One benefit of this loan is it is a faster qualification process than other loans and can serve as a bridge while applying for loans like the EIDL.

For six months, the SBA will provide debt relief by paying principal, interest, and fees for certain new and existing microloans through this program.


 Families First Coronavirus Response Act:

  • This legislation requires businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and planned family leave for employees affected by the pandemic.
  • It also institutes a 100% tax credit for these businesses up to the capped amount of benefits that they must pay.

                Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

  • This was the original legislation that provided the funding for the EIDL, which was later given additional funding through the CARES Act. As mentioned above, legislation is pending to re-fund this program, but currently the SBA is not taking any new applications.

IRS—Internal Revenue Service

            Extended Deadlines of Federal Income Tax Filing

  • The IRS has extended federal tax filing dates for businesses from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Penalties and Interest will accrue after that date. This extension does not apply to filing of state taxes.

            The CARES Act Tax policy revisions

                        The CARES Act also makes the following changes to tax policy:

  • It qualifies certain businesses for a tax credit for retaining their employees.
  • It allows certain businesses and self-employed workers to delay their payroll tax payments.
  • It permits the relaxing of limitations on businesses that have had a net operating loss (NOL).

USDA—US Department of Agriculture

                Rural Development Loan Guarantee Programs

  • This program allows lenders to offer 180-day loan payment deferrals for borrowers without prior approval by the agency.

The Federal Reserve

            Mainstreet Lending Program

            This program is made up of two loans. Businesses can apply for both the SBA loans and these loans simultaneously. Both loans in the Mainstreet Lending Program require a minimum borrow of $1 million dollars and have a term of four years.

  • The Mainstreet New Loan is an unsecured loan that requires no collateral. The maximum loan size is $25 million or an amount that does not exceed the borrower’s existing debt plus four times the eligible borrower’s income for 2019.
  • The Mainstreet Expanded Loan might need collateral, depending on loan requirements. The maximum loan size is $150 million, 30% of the borrowers existing debt, or an amount when added to the borrower’s current debt, doesn’t exceed six times the borrower’s income for 2019.

State and Local Programs

Duke University has put out one of the largest resources detailing programs for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. Businesses can find that master list here.

Due to the overwhelming requests by businesses, however, many of these programs are no longer accepting applications. This updates that Duke list to highlight only the opportunities that are currently available, as indicated by websites of the states and organizations running these programs.

It is likely that governments will put new funds into some of these other programs, so continue to check back here to keep abreast of future changes.





  • Through the Economic Development Commission, the governor of Arkansas has set up the Quick Action Closing Fund, which provides up to $250,000 in loans for businesses that qualify.


  • Many counties and cities in California have created relief funds for their local businesses affected by the coronavirus. California also has extended its tax deadlines.








  • The government of Louisiana has opened a COVID-19 Help Desk for Louisiana program that provides support for area businesses through a hotline and email help center. The state has also created a Loan Portfolio Guarantee Program that supports businesses with less than 100 employees with loans of up to $100,000.


  • Mainstream Finance operates this extensive resource page of grants and other funding opportunities for local businesses affected in the state.


  • Montgomery County Public Health Department provides emergency grants for businesses who are going through economic hardship due to the coronavirus. The government of Maryland has also created a fund for manufacturers to produce protective gear needed by the state during the pandemic.


  • Cambridge is offering small grants through its COVID-19 Emergency Fund to area businesses impacted by the faltering economy.


  • Many cities and counties in Michigan are offering loans and grants to suffering small businesses. The state of Michigan also has its own relief initiative for businesses that have already received loan, grants, and other incentives through the Michigan Strategic fund.



  • The City of St. Louis operates a loan program with no interest rates for small businesses within the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County.


            New Jersey:

  • The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has a hotline for businesses seeking information related to the coronavirus pandemic and an Emergency Technical Program that helps businesses file for SBA loans. The state of New Jersey also operates an Entrepreneurship Guarantee Program that encourages private sector investors to issue loans to entrepreneurs in the state.

            New Mexico:

  • The Micro-Business Relief Program helps businesses in the city of Albuquerque to survive through loss of profit due to the impact of the coronavirus. Grants of up to $5000 are available to qualifying small businesses. New Mexico also operates its own NM recovery fund which provide loans up to $500,000 to qualifying businesses throughout the state.

            New York:

            North Carolina:

  • The Golden Leaf Foundation has created a loan program in the state called the NC COVID-19 Recovery Program for impacted small businesses.

            North Dakota:

  • North Dakota Development Fund Loans are available for essential businesses throughout the state. The Lewis and Clark Development Group also offers loans through their Opportunity Fund to small businesses in the state that are unable to get loans through the SBA.



  • Oregon Pacific Bank offers loans up to $100,000 with no interest for the first 6 months through its Community Emergency Loan Fund.


  • The Circle of Aunts and Uncles provides microloans to entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia area. The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh operates an Emergency Loan Fund for existing small businesses in the city. The Hebrew Free Loan Association of Pittsburgh offers bridge loans up to $5,000 for area businesses.




  • The Entrepreneur Fund is offering small business relief for Northwest Wisconsin. These are in the grants up to $5000 coupled with counseling to help businesses manage through the crisis.

Other Coronavirus Relief Programs


                Small Business Grant Program:

  • Facebook is offering small businesses $100 million in ad credits and grants for businesses affected by the downturn.

GoFundMe and Yelp

Small Business Donations:

  • GofundMe and Yelp have teamed up to allow businesses to accept donations and raise money on their Yelp pages.

Honeycomb Credit

                Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loans:

  • Honeycomb Credit offers three different crowdfunded working capital loans for small businesses.


            Support for US Entrepreneurs:

  • Kiva is opening its 0% loans up to more businesses in the US and increasing the maximum amounts of their loans to $15,000. Plus, they’re allowing new borrowers a six-month grace period.

US Chamber of Commerce

            Save Small Business Fund Grants

  • For small businesses that employ between three and twenty people, have been harmed financially from the crisis, and are located in an economically poor community, the US Chamber of Commerce is offering $5,000 grants.

Additional Resources: Leadership

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