As we continue lay out measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the critical steps we’re taking — social distancing and mandatory closures — will help us flatten the curve, but they’re also devastating to our small businesses. I want to make sure that our communities are whole and strong when we come out of this, and in addition to helping families make ends meet, that means giving lifelines to small businesses so that they can stay open and keep their employees.

The House has now passed four bills to help get resources where they’re needed, including a number of measures aimed directly at small businesses through the Small Business Administration (SBA). If you’re a small business owner, here’s what’s available to you:

  • Payment Protection Program Loans: Cash-flow assistance through federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll through this crisis. For employers who maintain their full payroll, loans will be forgiven. PPP Loans are available through June 30, 2020. More information is now available for borrowers (here). An FAQ on the program can be found here. The full list of lenders with which you can apply for a PPP loan can be found here.
  • Small Business Debt Relief Program: To provide immediate relief for small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, the SBA will cover all loan payments on SBA loans, including principle, interest and fees, for six months. Relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within the next six months.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants: Loans for small businesses and non-profits who’ve been harmed by the COVID-19 outbreak paired with emergency advances of up to $10,000 that do not need to be repaid, and can be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs or pay business obligations like rent or mortgage payments.
  • Counseling and Training: Business counselors are available to help you make a plan for this crisis. Your local Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, Minority Business Development Center or SCORE membership chapter can help. Local resources can be found here
  • Special Support for Federal Contractors: Agencies will be able to modify the terms and conditions of a contract and reimburse paid leave.

A detailed guide to these resources, and how to apply for assistance, is available here.

Additional guidance from the Committee on Small Business can be found here.

The New Jersey Economic Development Agency also has dedicated resources to help businesses through this time. As of Friday, April 3, grant applications are being accepted online. For more information click here.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) is urging employers to keep employees on the payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and to take advantage of a 100 percent, dollar for dollar, payroll tax credit provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Click here for more details.

My office continues to be a resource for those in New Jersey’s 12th District. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (202) 225-5801 or (609) 883-0026. My staff is working remotely and will return your call promptly.

I’m praying for all of us at this difficult time. Please continue to stay home whenever possible, follow state guidance, and stay safe.