COVID-19 Resource Series | Small Business

Updated: Jun 8



The Florida House Majority Office is publishing a series of sector-specific resource blog posts and downloadable documents to aid constituents in understanding the support available to them during the coronavirus crisis. This post contains information and resources for small businesses. Download the PDF version here.

FEDERAL RESOURCES


The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

  • The FFCRA provides funds for businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members, through December 31.

  • Workers receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for their own health needs or to care for others.

  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions.

  • The FFCRA covers the costs of this paid leave by providing small businesses with refundable tax credits. Certain self-employed individuals in similar circumstances are entitled to similar credits.

  • For more information, visit www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs#basic


Small Business Debt Relief Program

This program provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) loans.

Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.

  • Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer's employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS.

  • For each employee, wages (including certain health plan costs) up to $10,000 can be counted to determine the amount of the 50% credit. Because this credit can apply to wages already paid after March 12, 2020, many struggling employers can get access to this credit by reducing upcoming deposits or requesting an advance credit on Form 7200, Advance of Employer Credits Due To COVID-19.

  • For more information, visit irs.gov/coronavirus/employee-retention-credit

Counseling & Training

Local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center (WBC), or SCORE mentorship chapter, and the associations that represent them, will receive additional funds to expand their reach and better support small business owners with counseling and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans

The PPP provides Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to help small businesses keep their workforce employed.


The “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act’’ allocated an additional $310 billion to the program.


On June 5, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA), making changes to the original PPP loans originally passed in the CARES Act.

  • These loans have a maturity of 5 years and an interest rate of 1%.

  • SBA will forgive a portion of the loan if all employees are kept on the payroll and the money is used for payroll, mortgage interest, rent, or utilities.

  • New PPP borrowers will have a 24-week covered period, and current borrowers can choose to extend their 8 week period to 24 weeks (covered period can’t extend beyond Dec. 31.) This flexibility is designed to make it easier for more borrowers to reach full, or almost full, forgiveness. At least 60% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll.

  • Borrowers can use the 24-week period to restore their workforce levels and wages to the pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness. This must be done by Dec. 31, a change from the previous deadline of June 30.

  • PPP Borrowers can now qualify for the deferral of employer’s share of payroll taxes available under the CARES Act (Deferral of Social Security payments [6.2%]; 50% due in 2021, remainder due in 2022)

The following entities affected by COVID-19 may be eligible:

  • Any small business concern that meets SBA’s size standards (either the industry based sized standard or the alternative size standard)

  • Any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of:

- 500 employees, or

- that meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500

  • Any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location

  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons

This program is retroactive to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.


For more information, visit sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp


Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

The EIDL can provide up to $2 million of financial assistance (actual loan amounts are based on the amount of economic injury) to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury as a result of the declared disaster, regardless of whether the applicant sustained physical damage.

The “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act’’ allocated an additional $50 billion to the program.


The SBA will begin accepting new EIDL and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.

  • The program is for any small business with fewer than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and self-employed persons), private nonprofit organizations, or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations.

  • The interest rate on EIDLs will not exceed 4 percent per year. The term of these loans will not exceed 30 years. The repayment term will be determined by your ability to repay the loan.

  • EIDL assistance is available only to small businesses when SBA determines they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere.

  • A business may qualify for both an EIDL and a physical disaster loan. The maximum combined loan amount is $2 million.

  • For more information, visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans


Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance

The EIDL provides a loan and emergency advance of $1,000 per employee, up to a maximum of $10,000, to small businesses and private nonprofits harmed by COVID-19.


The “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act’’ allocated an additional $10 billion to the program.

  • This advance provides economic relief to businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. To access the advance, you must first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance.

  • The program is for any small business with fewer than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and self-employed persons), private nonprofit organizations, or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations.

  • Funds will be made available within days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

  • For more information, visit www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program

  • The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to quickly access up to $25,000.

  • If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

  • The loan will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan.

  • For more information, visit www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/Express-Bridge-Loan-Pilot-Program-Guide-FINAL-3.25.20.pdf

FLORIDA RESOURCES


Short Time Compensation Program

The Short Time Compensation Program helps employers retain their workforce in times of temporary slowdown by encouraging work sharing as an alternative to layoffs.

  • The program permits prorated Reemployment Assistance benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of a Short Time Compensation plan.

  • Employers, to apply for the Short Time Compensation Program visit connect.myflorida.com/Employer/Core/Login.ASPX


State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)

The SSBCI is available to qualified businesses that demonstrate adequate historical and/or proposed cash flow coverage and other credit underwriting metrics. The loan proceeds must be used for a business purpose. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Startup costs

  • Working capital

  • Business procurement

  • Franchise fees

  • Inventory

  • Purchase, construction renovation or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment purposes


An SSBCI Loan Participation permits the purchase of a portion (up to 50%) of the loan originated by the lender, facilitating the loan by reducing the lender’s credit risk. Typical terms are as follows:

  • Typical loan participation will be between 5-20% of the loan amount, up to a maximum 50% (1:1 min)

  • Minimum $250,000 loan amount; maximum $5,000,000 (lower amounts permitted)

  • Maximum participation term is five (5) years

  • Interest rates and fees are negotiable

  • Under no circumstances will a loan participation be permitted under a scenario that allows the Partnering Lender to incur less than 20% risk of loss (based on the total required financing)


The most common Loan Participation is the 504 Bridge Loan Participation. These transactions will be processed by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), working in conjunction with Enterprise Florida.

  • With SBA 504 Loans, lenders are permitted to finance equipment and owner-occupied real estate purchases up to 90% of the total project cost.

For more information, visit www.enterpriseflorida.com/small-business/state-small-business-credit-initiative-ssbci/

Rebuild Florida Business Loan Fund

The Florida Business Loan Fund assists businesses by providing longer-term loans with higher funding levels at market interest rates. The fund can provide an eligible business with up to $500,000 in financing for the following purposes:

Microfinance Guarantee Program

The Microfinance Guarantee Program provides access to credit for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Florida through guarantees to loans made to such entrepreneurs and small businesses.

  • Funds appropriated to the program must be reinvested and maintained as a long-term and stable source of funding for the program.

  • Due to COVID-19, Enterprise Florida is suspending initial fees (normally 2%) to assist small businesses with access to credit.

  • For more information, visit enterpriseflorida.com/small-business/microfinance-guarantee-program/


Black Business Loan Program

The Black Business Loan Program provides loans, loan guarantees, or investments through Loan Administrators to black business enterprises that cannot otherwise obtain capital through conventional lending institutions but who could otherwise compete successfully in the private sector.

Small Black Business Enterprises interested in receiving capital through this program may contact a Loan Administrator to find out how to apply:


Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union (servicing statewide)

1610 S. Monroe St.

Tallahassee, Florida 32301

Phone: (850) 300-7281

Fax: (850) 222-5401

Apply at: famufcu.com/black-business-loans/

Miami Bayside Foundation, Joann Milord

25 SE Second Ave., Suite 240

Miami, Florida 33131

Phone: (786) 703-5768

Apply at: miamibaysidefoundation.org/loans/black-business-loan-program/


Business Damage Assessment Survey

The Business Damage Assessment Survey evaluates businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so that actions to implement relief programs can begin.

  • Results from this survey will be shared with state agencies and local partners.

  • Surveys submitted by small businesses can be used to access the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, made available for COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.

  • For inquiries or assistance with the survey, businesses can contact Emergency Support Function 18 at ESF18@em.myflorida.com.

  • The survey can be taken online at floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments.

Tax Relief for SBA Loans

On April 6, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-95. The order removes the documentary stamp tax that would have applied to any of the SBA loans.


Tax Deadline Extension for Florida Businesses

On March 26, Department of Revenue Executive Director Zingale issued an emergency order (Order of Emergency Waiver/Deviation) that extends certain filing deadlines for Florida businesses.

  • The Order of Emergency Waiver/Deviation gives Florida businesses an extension for sales and use tax, as well as other related tax returns and payments, which are normally due on the first day of the month and are late after the 20th day of the month.

  • The Order of Emergency Waiver/Deviation extends the due date to April 30, 2020, for sales and use tax, as well as other related taxes, collected in March for taxpayers who have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

  • Taxpayers who have not been adversely affected by COVID-19 must continue to file and remit taxes no later than the normal due date of April 20.

  • Taxpayers who were unable to meet the March 20 due date will have penalty and interest waived for taxes collected in February if the taxes were reported and remitted by March 31.

  • To view Order of Emergency Waiver/Deviation 20-52-DOR-002, visit: floridarevenue.com/emdisaster/Additional%20Info/Order%20of%20Emergency%20Waiver%2020-52-DOR-002%20(Sales%20and%20Use%20Tax%20and%20Related%20Taxes).pdf

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

On April 13, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced more than 1,000 small businesses were awarded more than $49 million from the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Currently, DEO is not accepting applications for the Emergency Bridge Loan Program.

  • The program provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. These loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to “bridge the gap” to obtaining federal SBA loans or commercially available loans.

  • For more information on the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org

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