Small Business Relief

The COVID relief bill will expand assistance to small business across the country—proving additional relief to small businesses and their employees struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's what you need to know:

Empire State Development

The New York Forward Loan Fund provides relief for New York State small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords. Please visit Empire State Development here to learn more about the program and your eligibility.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million to cover payroll and other operating expenses. They can seek forgiveness for PPP funds spent on eligible payroll and overhead costs, such as rent, mortgage interest payments, and utility costs. Small businesses must spend at least 60 percent of the funds on payroll costs and no more than 40 percent on eligible overhead costs. The COVID relief law also clarifies that tax deductions are allowed for any otherwise deductible expenses paid with the proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan.

Congress reopened this program in the COVID relief law, and new loans will soon be available until March 31, 2021. The COVID relief law enables business that have already received a PPP loan to apply for a second forgivable loan of up to $2 million. New categories of expenses now qualify for forgiveness, and Congress extended PPP eligibility to additional types of businesses and nonprofits.

Please visit the Small Business Administration website for more information and resources.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance Grants

Congress expanded eligibility for SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) and established an EIDL emergency grant program, which allows loan applicants to request an advance of up to $10,000 to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, or otherwise pay business obligations. EIDLs are loans up to $2 million with interest rates of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits.

The COVID relief law allocates an additional $20 billion of targeted funding for the emergency advance grants. However, the law also restricts eligibility to qualified applicants located in low-income communities.  For more information on EIDL emergency advances and to see whether your business is eligible to apply, please click the link.

SBA Live Venue Grants Program

The COVID relief law provides $15 billion nationwide to a new SBA grant program for live venues impacted by the public health crisis. Eligible grant recipients include live venue operators, promoters or theatrical producers, independent movie theatre operators, museum operators, and talent representatives. Of the total amount, $2 billion is set aside for eligible entities that employ fewer than 50 full-time employees. Grants are awarded by the SBA.

For more information on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and to see whether your business is eligible to apply please click here.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

In the COVID relief law, Congress extended the employee retention tax credit through June 30, 2021, increased the credit amount, relaxed eligibility criteria, and made other improvements.

Please check the IRS’s website for more information as it becomes available.

Debt Relief for New and Existing SBA Borrowers

In the COVID relief law, Congress resumed the payment of principal and interest on small business loans guaranteed by the SBA. For small businesses that already have an SBA loan (such as a 7(a), 504, or microloan) or took one out within 6 months after the CARES Act was enacted, the SBA will pay all loan costs for borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six-months.  SBA borrowers may also seek an extension of the duration of their loan and delay certain reporting requirements. 

Please visit the Small Business Administration website for more information and resources.

Relief for Small Business Government Contractors

If you are a government contractor, there are a number of ways that Congress has provided relief and protection for your business. Agencies will be able to modify terms and conditions of a contract and to reimburse contractors at a billing rate of up to 40 hours per week of any paid leave, including sick leave. The contractors eligible are those whose employees or subcontractors cannot perform work on site and cannot telework due to federal facilities closing because of COVID-19.

Payroll Tax Delay

The COVID relief law extends the repayment period for deferred payroll taxes through December 31, 2021; penalties and interest on deferred unpaid tax liability will not begin to accrue until January 1, 2022.

Advance Payment of Tax Credits for Paid Leave

The COVID relief law allows small businesses with up to 500 employees to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave to their employees who are directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

These types of leave will ensure that employers are able to provide workers with the option to stay home from work when sick and take care of their family members without economic hardship.  The paid leave requirements are required to be in effect from April 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020.  The COVID relief law gives employers the option to extend such leave until March 31, 2021. 

For more information on implementing emergency paid leave, please visit the Department of Labor's website, or call the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-4US-WAGE.

For more information on employer tax credits related to emergency paid leave, please visit the IRS's website.

More Information

For more information about SBA loan programs, please visit the Small Business Administration website. More information about small business programs in the CARES Act and other resources for small businesses can be found on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship website.