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At incorporate.com—a division of CSC—our teams are dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs like you throughout the life cycle of your business. As your dedicated partner, we're here to face any challenge with you as you start, grow, and maintain your business. This guide will introduce you to the federal CARES Act stimulus package as a response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) circumstances. Our team will update this CARES Act Stimulus Guide regularly with resources during this challenging time to assist you and your business. We can weather this storm together.

Do you have the proper documentation needed to apply for loan assistance? Our teams can help.

Since the launch of the CARES Act assistance programs we have had many customers reach out with urgent document retrieval requests. In addition to payroll verification, financial records, and tax returns, many lenders are requesting that applicants have the following documents prepared for each entity:

  • Certificate of good standing
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Operating agreements or by-laws

As your dedicated partner, CSC is available to support you and can promptly pull the documentation required by your lender. Call (866) 963-8506 and select Option #2 to submit your request.

CARES Act Provides Stimulus to U.S. Businesses and Non-profits

On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed by the president of the United States. The CARES Act exceeds $2T in assistance and establishes a $349B lending program for small businesses, increases unemployment insurance payments, and includes benefits to those who are unemployed due to COVID-19 challenges. This scenario expands benefits to businesses that normally may not qualify, such as self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and members of the "gig economy" workforce.

This CARES Act Stimulus Guide provides information on the sections that affect small business and non-profit organizations:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loans
  • The Emergency Economic Injury Grant
  • The Small Business Debt Relief Program
  • Small Business Tax Provisions

The Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is one of the largest sections of the CARES Act. The PPP sets aside $350B in government-backed loans designed to provide capital to help cover the cost of retaining employees. The program provides cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency.

  • Loans available through June 30, 2020
    • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses, sole proprietorships can apply.
    • Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.
    • Small businesses and other eligible entities are able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program is retroactive to February 15, 2020 to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.
  • How to apply
    • You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program.
    • You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at sba.gov.
  • Key points of the PPP
    • PPP incentivizes small businesses to not lay off employees and rehire laid-off workers that lost jobs due to recent COVID-19 disruptions.
    • The PPP is a model based on the existing Small Business Association (SBA) 7(a) loan program, which is a familiar program to many small businesses.
    • If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven, which will help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy snap-back quicker after the crisis.
    • PPP provides small businesses with opportunities such as forgiveness of up to eight (8) weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six (6) months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year.
    • Currently, the SBA guarantees small business loans that are given out by a network of more than 800 lenders across the U.S. The PPP creates a type of emergency loan that can be forgiven when used to maintain payroll through June 2020 and expands the network beyond SBA so that more banks, credit unions, and lenders can issue the loans.
  • What types of non-profits are eligible?
    • In general, 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(9) non-profits with 500 employees or fewer are eligible, as most non-profit SBA size standards are based on revenue, not employee number.
  • What types of businesses and entities are eligible for a PPP loan?
    • Businesses and entities in operation on February 15, 2020
    • Individuals who operate a sole proprietorship or as an independent contractor and eligible self-employed individuals
    • Any business with no more than 500 employees per physical location that is assigned a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code beginning with 72, for which the affiliation rules are waived
    • Any business that affiliation rules are waived, operating as a franchise that is assigned a franchise identifier code by the administration, and company that receives funding through a small business investment company
    • Small business concerns, as well as any business concern, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a 501(c)(9) veterans organization, or tribal business concern described in section 31(b)(2)C) that has fewer than 500 employees, or the applicable size standard in number of employees of for the NAICS industry as provided by SBA, if higher
  • Learn more about the PPP requirements, loan amounts, forgiveness, and payroll eligibility details in the Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Economic Injury Disaster loans and Emergency Economic Injury grants

Emergency Economic Injury grants (EEIG) provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits negatively impacted by COVID-19 within three days of applying for a SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you must first apply for an Economic Injury Disaster loan, then request the grant.

The grant does not need to be repaid under any circumstance.

The grant may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments.

  • How long are Emergency Economic Injury grants available? January 31, 2020 – December 31, 2020. The grants are backdated to January 31, 2020 to allow those who have already applied for EIDLs to be eligible to also receive a grant.
  • Key points of EIDLs and EEIGs
    • Are businesses and private non-profits in my state eligible for an EIDL related to COVID-19? Yes, those suffering substantial economic injury in all 50 states, DC, and the territories may apply.
    • Who is eligible for an EEIG? Those eligible for an EIDL and who have been in operation since January 31, 2020, when the public health crisis was announced.
    • What is an EIDL and what is it used for? EIDLs are lower interest loans of up to $2M, with principal and interest deferment at the administrator's discretion, that are available to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses. Those eligible for an EIDL have 500 or fewer employees, including:
      • Sole proprietorships, with or without employees
      • Independent contractors
      • Cooperatives and employee owned businesses
      • Tribal small businesses
      • Small business concerns and small agricultural cooperatives that meet the applicable size standard for SBA, as well as most private non-profits of any size
    • How do I know if my business is a small business? To find out if your business meets SBA's small business size standards, you'll need your business's six-digit NAICS and three-year average annual revenue.
    • If I get an EIDL or an EEIG, can I get a PPP loan? Whether you've already received an EIDL unrelated to COVID-19 or you receive a COVID19 related EIDL or EEIG between January 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, you may also apply for a PPP loan. If you ultimately receive a PPP loan or refinance an EIDL into a PPP loan, any advance amount received under the Emergency Economic Injury Grant Program would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the PPP. However, you cannot use your EIDL for the same purpose as your PPP loan. For example, if you use your EIDL to cover payroll for certain workers in April, you cannot use PPP for payroll for those same workers in April, although you could use it for payroll in March or for different workers in April.
  • Where can I apply for an EIDL? You can apply for a federal disaster Loan online on the U.S. SBA website.

Small Business Debt Relief Program

The Small Business Debt Relief Program (SBDR) will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the president signing the bill into law.

Key points of the Small Business Debt Relief Program

  • Which SBA loans are eligible for debt relief under this program? 7(a) loans not made under the PPP, 504 loans, and microloans. Disaster loans are not eligible.
  • How do I know if I am eligible for a 7(a), 504, or microloan? In general, businesses must meet size standards, be based in the U.S., and be able to repay, as well as have a sound business purpose. To check whether your business is considered small, you will need your business's six-digit NAICS code and three-year average annual revenue. Each program has different requirements, see SBA Funding Programs for specifics.
  • What is a 7(a) loan and how do I apply? 7(a) loans are an affordable loan product of up to $5M for borrowers who lack credit elsewhere and need access to versatile financing, providing short-term or long-term working capital and to purchase an existing business, refinance current business debt, or purchase furniture, fixtures, and supplies. In the program, banks share a portion of the risk of the loan with SBA. There are many different types of 7(a) loans, you can visit the site to find the one that's best for you. You apply for a 7(a) loan with a bank or a mission-based lender. SBA has a free referral service tool called Lender Match to help find a lender near you.
  • What is a 504 loan and how do I apply? The 504 Loan Program provides loans of up to $5.5M to approved small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization. It's a good option if you need to purchase real estate, buildings, and machinery. You apply through a certified development company, which is a nonprofit corporation that promotes economic development. SBA has a free referral service tool called Lender Match to help find a lender near you.
  • What is a microloan and how do I apply? The Microloan Program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for profit childcare centers to start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000. These loans are delivered through mission-based lenders who are also able to provide business counseling. SBA has a free referral service tool called Lender Match to help find a micro lender near you.

About the Small Business Administration:

  • Created in 1953, the U.S. SBA continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation's only go-to resource and voice for small businesses.
  • Can I talk to someone about how the CARES Act applies to my organization? Your local SBA can help guide you through the applicant process for your business. Locate your nearest Small Business Development Center or Women's Business Center on the Small Business Administration's website.

Small Business Tax Provisions

Employee retention credit for employers subject to closure or experiencing economic hardship

This provision would provide a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings. The credit is also provided to employers who have experienced a greater than 50% reduction in quarterly receipts, measured year-over-year.

Wages of employees who are furloughed or face reduced hours as a result of their employer's closure or economic hardship are eligible for the credit. For employers with 100 or fewer full time employees, all employee wages are eligible, regardless of whether an employee is furloughed. The credit is provided for wages and compensation, including health benefits, and is provided for the first $10,000 in wages and compensation paid by the employer to an eligible employee. Wages do not include those taken into account for purposes of the payroll credits for required paid sick leave or required paid family leave, nor for wages taken into account for the employer credit for paid family and medical leave (IRC sec. 45S).

The credit is provided through December 31, 2020. The credit is not available to employers receiving assistance through the PPP.

Delay of payment of employer payroll taxes

This provision would allow taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022. Payroll taxes that can be deferred include the employer portion of FICA taxes, the employer and employee representative portion of Railroad Retirement taxes (that are attributable to the employer FICA rate), and half of SECA tax liability. Deferral is not provided to employers receiving assistance through the PPP.

For additional information on how the CARES Act can apply to your business, speak to your tax advisor.

For additional resources that might be available to you, visit our Economic Resources and Relief for Small Businesses.

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