Lots of small business relief funds still available

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law, which provides additional relief for the nation’s small businesses and hard-hit industries for programs the SBA is currently administering and adds new efforts. Specifically, the new law includes:

  • $7.25 billion additional for the Paycheck Protection Program, including to expand eligibility to additional nonprofits and digital news services
  • Additional funds are allocated for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, and now allows businesses to apply for both a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, and the SVOG
  • $15 billion additional for Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance (EIDL) payments, including NEW $5 billion for Supplemental Targeted EIDL Advance payments for those hardest hit
  • NEW: $28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund for industry-focused grants
  • NEW: $100 million to establish a Community Navigator pilot program; grants will go to eligible organizations supporting efforts to improve access to COVID–19 pandemic assistance programs and resources.

Paycheck Protection Program deadline approaching: Businesses can apply for federal financial help through the Paycheck Protection Program, but the deadline to apply for the second round of funding is March 31. The program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information, click here.

The SBA also offers other programs to help businesses affected by COVID-19, including:

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration. Applications will be accepted until December 31, 2021. For more information, click here.
  • The Economic Aid Act also included additional funds to relaunch the EIDL Loan Advance program that is now targeted to low-income communities. The grants will go to prior EIDL applicants in low-income communities that did not receive the full $10,000 loan advance or who applied but were approved after all EIDL Advance funds were depleted. To qualify, a business must have already applied for an EIDL before December 27, 2020, be located in a low-income community (census tract with 20% of the population in poverty or rural tracts where median family income is 80% or less the statewide median family income), and can demonstrate a 30% loss in business revenues during any eight-week period after March 2, 2020. Eligible businesses do not need to take action. They will be contacted by the SBA via email on next steps. For more details, click here.

Remember that Ohio Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC) across the state will be available to help businesses with the application process. To find a local SBDC, click here. To find a local MBAC, click here.

Shuttered Venue grants: Although applications are not yet available for the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) urges those who may be eligible to prepare for the opening of the program.

The program provides $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible entities include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums that meet specific criteria, motion picture theater operators, and talent representatives.

The SBA still is working on details of the program. For more information, click here. To view a recording of a webinar about the program, click here. The SBA also has prepared a frequently asked questions document. It is available here.

One requirement for the grant is that businesses must be registered in the federal System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Businesses can complete that registration now to avoid delays once the grant applications open. To learn more, click here. The Ohio Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) can help businesses register at SAM.gov. This service is free. To find a PTAC in your region, click here.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund: Restaurant owners should be watching for the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The $28.6 billion fund will be created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, which was approved this week by Congress and signed by President Biden on Thursday.

The SBA has not released information about the fund yet, but news reports indicate the agency plans to launch the program within weeks. The National Restaurant Association has produced a document that includes some details of the fund. To access the pdf, click here.