COVID-19 Small Business Assistance

As a small business, we understand how difficult it can be to be a small business during this uncertain time. Of course, everyone’s priority is the health and safety of employees and customers, however, this often comes at a great financial cost. Luckily, there is relief available for small businesses through multiple state and federal programs. The resources are constantly changing and TLGNWA is working to keep you up to date on the latest legislation.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) coronavirus resource page provides a list of programs and guidance for small business owners. The SBA is offering an Economic Injury Disaster Loan program that provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million in order to provide crucial funds to help overcome the current climate. You can apply online at or call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 for help with your application. Currently, they have low interest loans available to small business owners in multiple states including Arkansas. The loans may be used to cover any bills that coronavirus has made it difficult to pay, including payroll, debts, accounts payable and other debts you may have.

Arkansas

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) provides assistance to businesses and employees affected by the coronavirus. As discussed above, Arkansas has been approved for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. The AEDC has established the Quick Action Loan Program to provide up to $4 million dollars of assistance to business affected by COVID-19. The loans are intended to Prioritize small to medium-sized companies that are in the supply chain of essential goods and services (including healthcare, food manufacturing, logistics). They are issued directly to the borrower by AEDC. Loan amounts are capped at $250,000. The loans are at zero interest and may be amortized for up to two years. Payments may be deferred for up to six months following closing on the loan. Borrowers must demonstrate to AEDC that they have no other satisfactory financing options available through commercial lending or through other government programs such as the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Borrowers must demonstrate that it has been adversely impacted by the health emergency. The AEDC’s loans have financial underwriting requirements and job retention requirements which must be followed.

The AEDC is also providing a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that will provide up to $12 million in CDBG assistance for COVID19 relief and recovery. This money will be used to provide grants to eligible local governments with which to provide direct economic assistance in the form of loans to companies impacted by COVID19 and grants to clinics, hospitals and other non-profits who are working hard to provide care in rural Arkansas and to vulnerable populations such as the homeless. Currently there is no further information available about CDBG, but the AEDC will be updated as more information becomes available. If you have questions, you can email COVID19.businessinfo@arkansasedc.com or call 501-682-1121 or toll-free: 1-800-ARKANSAS for more information.

The Arkansas Division of Workplace Services (ADWS) offers a Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program which provides an alternative for employers faced with a reduction in their work force. It allows an employer to divide available work or hours of work among a specific group(s) of employees in lieu of a layoff, and it allows the employees to receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. Specific details are available on the ADWS website. You can also call ADWS for questions or concerns at 1-855-225-4440 or
501-682-2121. Employees who have lost their job due to COVID-19 may file for unemployment benefits through the Department of Workplace Services.

Federal Income Tax Extension

In an unprecedented event, the federal tax return filing deadline is now extended until July 15, 2020 for individuals and businesses for tax payments up to $10 million dollars. Estimated tax payments for 2020 that were originally due on April 15, 2020 will now be due on July 15, 2020.

Banks Offering Relief to Customers Affected by COVID-19

Forbes has listed the banks which are offering assistance to customers affected by coronavirus. You can also call your bank and ask what assistance they are offering. Many banks are allowing customers to request forbearance or deferral of payments with those payments to be added to the end of the loan, which means that you would not be reported as delinquent to the credit bureau. However, this can also result in added fees and interest rates, so it is best to call your consumer institution for information and assistance.

Facebook

Facebook has announced that they will be offering up to 30,000 small businesses cash grants and Facebook advertising credits up to $100 million dollars to help those affected by coronavirus. Facebook has not released the eligibility criteria or specific details at this time but there is a link where you can sign up to be notified of details once they become available.

CDC Resources

The CDC also offers information for businesses including interim guidance for businesses and employers and cleaning and disinfection recommendations. The CDC provides strategies that your business can follow to ensure that you are prioritizing the safety of your employees and customers and staying up to date on the latest information available.

TLGNWA is working hard to stay updated on all legislation to help small business owners, employers, and employees through this difficult time. This information is current as of March 21, 2020. Please call (479) 316-3760 or email us office@lawgroupnwa.com if you have any questions and we will be happy to help.