*Please note that the information below is not, nor should it be construed as, legal advice. We encourage you to consult with your attorney, financial institution, or accountant.
American Rescue Plan (Third COVID-19 Stimulus Bill)
On March 11th, 2021, the president signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act - a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill that:
- Creates the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), a new grant program for restaurants and other food/drinking establishments
- Includes additional funding and expanded eligibility for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program
- Includes additional funding and expanded eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Includes additional funding for the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance program
- And much more
A summary of the key provisions of the bill and other resources can be found here.
Paycheck Protection Program
For changes made to the Paycheck Protection Program in the most recently stimulus bill, click here.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Click here to read more about PPP loan forgiveness.
Deadline to Apply
As of March 30th, 2021, the deadline to apply for a first or second-draw PPP loan is currently May 31st, 2021.
Who Can Apply?
The following entities affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be eligible:
- Any small business that meets SBA’s size standards (either the industry based sized standard or the alternative size standard)
- Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons
- 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations and 501(c)(19) veterans organizations
- 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
The 2nd COVID Relief bill expanded the entities eligible to apply (501(c)6, newspaper, TV, radio, and destination marketing organizations).
How to Apply
Determine if you need a first-draw or second-draw loan:
- First Draw PPP Loan: If you have not received a PPP loan before, first-draw PPP loans are available.
- Second Draw PPP Loan: If you have previously received a PPP loan, certain businesses are eligible for a second-draw PPP loan
These loans can be accessed through SBA approved lenders (federally insured banks and credit unions). To find participating lenders near you, click here.
For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, click here.
To access the PPP application, click here.
How to Apply for Forgiveness
- Contact Your PPP Lender and Determine/Complete the Correct Forgiveness Application
- SBA Form 3508 - For borrowers with loans greater than $50,000 who reduced # of employees or their wages.
- SBA Form 3508EZ - For borrowers with loans greater than $50,000 who didn't reduce employee # or wages.
- SBA Form 3508S - Only for those who received a loan of $50,000 or less
- Compile Your Payroll and Non-Payroll Expense Documentation (detailed in the SBA Fact Sheet below)
- Submit Your Forgiveness Application and Documentation to Your PPP Lender
- Continue to Communicate with Your Lender Throughout the Process
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.
Deadline to Apply
The SBA is still accepting new COVID-19 EIDL applications (loan component only) from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural enterprises, and private nonprofit organizations. There is no official deadline to apply; applications will continue to be accepted until funding has been exhausted.
Who Can Apply?
- Small business owners with not more than 500 employees
- Agricultural businesses with not more than 500 employees
- Sole proprietorships, with or without employees, and independent contractors
- Agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees
- Private non-profit organization with 501 (c), (d), or (e) IRS designation
Some loans approved prior to the week of April 6, 2021 will be eligible for an increase based on new loan maximum amounts announced March 24, 2021. Businesses that received a loan subject to current loan limit do not need to submit a request for an increase at this time. SBA will reach out directly via email closer to the April 6, 2021 implementation date to provide more details about how businesses can request an increase.
If an applicant accepted a loan for less than the full amount originally offered, the application will have up to two years after the date of the loan promissory note to request to request additional funds. Applicants may continue to request additional funds even after the application deadline of December 31, 2021.
How to Apply:
Eligible small businesses, private non-profits, and agricultural businesses can apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan online, via the SBA web-portal system here.
For more information on the EIDL, click here.
Targeted EIDL Advance
The COVID-19 Targeted EIDL Advance was signed into law on December 27, 2020, as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.
Advance funds of up to $10,000 will be available to applicants in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of available program funding.
Applicants do not need to take any action, the SBA is reaching out to those who qualify.
Please do not submit duplicate COVID-19 EIDL applications. Only prior applicants will be considered for the Targeted EIDL Advance.
All communication from SBA will be sent from an official government email account ending with @sba.gov. Please do not send sensitive information via email to any address that does not end with @sba.gov.
Applicants may qualify if they:
- Are in a low-income community.
- Can demonstrate more than 30% reduction in revenue during an eight-week period beginning on March 2, 2020, or later.
Next, the SBA is reaching out to those who applied for EIDL assistance on or before December 27, 2020, but did not receive an EIDL Advance due to lack of program funding. Applicants may qualify for a Targeted EIDL Advance if they meet the low-income location and reduction-in-revenue criteria, and:
- Have 300 or fewer employees. Business entities normally eligible for the EIDL program are eligible, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and private, nonprofit organizations. Agricultural enterprises are not eligible.
Important note: EIDL advances no longer being deducted from PPP loan forgiveness amounts.
Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant -
A Grant Program for Live Venues, Independent Movie Theaters, Museums, and Other Cultural Institutions
The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant program will provide eligible applicants with grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, capped at $10 million. $2 billion in this program is reserved for eligible applicants with 50 or fewer full-time employees.
Who Can Apply?
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operator
- Relevant museum operators, zoos, and aquariums who meet specific criteria.
- Motion picture theater operators
- Talent representatives, and
- Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements.
Must have been in operations as of February 29, 2020, and the venue or promoter must not have received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020.
Amount of Grant
For an eligible entity that was in operation on or before 1/1/19 - a grant for 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue or $10 million (whichever is less).
For an eligible entity who began operation after 1/1/19 - a grant of the average monthly gross revenue for each full month the entity was in operation in 2019 multiplied by 6 or $10 million (whichever is less).
Allowable Use of Funds
Funds may be used for specific expenses which may include:
- Payroll costs
- Rent payments
- Utility payments
- Scheduled mortgage payments (not including prepayment of principal)
- Scheduled debt payments (not including prepayment of principal) on any indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business prior to 2/15/20
- Worker protection expenditures
- Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100k in annual compensation per contractor)
- Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
- Administrative costs (including fees and licensing)
- Operating leases in effect as of 2/15/20
- Insurance payments
- Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production (may not be the primary use of funds).
How to Apply
The SBA has announced that it will begin accepting applications beginning on April 8th – the portal to submit applications can be found here.
For more information, please visit the SVO grant page on the SBA website or email SVOGrant@sba.gov.
Employee Retention Tax Credit
For the most recent changes made to the Employee Retention Tax Credit program in the third stimulus bill, click here.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERTC) is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes. Employers may claim up to $5,000 per employee across all quarters in 2020, and up to $7,000 per employee per quarter from January 1, 2021 to December 31st, 2020.
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.
To qualify, eligible employers (including nonprofits) must show that their operations were either fully or partially suspended due to orders from a governmental authority due to COVID-19 OR that they experienced a significant decline in gross receipts in a calendar quarter compared to 2019 (50% or more for 2020; 20% or more for 2021).
Additionally, employers can receive both an ERTC and a PPP loan or an ERTC and SVOG or an ERTC and Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grant, granted that the programs do not cover the same payroll expenses.
We are currently in the process of updating our ERTC guide – check back soon for more information.
For more information from the IRS, click here.
Local & Regional COVID-19 Loan Funds
We’ve all heard about the PPP & the EIDL program and many businesses have applied for assistance through those federal programs.
But here in the North Country we’ve always come up with creative solutions when disaster strikes and this crisis is no different. Several North Country organizations have created loan funds to help fill the gaps left between the assistance available through the U.S. government and the needs of local businesses. We’ve listed some below:
The funds include:
- Franklin County Small Business Relief Loan Fund: $5,000-$25,000, base interest rate 4.25%, principal and interest moratorium for first 3 months then interest only for subsequent 6 months, open to businesses and 501(c)3 entities with under 100 employees, available in Franklin County only.
- Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board Small Business Recovery Loans: Working Capital, Equipment/Supply Purchases, Physical Infrastructure Upgrades - as related to COVID-19 needs. $25,000 - $150,000 loans, 1.9% fixed interest rate, first 12-months interest-only payments, up to 84-month term available, no fees or closing costs, must show job retention, available in Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren, Washington, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties.
- Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board COVID-19 Micro-Loans: Working Capital, $5,000-$25,000, 1.9% fixed rate interest, first 6 months interest only payments, 24-60 month loan term, must show job retention, available in Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren and Washington counties.
- North Country Alliance COVID-19 Emergency Business Relief Program: Maximum loan $25,000 based on demonstrated need for 6 months working capital, 5% interest, principal and interest moratorium for first 3 months then principal and interest only for subsequent 6 months, open to for-profit and not-for-profits entities with under 100 FTEs, available in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
These are just the basics of the loan programs. Contact information and more about the terms, benefits, and eligibility criteria for each type of loan are listed on the fact sheets. Thank you to all of these organizations for quickly putting together these assistance programs for our small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
New York Forward Loan Fund
The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is an economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.
NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small residential landlords that have seen a loss of rental income.
NYFLF is providing working capital loans so that small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords have access to credit as they reopen. These loans are available to small businesses and nonprofits that did not receive a U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program of greater than $50,000 or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 of any amount, except for EIDL advance grant of up to $10,000, and small residential landlords. The loans are not forgivable in part or whole. The loans will need to be paid back over a 5-year term with interest.
Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund are now open. Priority will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen.
For small businesses and nonprofits that are in industries and regions that have not yet reopened, you are encouraged to prepare your pre-application in advance by taking advantage of the application preparation resources available here.
- Small businesses and nonprofits must employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
- Small businesses must have gross revenues of less than $3 million per year;
- Been in business for at least 1 year as of the date of the loan application;
- Be located in NYS;
- Nonprofits must provide direct services and have an annual operating budget of less than $3 million per year; and
- Have not received a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 or a SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of more than $50,000 in 2020.
For more information, click here.
To apply, click here.
Other Useful Links for Employers/Employees:
- IRS Information on Direct Payments to U.S. Residents
- NYS Paid Sick Leave
- Federal Employer Paid Sick Leave
- Federal Family and Medical Leave Act
- NYS DOL Unemployment Work Share
- NYS Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- Link to Empire State Development web page for questions and inquiries
- Small Business Counseling - SCORE
- US Small Business Administration Guide
- FAQ regarding COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act
Other Useful Links:
- Coronavirus Tax Relief: The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus (this page will be updated as new information is available).
- NYS Department of Financial Services Business Interruption Insurance FAQs
For more information on other Coronavirus related topics, visit our home page HERE.
Have questions? Let us know! Email us and we will do our best to find the answer.