After weeks of debate, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has set aside $2 trillion to stimulate the U.S. economy. The money has been appropriated but many details are still being hammered out.

There are several programs being rolled out to help small businesses – including individuals who are self-employed or even contractors.

Listed below are three government assistance programs that will help your small business weather the storm. 

Get a $10,000 Business Grant Within Three Days

If you are any business that qualifies, including if you are self-employed or contractor – you should look at this.

The SBA has unveiled Emergency Economic Injury Grants to provide $10,000 loan advances to small businesses in need. 

Any small business affected should apply as soon as possible. The $10,000 advance is a grant, meaning it doesn’t have to be paid back.

The application is extremely short (as of writing it’s 3 pages) and asks for a checking and routing number at the end.

Click here to apply.

Here is a video on how to fill out this simple application:

If you have clients of your own, make sure to tell them about this program so they can also apply.

Larger Forgivable Loans For Payroll Available With The Paycheck Protection Program

If you are an agency or a business with employees, this may be for you.

The PPP “is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.”

Businesses with fewer than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons) can qualify for SBA loans to make payroll. 

Here’s the best part: If you keep your employees on your payroll for eight weeks, the SBA will forgive your entire loan.

According to the SBA website:

The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program.

Expansion of SBA’s Disaster Loan Program

We mentioned the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program in a previous blog post, “Coronavirus Resources For Businesses,” but the difference between this one and the PPP is that EIDL is being solely funded and processed by the SBA. 

EIDL is currently available for businesses with fewer than 500 employees to borrow up to $2 million with a low-interest rate of 3.75%. 

A potential issue with borrowing from the SBA is that it may take between 60-90 days to get your money. As a government agency, they have many regulations and processes to follow. 

In order to get relief to businesses faster, the SBA also developed the Emergency Economic Injury Grants (EEIG) program. 

Learn more here.

Take Advantage of Assistance Programs

Now is the time to obtain assistance for your small business. Be aware there may be processing delays as the government sorts out new programs.

Things are moving fast right now and no one is quite certain when the quarantine orders will be lifted. 

Congress could pass another stimulus bill or some rules could be revised, so make sure you’re carefully documenting all of the assistance funds you receive and use.