More than two years after its arrival in the U.S., COVID-19 continues to affect both the health of individuals and of small businesses. It hasn’t completely gone away.
But if you’re a small business owner, here’s some welcome news: Financial assistance and relief haven’t completely gone away, either
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA); and other programs have provided help for small businesses during the height of the pandemic, but there are still other resources available.
Here’s a brief guide to some of them.
While many of the federal COVID loan programs have stopped accepting new applications, there are still some nongovernmental options available for small business owners.
Based in San Francisco, Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive.
The idea behind Kiva is to use crowdfunding to provide zero-interest loans to qualified individuals and businesses. According to its website, Kiva provides an average of $2.5 million in loans each week.
Businesses can borrow up to $15,000 at 0% interest. Basic qualifications are:
You can learn more and apply online here.
Created by the sports website, Barstool.com, The Barstool Fund has raised over $40 million and supported more than 440 businesses.
The Fund recently rebranded its name as the Barstool Difference, but as of this writing, its mission to help small businesses remains the same.
Small business owners in need of help due to the impacts of COVID can still apply quickly and easily online at TheBarstoolFund.com/apply.
The online legal services company, Incfile, sponsors a grant program that can provide new and restarting businesses with $2,500 to put toward business startup costs. The grants also come with free business formation services from Incfile.
To apply, you need to be:
The process involves:
From government agencies, to nonprofit organizations, to corporate-sponsored programs, you can find a number or resources for small business grants. That’s good news. It also can be bad news if you don’t know where to look.
Not to worry. We have a helpful guide that shows where the grants are, and provides tips and advice on the best ways to apply and secure a grant for your business.
Applying for grants and loans can take a good bit of your time, so it can be helpful to do everything you can to boost your chances for receiving the cash you need. One helpful item to consider is business insurance.
Here’s why: Business insurance can help you stand out from other applicants. It can show lenders and grant administrators that you’re serious about the long-term success of your business.
Plus, with all that we’ve seen over the past few years, protecting your livelihood any way possible can make a lot of sense.
At Simply Business, we can make insuring your business fast and easy. You can get started online right now, or you can speak with one of our helpful and friendly insurance pros.
You can reach an agent at 844-654-7272. They’re there to handle all of it, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).
As we mentioned above, many of the federal financial assistance programs have ceased accepting applications, but that doesn’t mean the money is all gone. Some of the funds are being awarded and distributed by state and local governments.
Some cities and towns, such as Medina, Ohio, are using allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act to help local small businesses that are still negatively impacted by the pandemic.
There also is relief available from many counties. Georgia’s Chatham County is offering one-time grants of $25,000 to small businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19.
Washington State, which has provided $500 million in grants throughout the past two years, still has approximately $70 million available to help certain small businesses in the state.
The Working Washington Grant is still open for a variety of affected businesses. The online application period begins August 17 and closes on August 31, 2022. Check their website for more information.
These are just a few examples: Grants, loans, and other funding will vary from state to state, so you'll need to do a little hunting in your area. To help get you started, the National Council of Nonprofits has put together an online guide that highlights some of the ARPA money available in every state.
Keep in mind that financial assistance for small businesses isn’t restricted only during times of crises or disasters. There are ongoing loan and grant programs at the federal level (and possibly in your state as well).
If you want to jump-start your research, here are a few resources you can check out:
Running a business even in the best of times is hard work. We know. We support more than 50,000 small businesses with insurance, advice, and helpful information.
You can find more articles and tips on funding and other business-related topics in our online resource center, Simply U.
As a 9-year-old at summer camp, I hated it — especially after being pulled screaming from the pool during the swimming competition. While this left me without an aquatic achievement patch, it also inspired the letter to my parents that got me an early release from Camp Willard. That showed me the power of writing. I’ve done my best to use it only for good ever since, such as writing for small business owners.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
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