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Finance Your Business

Find loans backed by the government and other funding options. Learn about emergency loans and tax relief available to businesses through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

CARES Act Provides Relief for Individuals and Businesses

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It offers help in many forms for individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 

Help for Individuals: Stimulus Payments

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be issuing one-time payments for many individuals starting in late April 2020.

  • Individuals, including Social Security recipients, earning $75,000 or less will receive a $1,200 payment.

  • Married couples filing joint returns with incomes of $150,000 or less will receive a $2,400 payment. 

  • People with incomes higher than those levels will receive partial payments. Individuals earning more than $99,000 and couples earning more than $198,000 will not receive any payment, unless they have children.

  • Parents of qualifying children will get a one-time payment of $500 per child.

People with direct deposit will get their payments weeks before those receiving checks. If the IRS doesn't have your direct deposit information, don't worry. You'll be able to provide it through a new IRS website coming soon.

Low-income taxpayers and some others who don’t normally file will have to submit a simple tax return to get their payment. If you are in this category, check back frequently at irs.gov/coronavirus. Further instructions will be posted soon.

Help for Individuals: Expansion of Unemployment Benefits

The CARES Act expands unemployment benefits in several ways. It authorizes:

  • Self-employed workers and gig workers to receive unemployment benefits

  • All unemployed workers to receive an extra $600 a week for up to six months

  • Unemployed workers to get an extra 13 weeks of benefits beyond the number a state currently provides

Help for Businesses: Small Business Administration Loans

The CARES Act creates or boosts programs designed to keep small businesses afloat.  

The Paycheck Protection Program is for:

  • Businesses with less than 500 employees

  • Private non-profit organizations

  • Veterans organizations

The program provides loans for payroll and certain other expenses. 

Businesses that pay all employees for eight weeks will not have to repay loans used for:

  • Payroll

  • Rent

  • Mortgage interest

  • Utilities

The Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan provides a loan advance for businesses losing money due to the coronavirus. 

  • Advances are up to $10,000.

  • Money will be available within three days of a successful application.

Apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Help for Businesses: Payroll Tax Credit for Businesses of All Sizes

The Employee Retention Credit allows businesses of all sizes to receive a tax credit for keeping employees on their payroll. It will refund 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses that take small business loans are not eligible.  

Federal Student Loan Relief

Federal student loan payments are suspended from March 13 to September 30, 2020. Your payments will automatically stop during this period.

Home Loan Relief: Federally-Backed Mortgages

Single family homeowners with federally-backed mortgages get two types of financial help.

Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium

An eviction and foreclosure moratorium went into effect on March 18 for 60 days. During that time, homeowners:

  • Will not be charged late fees

  • Will not be evicted from their homes

Lenders:

  • Will not initiate foreclosure proceedings

  • Will suspend foreclosure proceedings already in process

Mortgage Forbearance

Federally-backed home loans can get six months of mortgage help. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reverse mortgages are eligible too.

If you're having trouble making payments because of the coronavirus pandemic, your loan servicer must:

  • Either defer or reduce your payments for six months. You must contact your loan servicer to make arrangements.

  • Give you another six months of mortgage relief at your request

Renter Relief: Multi-Family Homes With Federally-Backed Mortgages

If you live in an apartment building with a federally-backed mortgage, you're safe from eviction till late July.

  • You're covered by a 120-day eviction moratorium for not paying rent. The moratorium started March 27.

  • You can’t be charged late fees or penalties for not paying rent during this time.

Credit Report Protection

Your credit report won’t be hurt if your lender agrees to suspend or reduce your payments due to the pandemic. Lenders must report to credit bureaus that consumers are current on their loans..

Finance Your Business

Explore the variety of government-backed loans and funding programs for your business.

Small Business Loans

Government loan programs offer financial support to people starting or expanding a business. This helps those who may have trouble qualifying for a traditional bank loan. 

In these programs, you’ll apply by creating a loan package with a participating lender. The federal government will guarantee a portion of the loan and will repay the lender if you default. This government guarantee reduces the risk to the lender and increases the likelihood of a loan being offered. 

Use these government resources and services to find a loan that best suits your business needs: 

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) - Explore many types of loans for starting and expanding a business, handling disasters, and exporting goods. 

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Get information on government-guaranteed loans for rural businesses and local program contacts.

  • GovLoans - Research many types of federal loans for your business and learn how to apply. 

  • Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) - This Treasury Department initiative provides capital to qualified community banks and community development loan funds (CDLFs). This helps promote economic growth and create new jobs. 

No Federal Grants for Businesses 

The federal government does not offer grants for starting or growing a business. It only provides grants for nonprofit and educational institutions. These organizations focus mainly on medicine, technology development, and other related fields.

Some state and local programs offer business grants. They usually require you to match the funds. Or, they may expect you to combine the grant with other forms of financing, such as a loan.

Other Government Funding Options for Your Business

These federal and state programs can also help finance your business:

  • Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program - The Small Business Administration (SBA) partners with private investment funds licensed as SBICs to provide growth capital to small businesses. Find out if SBIC financing is right for your business.

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program - This competitive, awards-based program encourages small businesses to pursue federal research or research and development (R/R&D) projects that can lead to opportunities for commercialization. Learn how to apply for the program.

  • State and Local Business Assistance - Find out about state and local business financial assistance where you live. This includes financing for business expansion, state credit initiatives, and more.
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Last Updated: September 13, 2019

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