Small Business Survival Guide to Combat COVID-19
8 Places To Avail of Financial Remuneration
#1 – SBA Paycheck Protection Program
The SBA Paycheck Protection Program (‘PPP’) is a new protocol created under the 2020 CARES Act. The CARES Act was introduced to combat the financial implications of the Corona Virus for all citizens. The PPP aims to provide relief to small business owners who cannot currently pay wages, rehire employees, and cover overhead. It is the primary relief package under the CARES Act.
As of June 12, the program still had nearly $130 billion available for small businesses.
#2 – SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (‘EIDL’) is perfectly suited to the current economic crisis. It can provide up to $2 Million to businesses that suffered economic injury as a result of a disaster. They must be in an area that has been officially declared to have undergone a disaster. Aside from the PPP, this is the second strongest arm of relief underneath the wider CARES Act.
However, like most of the SBA disaster programs, it has run out of funding. No new applications are being accepted and it is currently only providing $10,000 of relief to affected enterprises. Updated! The EIDL program is now all but closed, only accepting applications from those in the agricultural industry. No new generic applications are being accepted and it is currently only providing $10,000 of relief to affected enterprises. The $10,000 relief is known as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance (EIDL Advance). It is effectively an advance on the EIDL loan. The funding underneath this particular program is set to increase to $15,000 in the near future. Like the straight EIDL program, only agricultural companies are eligible following the recently updated criteria.
#3 – SBA Express Bridge Loan
The SBA Express Bridge Loan allows businesses that currently have an Express Loan to gain access to $25,000 quickly. This loan is specifically designed to ‘bridge’ the gap while applying for other kinds of loan, such as the EIDL Advance or the PPP.
This loan is a little less appealing in the sense that it must be paid back when relief is granted in contrast to some of the other options, such as the EIDL or PPP. However, in many instances, you will not have to repay the loan. For example, you could apply for the PPP so you won’t have to cover payroll/wages for an 8 week period.
While there is a backlog right now, the Express Bridge Loan could easily tie you over until these funds become available. The turnaround for this loan is quite swift. It is a pilot program allowing SBA accredited lenders to lend up to $25,000 immediately to certain applicants.
#4 – SBA Debt Relief
Businesses that are currently taking advantage of the SBA 504, SBA Microloan, or SBA (7)(a) can have all fees, including the principal, waived for 6 months. In effect, this means that all of your debt payments can be effectively wiped out if you apply under this program.
These loans are often not small. For example, the SBA 504 commercial real estate loan can be up to $5 Million, and the monthly interest on this can be large in dollar amounts. The SBA Debt Relief program is a new offering designed specifically to assist businesses suffering from the COVID-19 fallout.
Effectively, most loans that you currently have should be forgiven payments during the current period. Both commercial and state loans are forgiving payments on existing loans, for at least 30 days. So you should have a lot of flexibility. Reach out to all lenders to see if you can get an extension of some kind, even outside of the SBA program.
#5 – Online Business Loans for COVID-19
Online lenders are almost certainly the best bet in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. This is because online lenders like Kabbage, OnDeck, Lending Club, SmartBiz, and LoanBuilder are famous for 3 things:
- Low Eligibility Requirements.
- Lightning Fast Funding.
- Opaque Terms and Conditions.
Right now, the most important thing for a small business owner is to get funds without delay. A typical bank loan can take months to complete with many documentation requirements. And it’s not possible to meet people in person without danger of contracting the virus.
But the online lending process can be done without meeting anybody in person. With lenders like Kabbage, you don’t even need to take a call. The money can be in the account as quickly as the next business day, after completing a 10-minute application.
The requirements will usually be $50,000 in annual revenue, a minimum credit score of 550, and 3 months of bank statements for verification. This is usually all that you need, though some online lenders will have different requirements. With the speed of application and the speed of delivery of funding, online lenders are ideally suited for the COVID-19 crisis.
#6 – SBA Microloan Program
Microloans are loans available from the SBA that are under $50,000. Microloans are available mainly to small businesses in underprivileged areas. They are also typically granted to minority businesses run by women, veterans, Hispanics, African Americans, etc. These businesses must be for-profit and must be located in the USA.
The criteria for qualifying for these microloans are quite low. A credit check is not required unless the amount is over $20,000. The borrower cannot already owe more than $50,000 at the time of application. The maximum term of the SBA microloan is 6 years, which is a very long term. No physical collateral is required, though a note of collateral must be signed.
Microloans are processed much more quickly than typical SBA (7)(a) loans. However, it is still not as quick as the emergency funds that are available. There are better options available. A microloan is not a line of credit but a term loan. Eligible uses include inventory, wages, working capital, equipment, and machinery. More details can be found here.
#7 – Business Interruption Insurance
Business Interruption Insurance is a typical insurance policy that most small business owners should have taken out. In fact, it is designed specifically to prevent these kinds of challenges. Business Interruption Insurance is supposed to cover any kind of business interruption that affects wages, fixed costs, loan payments, etc. Many insurance companies are currently trying to default on their loan obligations, claiming that COVID-19 is a natural disaster.
However, policymakers are in the process of forcing the insurance companies to make good on their obligations. In California, the commissioner has issued a notice forcing companies to cover COVID-19 claims. This kind of insurance is most typically for larger companies. Only 33% of small businesses get it, according to the American Action Forum. The issue remains quite controversial at present.
The President, and many other state senators, have made statements to the effect that insurance companies have to pay, even where there are specific exemption clauses in place. Multiple bills have been introduced by states including Massachusetts, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Consider the following clause form a New York draft bill:
Any clause or provision of a policy of insurance insuring against loss or damage to property, which includes, but is not limited to, the loss of use and occupancy and business interruption, which allows the insurer to deny coverage based on a virus, bacterium, or other microorganisms that causes disease, illness, or physical distress or that is capable of causing disease illness, or physical distress shall be null and void.
In other words, if you have Business Interruption Insurance, you could easily be reimbursed even if the contract has a specific viral clause in place.
#8 – Other Forms of Corona Virus Relief
If you have been hit hard with the effects of COVID-19, its vital to use all of the avenues at your disposal. These avenues include:
- Mortgage Relief – The CARES Act allows mortgage relief up to 180 days for those affected. This is the case for Federally backed mortgages. If you cannot make your mortgage payments due to COVID-19, then you definitely need to contact your bank. All you have to do is submit a request to the servicer – no further documentation is required.
- Lease Relief – know your rights. Landlords cannot evict tenants during the present time (provided they have been granted forbearance) without giving 120 days of notice. The CARES Act forbids evictions in Federally backed housing (note that you must still pay your rent – you just have a longer time to do it and won’t have any penalties for late payment). Many states and local authorities have issues laws that prevent landlords from evicting tenants.
- Unemployment Benefits – If the worst comes to worst and you do lose your job, then at least you will be fully entitled to jobseekers allowance. A $2 Trillion Bill enacted in late March allows those who are now unemployed due to Corona Virus to gain the necessary funds to meet basic needs. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (‘PUA’) covers. Independent contractors and sick people caring for a loved one. The PAU also offers $600 on top of existing benefits for eligible applicants.
- Friends and Family – There is increased solidarity among small communities and a willingness to help out. With a global pandemic, people are understanding and willing to lower costs and lend a hand. While not a direct form of finance, this is something that can be leveraged.
Phase One Reopening: Safely Restarting Construction Activity in NYC
DOB will inspect every work site across the city for social distancing compliance, proper hygiene, and to make sure construction safety requirements are met
New York, NY – The New York City Department of Buildings today released new COVID-19 safety guidelines for property owners and contractors as 33,556 non-essential construction sites get back to work as part of New York City’s entrance into Phase One of New York State’s reopening plan, currently scheduled for Monday, June 8th, 2020. These new required safety measures for construction sites were developed in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and are being implemented to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus to workers and the public during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read the guidelines.
“The pandemic is slowly receding because New Yorkers did what we do best – we came together and made the necessary sacrifices to protect our families and neighbors,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “As we restart the economic engine that is our construction industry, there is no excuse to abandon the social distancing and health measures that we know save lives. Our health and safety guidelines are crystal clear, and we will be out in force, sweeping every work site in the city, to ensure compliance.”
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild as a city, we need all New Yorkers to continue taking public health measures to protect each other’s health,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “The precautions are in place to keep workers safe, and the health of our city depends on them being followed.”
The newly released guidelines will apply to all construction activity in New York City during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, until the State rescinds or amends its Executive Order and related guidance. Stop Work Orders previously issued by the Department for noncompliance with the State’s non-essential construction ban will be lifted. The Department will not be lifting Stop Work Orders at sites that illegally continued work even after they were issued a Stop Work Order for violating the ban, and have outstanding civil penalties.
In addition to following our guidelines, employers are also required to develop a site-specific health plan that is prominently visible on the worksite. They will also be required to submit and display an affirmation to the State that they have read and understood the additional reopening requirements as required in the NYS Interim Guidelines.
To ensure compliance with these new health requirements, DOB inspectors will be conducting a safety inspection sweep of every permitted construction site in New York City, and following up with additional periodic checks of active work sites. Members of the public can also call 311 to report a work site where proper COVID-19 safety measures are not being followed. During these sweeps, our inspectors will be looking for the following:
- Compliance with social distancing protocols. Six feet of distance should be observed between all personnel, unless safety or work functions require shorter distance.
- Anyone on site, including workers, other construction professionals, and approved visitors, who are less than six feet apart must wear face coverings. Maintaining this practice at all times is highly encouraged.
- Readily available hygiene and hand washing stations.
- COVID-19 safety measures signage visible to workers, reminding everyone to adhere to all safety protocols while on site, including proper hand hygiene, physical distancing rules, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
- Tightly confined spaces (e.g., elevators, hoists) occupied by only one individual at a time, unless all occupants are wearing a face covering and the space is kept under 50% maximum capacity.
- For elevators and hoists, 50% capacity signage must be posted within the cab and at each landing.
- A site safety monitor must be designated. The role’s responsibilities include continuous compliance with all aspects of the site safety plan.
- Safety plan(s) are conspicuously posted on site and include a copy of the submitted State affirmation.
- Properly completed and updated cleaning and disinfection logs.
- A communication plan for employees, visitors, and clients is on site.
- Correctly completed and updated logs of every person who may have had close contact with others on site to ensure effective contact tracing.
During the first 30 days after construction activity resumes on Monday, June 8th, the Department will focus on educating and helping the industry learn how to implement these new procedures, while providing on-site guidance on best practices to contractors and site safety professionals. Initial DOB violations for noncompliance with these regulations, issued during these first 30 days, will carry no financial penalty. Following this 30-day period, subsequent violations will result in financial penalties, and continued noncompliance may result in Stop Worker Orders and additional summonses with accompanying civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each offense.
These COVID-19 guidelines are the minimum requirements for construction work sites to operate safely in New York City. Owners and contractors are welcome to implement enhanced safety measures as they see fit to protect their workers. To protect our teams out in the field, all DOB personnel will continue to wear gloves and masks while in public and our offices will be reconfigured to promote social distancing.
To keep workers, the public and our employees safe and informed during the COVID-19 pandemic, DOB enforced the Governor’s order banning nonessential construction and proactively transitioned many of our customer service transactions to be available online. These steps included:
- Greatly expanding the number of filings that can be submitted through our online portals DOB NOW and eFiling.
- Launching a daily updated online map identifying the location of essential work sites around the city.
- Offering online training and license renewal options for construction professionals.
Additionally during the citywide halt to non-essential construction, the agency’s frontline teams regularly conducted multiple inspections of work sites citywide to ensure only approved essential construction activity was allowed to proceed. Non-essential work sites that were halted due to the Governor’s Executive Order were checked to make sure they were properly secured and maintained at all times in order to safeguard the public throughout the duration of the ban. During this time, calls from New Yorkers concerning potentially illegal construction in their neighborhood were responded to within 24 hours, and often on the same day.
Customers who want to learn more about our expanded virtual services can find more information here.
“As we pursue reopening, we must remain conscious of the steps we need to take to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings. “I welcome the Department of Buildings COVID-19 safety guidelines and the plan for inspections to ensure worksites reopen safely. Innovating, adapting, and making timely adjustments have all been important features of DOB’s response to the this crisis. As we reopen, DOB must continue to take that same thoughtful policymaking and on-the-ground follow up forward.”
“The health and safety of all construction workers is our number one priority, and as such, the building trades, union contractors, and the real estate community are working hand-in-hand with the Department of Buildings to ensure that workers can return to construction sites in a safe and healthy manner,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York; Louis J. Coletti, President and CEO of the Building Trades Employers’ Association; and James Whelan, President of the Real Estate Board of New York. “Construction has jumpstarted New York’s economy in the past, and we’re confident that this time around will be no different.”
“Construction is part of the foundation of New York City and will be critical to our economic recovery. The health of our workforce is paramount, and as all sites reopen across the five boroughs, it is essential that they operate in a safe manner,” said Carlo A. Scissura, Esq. President & CEO of New York Building Congress. “We look forward to continuing to work with Commissioner La Rocca and her team. Once again, the building industry will lead the way in helping our city progress.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the critical need for leadership commitment to construction worker safety and health by every contractor in New York City,” said Brian Sampson, Associated Builders & Contractors Empire State Chapter President. “Our members have been well ahead of the curve by evaluating and mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19 on jobsites every day. We look forward to working with the Department of Buildings to move toward a permanent paradigm shift that raises the bar on safety and human health & hygiene protocols on construction jobsites in the months and years to come.”
[Last updated 4/15/2020]
The 125th Street BID will be providing the latest information from City, State, and Federal authorities regarding the COVID-19 Outbreak on this page. We will ensure that our commercial district of 125th Street receives up-to-date information on health precautions and resources from other business development organizations. Business Activity has basically come to a halt as we know it due to the impacts of Corona virus. Business owners that we speak to are facing operational and revenue generating challenges while at the same time being in compliance with the Essential Business Executive Order. This update provides resource information we have received that may be helpful.
Funding For Businesses
New York City Department of Small Business Services
New York City Economic Development Corporation
New York Community Trust
New York State
US Small Business Administration
US Housing Urban Development
Federal Reserve Bank
Paypal, Intuit & Square
Treasury, IRS, and Labor
Spanx and the Spanx Sara Blakely Foundation
New York Women Foundation
Business for All
JP Morgan Chase
Essential Businesses and Economic Impact of Coronavirus
|New York State
|Guidance on Essential Services Under The ‘New York State on PAUSE’ Executive Order
|New York State
|Essential Business Classification
|New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer
|Economic Impact of COVID-19 on New York City
LINKS FOR NYC RESOURCES:
- Assistance & Guidance for Businesses Impacted Due to Novel Coronavirus
- Stay Home to Stop the Spread of Coronavirus!
- FAQ on Home Monitoring
- Student Non-Attendance Day – Remote Instruction
- Guidance from NYCHA
- Guidance from the Limousine and Taxi Commission
- Guidance for Congregate Settings
- Guidance on Pets/Service Animal Preparedness
- Updated Protocols Memo From NYS Courts
- Land Use Decision Making Process Suspended