Good Morning, Everyone,
There are several different programs that have been announced in the past two weeks that will help small businesses(less than 500 employees). I want to offer a little bit of clarity for these programs because there is some misunderstanding on these programs.
The most comprehensive site for South Carolina Businesses to keep you up to date on new information that pertains to the COVID-19 is the SC Chamber of Commerce site: https://www.scchamber.net/covid-19-information-resources-hub
SBA Disaster Assistance Loans: These were the first approved federal assistance loans that were made available to the small business community.. I would avoid these, if possible. These are not forgivable loans. They are low interest, but must be paid back in full. These funds are available now. If you are still interested in this program, go to this address and follow the steps: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: This bill allows for 80 hours of paid sick leave for employees and 80 hours of child care leave for employees. These benefits go into effect Wednesday, April 1st. For an employer to qualify to re-coup these benefits, they must initially post this Employee Rights Benefit flyer throughout each business: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf This site will give you a brief, clear answer to any questions you may have about these benefits: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions
Paycheck Protection Program: This is the stimulus package that was approved last Friday and I believe has the most confusion. These are the forgivable loans that everyone has heard about (there are guidelines that must be followed for the funds to be completely forgivable). $350 Billion has been set aside for aid small businesses, by allowing employers to keep employees. The application for these funds will not be available until Friday, April 3rd. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals, will be eligible to apply on Friday, April 10th. This link will give you the basic information of the package: https://www.scchamber.net/sites/default/files/Public_Policy/COVID19/uschamber_small_business_ela_loan_guide_0.pdf These funds will be dispensed through authorized SBA banks. This link will give some more clarity to the process and will be the site you will go to to apply for these forgivable loans: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp Lastly, here is an info sheet provided by the Department of Treasury, that explains this program very simply: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20--%20Overview.pdf
I know this is alot for information, but hopefully this gives everyone a better understanding of what is available to aid our small businesses. As always, we are here to help. Please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We aren't experts, but we will do everything we can to help you.
Please feel free to send this to anyone that needs assistance. The Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce is here to help all of the businesses of Fairfield County, whether they are Chamber members or not.
Have a Blessed Day,
Posted on April 1st, 2020.