Resources for small business in dealing with COVID-19

March 26, 2020

The fallout from COVID-19 is growing as unemployment numbers skyrocket, small businesses are faced with closures, and employers try to protect both their business and employees. A just-released national study conducted by America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Thryv Inc.,  found that 69 percent of U.S. small businesses have already experienced a large drop in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic and 60 percent believe demand will continue to decline. States, too, have seen their budget situations take a dramatic turn and universities have had to send students home. Below you will find some of the resources available to businesses and universities in dealing with COVID-19 pressures, as well as new funding opportunities from federal agencies for those seeking assistance. For more information on how states are responding, several organizations are posting daily updates and are referenced below.

Small business and entrepreneurial services support

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses, and is offering low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) for businesses and non-profits impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • The FDIC has provided guidance to banking institutions and consumers affected by COVID-19 and encouraged financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and customers in affected communities.
  • The Depart of Labor has issued guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements.
  • Facebook is offering $100 million in small business grants across 30 countries.
  • JPMC is including $8 million in philanthropic grants assist small businesses vulnerable to significant economic hardships in the U.S., China and Europe.
  • SBDC has a resource page listing help for small businesses and encourages them to contact their local SBDC for assistance as well.
  • The CDC provides interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19.
  • The Angel Capital Association is holding a webinar tomorrow on advising portfolio companies ($100 for non-members).
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a list of resources for businesses.
  • NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers are providing services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers such as connecting businesses that are pivoting their production in response to the coronavirus to new supply chains, connecting firms with state resources, advising companies on new operational issues, and providing workforce support.

State responses

  • MultiState provides a reference to updates and information issued by state and key local agencies and policymakers that is updated daily. 
  • The Tax Foundation provides information on state legislatures’ schedules, adjustments and status of the state’s budget, and the state’s rainy day fund (RDF) balance as a percentage of the prior year’s general fund budget.

Federal resources

  • Information from the Treasury Department includes updates to tax payment deadlines, coronavirus-related paid leave assistance, and other steps being taken to combat the disease.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has implemented several measures to help residents and businesses in rural communities affected by COVID-19.
  • The COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium is bringing together federal, industry, and academic leaders who are volunteering free compute time and resources on their world-class machines for all researchers engaged in COVID-19 research activities.
  • The Department of Energy has identified scientific and technical information supporting coronavirus and viral-related research.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (including National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has announced that funds may be available for Administrative Supplements to meet increased costs that are within the scope of the approved award.
  • The CDC will make $560 million in emergency funding available.
  • The Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has released updates to its broad agency announcement for the Development of Medical Products for Novel Coronavirus.
  • NIH has released a Notice of Special Interest regarding the Availability of Urgent Competitive Revisions for Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to highlight the urgent need for research on the 2019 novel Coronavirus.
  • The NSF’s coronavirus resource page provides guidance to researchers in the NSF community regarding new application deadlines, information on administrative assistance and supplemental funding, and other funding opportunities dedicated to coronavirus.
  • The NSF is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research on different aspects of COVID-19.
  • The NSF released a Dear Colleague Letter inviting Rapid Response Research proposals and supplemental funding requests to existing awards that address COVID-19 challenges through data and/or software infrastructure development activities.

Small business and entrepreneurial services support

SBA assistance

Small Business Administration (SBA) has guidance for businesses, and is offering low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) businesses and non-profits impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The SBA will work directly with state governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. 

FDIC

The FDIC is working with federal and state banking agencies, as well as financial institutions, to consider all reasonable and prudent steps to assist customers in communities affected by the COVID-19. In addition, the agency is monitoring information issued by international and U.S. health organizations. Regulatory agencies have encouraged financial institutions to work with customers impacted by the coronavirus. Customers experiencing difficulties beyond their control should work directly with their financial institutions.

https://www.fdic.gov/coronavirus/index.html

Family leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.[1] The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through Dec. 31, 2020.

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave

Facebook small business grants

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries that are experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. More details will be forthcoming according to the site.

https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grant

JPMC grants

JPMorgan Chase announced a $50 million global philanthropic commitment to address the immediate public health and long-term economic challenges from the COVID-19 global pandemic. Funds will support communities and people hit hardest by this public health crisis through an initial $15 million commitment that includes $8 million to assist small businesses vulnerable to significant economic hardships in the U.S., China and Europe. The remaining $35 million will be deployed over time to help the most vulnerable communities and people recover from the crisis and have an opportunity to benefit from future economic growth. The firm says it will lean into its core areas of expertise including financial health, jobs and skills, small business growth and neighborhood development.

https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/news/pr/jpmc-makes-50mm-philanthropic-investment-to-address-impacts-of-covid-19.htm

SBDC resource pages

America’s SBDCs are working to help small businesses address the business challenges of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and have listed a variety of resources.

https://americassbdc.org/coronavirus-information/

CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. (CDC has provided separate guidance for healthcare settings.) This guidance also provides planning considerations for community spread of COVID-19.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Angel Capital Association

Webinar on Supporting Portfolio Companies During COVID-19: While navigating constant change is a necessity for early stage companies, the intensity of the current environment requires a new level adaptability.  In this webinar intended for angels and entrepreneurs, Victor Gutwein and Pat LaPointe will share how they are advising their portfolio companies during this time. The March 27 webinar is free for ACA members, $100 for non-members.

https://angelcapital.swoogo.com/pccovid19

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put together a toolkit of guidelines on how small business owners can keep their customers and employees safe that includes a business preparedness checklist.

https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/small-business-resources-for-surviving-coronavirus

NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

MEP is a public-private partnership with centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers. As the crisis grows, MEP centers are already proving useful in providing services to small- and medium-sized manufacturers such as connecting businesses that are pivoting their production in response to the coronavirus to new supply chains, connecting firms with state resources, advising companies on new operational issues, and providing workforce support (training, counseling, etc.).

https://www.nist.gov/mep/centers

State responses

To monitor the response of state and local governments to the coronavirus, MultiState created a COVID-19 State and Local Policy Dashboard that provides a quick and easy reference to updates and information issued by state and key local agencies and policymakers that is updated daily. Their page contains resources on the state and local government response to COVID-19/coronavirus, including a dashboard, maps, and other resources for tracking how states and localities are responding to the crisis.

Their latest resource collects stay-at-home orders and definitions of essential businesses from states and large localities.  This resource is live and will be updated as soon as new orders are issued and reviewed by the MultiState team. 

 https://www.multistate.us/pages/covid-19-policy-tracker

Tax Foundation Roundup

The Tax Foundation provides a table indicating when each legislature is next scheduled to meet, when it is currently scheduled to adjourn, what schedule adjustments are being contemplated or made in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the status of the state’s budget, and the state’s rainy day fund (RDF) balance as a percentage of the prior year’s general fund budget.

A state-by-state roundup of major state legislative responses to the COVID-19 outbreak appears below the table and will be updated periodically.

https://taxfoundation.org/state-responses-to-coronavirus-covid19/

Federal resources

Department of the Treasury

The Treasury Department’s webpage provides timely statements by the secretary, updates from the IRS, and other announcements. The information provided includes updates to tax payment deadlines, coronavirus-related paid leave assistance, and other steps being taken to combat the disease.

https://home.treasury.gov/coronavirus

U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA Rural Development has implemented several measures to help residents and businesses in rural communities affected by COVID-19. Assistance includes several Guaranteed and Direct Loan Programs, flexibility in grant management, and extended deadlines for new grant applications.

https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_RD_SA_COVID19_ProgramImmediateActions.pdf

COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium

The COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium is a unique private-public effort spearheaded by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Energy, and IBM to bring together federal government, industry, and academic leaders who are volunteering free compute time and resources on their world-class machines.

https://covid19-hpc.mybluemix.net/

Department of Energy

Several areas of DOE research support the development of new technologies, generation of datasets, and computational technologies for data synthesis, analysis and visualization as part of DOE’s energy-related missions but are also available to the scientific community and the public to facilitate research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for infectious diseases, including those caused by coronaviruses.

To encourage further research and investigation, DOE has identified scientific and technical information related to coronavirus and viral-related research. The following link provides the department’s resources supporting coronavirus research.

https://science.osti.gov/DOE-Resources-Supporting-Coronavirus-Research

Department of Health and Human Services (including National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The NIH has announced that funds may be available for Administrative Supplements to meet increased costs that are within the scope of the approved award, but were unforeseen when the application or grant progress report for non-competing continuation support was submitted. Applications for Administrative Supplements are considered prior approval requests and will be routed directly to the Grants Management Officer of the parent award. Click the link below for more information on the Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements.

https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-18-591.html

The CDC is coordinating with states to identify areas of emergency need for which the CDC will make $560 million in emergency funding available. Click the link below to find state emergency funding allocations and additional information.

https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/03/11/cdc-funding-information.html

The Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has released updates to its broad agency announcement for the Development of Medical Products for Novel Coronavirus. At this time, no applications will be accepted for research outside of the COVID-19 scope.

https://beta.sam.gov/opp/d1b6e601426e4e4c943235babdd4133a/view

NIH has released a Notice of Special Interest regarding the Availability of Urgent Competitive Revisions for Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to highlight the urgent need for research, specifically in the areas of viral natural history, pathogenicity, transmission, as well as projects developing medical countermeasures and suitable animal models for pre-clinical testing of vaccines and therapeutics against coronavirus.

https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AI-20-030.html

National Science Foundation

The NSF’s coronavirus resource page provides guidance to researchers in the NSF community regarding new application deadlines, information on administrative assistance and supplemental funding, and other funding opportunities dedicated to coronavirus.

https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/coronavirus/

The NSF is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to explore how to model and understand the spread of COVID-19, to inform and educate about the science of virus transmission and prevention, and to encourage the development of processes and actions to address this global challenge. It is expected that this research will be conducted through existing funding opportunities.

https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20052/nsf20052.pdf

The NSF released a Dear Colleague Letter, Provisioning Advanced Cyberinfrastructure to Further Research on the Coronavirus Disease, inviting Rapid Response Research proposals and supplemental funding requests to existing awards that address COVID-19 challenges through data and/or software infrastructure development activities.

https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20055/nsf20055.jsp

coronavirus, federal agency, states, small business