COVID-19 resources and notices

Federal funding from relief bills

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Goes into effect on April 1, 2020
Employers/Employees

  • The agreement includes a provision to allow Medicare beneficiaries to access telehealth programs that will let them remotely see providers to assess symptoms potentially tied to the coronavirus.
  • Testing for coronavirus will be free to the public. The bill also allocates more $300 million to ensure that when a vaccine is developed — which some estimate could be a year or more away — that Americans will be able to access it regardless of their ability to pay, according to a congressional aide involved in the negotiations.
  • It requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks’ worth of paid sick leave if employees are unable to work because they’re subject to quarantine or isolation, are experiencing symptoms of COVID–19, are caring for someone who is in quarantine or isolation and/or have children in schools that have closed.
  • Until the end of 2020, employers with less than 500 employees will now be required to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of Family Medical Leave.
  • Each quarter, private companies are entitled to fully refundable tax credits for both paid sick leave and paid FMLA. The tax credits are applied against an employer’s already-owed Social Security taxes.
  • Allocates $1 billion in funds for state unemployment programs and gives state governments new flexibility when it comes to workers needing unemployment insurance. The FFCRA eliminates the need for employees to wait a week before they are eligible for UI and eases work search requirements

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act

Summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act

Employers/Employee

  • Most adults will get $1,200, although some would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment will be an additional $500. ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS: What you need to know
  • Single adults with Social Security numbers who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get the full amount. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400.
  • Expands unemployment insurance from three to four months, and provides temporary unemployment compensation of $600 per week, which is in addition to and the same time as regular state and federal UI benefits.
  • Self-employed people (gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors) are newly eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • Part-time workers are eligible for benefits, but the benefit amount and how long benefits will last depend on your state. They are also eligible for the additional $600 weekly benefit.
  • If you have COVID-19 or need to care for a family member who has it you will be eligible for the newly expanded unemployment benefits if you become or are unemployed. This also applies for people who rely on childcare or schools to care for a child which has been shut down.
  • The extra $600 payment will last for up to four months, covering weeks of unemployment ending July 31.

For more information about employee benefits, student loan deferrals, retirement accounts and more, please read the New York Times article here.

Other features of the bill

  • $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for state, local and tribal governments. See estimated state allocations courtesy of Federal Funds Information for States.
  • $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund for the immediate needs of state, local, tribal and territorial governments to protect citizens and help them respond and recover from the overwhelming effects of COVID-19.
  • $1.5 billion to Economic Development Administration (EDA) for economic adjustment assistance to revitalize local communities after the pandemic.
  • $5 billion for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to enable states, counties and cities to respond to economic and housing impacts caused by COVID-19, including the expansion of community health facilities, childcare centers, food banks and senior services.
  • $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for operating costs.
  • $17 billion for the SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans. Rent, mortgage and utility costs now eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.
  • $25 million to the USDA’s Rural Development Grant Program for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, as well as $100 million to the USDA’s ReConnect program to help ensure rural Americans have access to broadband.
  • $20.5 million to the Rural Business Development Grant Program to support business and industry loans.
  • $453 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus, including for public safety and justice programs, welfare assistance and social services programs, and other tribal government assistance.

State specific updates and resources

All States

AK, CA, HI, MT, NV and WA only

Rural Rental Insecurity Program–COVID-19 rental relief • Funding Notice • Round 1

RCAC secured grant funding to finance emergency rental assistance programs established in response to the unforeseen increase in renters’ financial hardship caused by COVID-19. It is RCAC’s intent to ensure that renters benefit from this funding quickly and efficiently. Applicants must be either a Housing Authority, Tribal Housing Authority, local government or Community Action (CAP) Agency. Deadline: June 5, 2020. Download Notice and Application

Alaska

  • COVID-19 Resources for Alaska Employees
  • Alaska Small Business Association
  • Alaska Housing Finance Corporation
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor unveiled the COVID-19 Economic Stabilization Plan, a statewide approach to provide urgent relief and protect the state’s economy.
  • March 21, 2020 – The Governor announced businesses can now apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury.
  • HB 308 Relates to unemployment benefits during a period of state or national emergency resulting from a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
  • SB 242 To mitigate economic harm during novel coronavirus disease outbreak, relates to tolling deadlines for actions by state agencies; income determinations for purposes of determining eligibility for certain public assistance programs; forbearance from action against borrowers who owe money on state loans; a temporary moratorium on certain mortgage foreclosures, certain evictions from rental properties, and disconnection of residential utilities.
  • March 29, 2020 – Sweeping law promises Alaskans coronavirus economic relief and earmarks money to fight pandemic

Arizona

  • Arizona Together, a website for individual resources, business resources, and news.
  • Arizona Small Business Association
  • Arizona Department of Housing
  • SB 1690 Relates to budget procedures; establishes the Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund to be spent only following a state of emergency declaration by the Governor and only for certain forms of economic assistance during the state of emergency.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor announced the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Arizona that will help small businesses.

California

Colorado

Hawaii

Idaho

Montana

Nevada

New Mexico

  • COVID-19 Resources for New Mexico Employees
  • New Mexico Small Business and Nonprofit Resources
  • New Mexico Department of Health coronavirus resource page.
  • March 17, 2020- The Governor announced that New Mexico has qualified for the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance program to assist businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • March 17, 2020- New Mexico extended eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits to those workers that have been impacted by reduced hours or layoffs due to COVID-19.
  • March 19, 2020 – The sovereign tribal nations joined the Governor in collective efforts to prevent further transmission by temporarily closing all tribal casinos.
  • March 24, 2020 – The New Mexico State Investment Council approved a recovery loan fund of up to $100 million designed to assist distressed New Mexico businesses facing economic hardship.
  • March 26, 2020 – The New Mexico Small Business Investment Corporation committed up to $25 million to its lending partners to assist New Mexico businesses that have been impacted by market disruption
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor, in partnership with the New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations, established the $1.1 million All Together NM Fund to address immediate needs and offer long-term support for work recovery. Specifically, this includes:
    • Procurement of food and medical and cleaning supplies for at-risk communities;
    • Support for childcare workers who are supporting frontline employees; and
    • Grants to address income insecurity among smaller businesses and employees affected by market disruptions.

Oregon

  • The Nonprofit Association of Oregon Resource Page
  • Business Oregon Resources
  • Oregon Housing and Communities Services
  • Oregon Coronavirus Information & Resources
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 20-12, directing Oregonians to stay at home to the maximum extent possible, outlining new guidance for child care facilities, and expanding the list of businesses that will be temporarily closed.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a temporary emergency order requiring insurance companies to extend grace periods for premium payments, postpone policy cancellations and nonrenewals, and extend deadlines for reporting claims.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor called on the federal government to open a special enrollment period for Oregonians to buy health insurance and apply for federal subsidies through HealthCare.gov. Specifically, the Governor requested that the enrollment period open immediately and last at least 30 days.

Utah

Washington

  • COVID-19 Resources for Washington Employees
  • Washington state coronavirus resource page
  • Washington Low Income Housing Alliance COVID-19 Resources
  • Washington Nonprofit Resources
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor announced an emergency proclamation that mandates the immediate two-week closure of all restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities, as well as additional limits on large gatherings.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor signed a series of bills that permit the following actions to bolster the state response to COVID-19:
    • Provide $200 million to state agencies, local government and tribal governments to respond to COVID-19 and move $175 million from the Budget Stabilization Account to the Disaster Response Account for COVID-19 mitigation. Legislation will also permit $25 million from the Budget Stabilization Account to be used to assist businesses with unemployment impacts.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor announced a statewide “Stay at Home” order, which will last for two weeks and could be extended. The order requires all Washingtonians to stay at home except for essential activities; bans all gatherings for social, spiritual, and recreational purposes; and closes all non-essential businesses.

Federal Response to COVID-19 Pandemic for Renters and Homeowners

NOTES*one thing that we are unsure of right now, as this is a moving target, is if these measures outlined below will be automatic or if borrowers/tenants will need to apply for these assistance measures and what those guidelines will be to qualify.  During the 2008 Housing Crisis, measures like these were put into effect and HUD Housing Counselors were enlisted to assist customers in applying/qualifying and obtaining loan workouts including forbearances, loan modifications and to stop foreclosures and evictions. We hope they do enlist HUD Housing Counselors again to enable customers to assist in working with their loan servicing agencies.

The Federal Government has declared the COVID-19 pandemic a “National Emergency” and not a Federal Disaster at this point.  That may change. Many States have declared Federal Disasters, but not nationally.   If this does get declared a National Federal Disaster there will be many more resources for homeowners and renters– Donna Lea Brooks

  1. CARES ACT Mortgage guidance due to COVID and Renters guidance due to COVID from CFPB. CFPB also handles complaints from borrowers/tenants experiencing difficulty in dealing with their loan servicer/landlord in obtaining a COVID related foreclosure/eviction prevention workout option:

CFPB: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guide-coronavirus-mortgage-relief-options/

  1. CARES ACT Small Business Guidance, SBA: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
  1. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has suspended all foreclosures on FHA mortgages and evictions in FHA financed rental properties for the next 60 days, effective March 18, 2020

a. See HUD FAQ: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh

  1. Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) which oversees both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Government Sponsored Enterprises) has suspended foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days, effective March 18, 2020.  This suspension applies to all home loans that are backed by a GSE mortgage and all renters in a GSE backed single family home rentals.

a. See press release: https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/FHFA-Suspends-Foreclosures-and-Evictions-for-Enterprise-Backed-Mortgages.aspx

b. Loan workout options for FNAM/FHLMC Government sponsored enterprise backed mortgages (borrowers need to know who the investor is on their loan to determine what options are available for them):

i. Freddie Mac: http://www.freddiemac.com/about/covid-19.html

ii. Fannie Mae: https://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/corporate-news/2020/covid-homeowner-assistance-options-7000.html

  1. Veterans Administration Guaranteed Loans (VA) has offered homeowners the options of a Forbearance, if the homeowner is affected by the COVID-19 virus.

a. See press release: https://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/documents/circulars/26_20_7.pdf

  1. United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development has options for homeowners under both the Guaranteed Loan program and the Direct Loan program. We do expect more guidance from them on the Mutual Self Help program and the non-profits that administer these programs and the owner/builders that are participating in the program.

a. See press release: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2020/03/17/usda-continues-focus-service-during-covid-19-outbreak

  1. HUD has given Public Housing Authorities guidance on the administration of the HUD Section 8 Voucher program including an eviction prevention program to ensure low income individuals and families are able to remain in their Section 8 rent subsidized rental unit and not become homeless.

a. See FAQ: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PIH/documents/COVID19_FAQ_PIH_Final.pdf

Small businesses

Paycheck Protection Program

RCAC is accepting and will begin processing applications. Go HERE for information.

Families First and Cares Act Resources

FAQ’s and Small Business Toolkit provided by Communities Unlimited

New COVID-19 Small Business Resources & Strategies

Below is information on several new COVID19 small business resources and strategies.  It includes:

  • Links to SBA and USDA funding sources for agricultural producers
  • Info on a Western Governor’s Association webinars
  • Link to a recorded webinar for small business owners on maximizing PPP loan forgiveness
  • Info on a new FedEx grant available for small business owners
  • SBA Releases Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application
  • Link to the new USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (June 3)
  • Information on $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Ag Producers (June 3)
  • Information on a free Hello Alice educational program for business owners on “Reopening with Resiliency”
  • Link to an interesting article detailing The Cascading Impact of COVID19 on Microbusinesses

Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to U.S. Agricultural Businesses Affected by COVID19

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) portal has reopened, in a limited capacity, as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The legislation, which was signed into law by the President in late April, provided additional critical funding for farmers and ranchers affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Eligible agricultural businesses include those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).  SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.  Eligible agricultural business may apply for an EIDL Loan at: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/.

In order to help facilitate this important change to EIDL Loan and EIDL Advance assistance eligibility, SBA is re-opening the Loan and Advance application portal to agricultural enterprises only. For agricultural producers that submitted an EIDL loan application through the streamlined application portal prior to April 15th, SBA will move forward and process these applications without the need for re-applying.

USDA to Host Webinar for Agricultural Producers Applying for Direct Payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

As part of President Trump and Secretary Perdue’s April 17 announcement of a $19 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (CFAP), USDA will provide $16 billion in direct support based on losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted. USDA will also assist eligible producers facing additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.  Additional information on CFAP can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap?utm_campaign=0512cfapwebinar.  A recording of the webinar and answers to its questions will also be posted on the site for those who are not able to attend live.

Western Governors’ Association Webinar: COVID-19 Economic Impacts and Mitigation in Rural Communities

The COVID-19 pandemic presents enormous challenges for businesses in rural communities. The Western Governors’ Association hosted a three-part series.  Recordings of the webinars can be found here: https://westgov.org/

Recorded Webinar on Maximizing PPP Forgiveness

Anders CPA & Advisors has put recorded webinar for business owners with information on how Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) Loan forgiveness will be calculated as well as advice and strategies to help business owners maximize the percentage of forgiveness for which they qualify.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD59zcu_Mhs&feature=youtu.be#gf_114

FedEx to Provide $1 Million in Grants to Support Small Businesses Affected by COVID as Part of #SupportSmall Campaign 

Many small businesses are hurting right now. Business owners are putting their all into not just surviving but becoming more creative and resilient than ever.  FedEx wants to honor that spirit and show some love to small businesses to help them ride out the storm.  That’s why they’re committing to providing $1 million in grants to small businesses.  Each grant recipient will receive a cash grant of $5,000, plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more.  Staring May 25th, small business owners with less than 50 employees and less than $5 million in annual sales can apply by visiting https://www.fedex.com/supportsmallgrants and clicking “Apply Now” to start the application process.

SBA Releases Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application

SBA has released the much anticipated Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application.  PPP borrowers will submit this application to their lenders to request forgiveness for part or all of their PPP loans.  The application can be downloaded at here.  Additional information about PPP forgiveness can be found here on the SBA website.   Ice Miller LLP (a full-service law firm) has also compiled an overview of how PPP forgiveness will work that can be found here.

USDA Community Food Projects Grants — Due: June 3, 2020

The USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFPCGP) is offering up to $400,000 for community food projects that help to fight food insecurity and promote the self-sufficiency of low-income communities. The CFPCG is offering grants under two different funding areas:

  • Community Food Projects (CFP) support the development of projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars that will spur self-sustaining project activities. Examples of CFP Projects include, but are not limited to, community gardens with market stands, value chain projects, food hubs, farmers’ markets, farm-to-institutions projects, and marketing & consumer cooperatives. All projects must involve low-income participants (up to $400,000).
  • Planning Projects (PP) support the creation of plans that help improve community food security. Examples of PPs include, but are not limited to, community food assessments’ coordination of collaboration development plan, GIS analysis, food sovereignty study, and farm-to-institution exploration. All projects must involve low-income participants (up to $35,000).

Preference under both CFP and PP will be given to projects that develop links between multiple sectors of the food system, support entrepreneurial projects, build long-term capacity of communities, and help to reduce food insecurity.  Eligible applicants include public food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners. Applicants for CFP and PP awards are encouraged to seek and create partnerships with public or private, nonprofit or for-profit entities, including links with academic institutions (including minority-serving colleges and universities), and/or other appropriate professionals, community-based organizations, and local government entities.  A 1:1 match is required.  The application deadline for CFCGP is June 3, 2020.

USDA to Provide $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the Department is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic.  Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under the USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program.  B&I CARES Act Program loans must be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses.  USDA intends to consider applications in the order they are received. However, the Department may assign priority points to projects if the demand for funds exceeds availability.  USDA announced the expanded B&I CARES Act Program authorities in a notice published in the May 21 Federal Register (PDF, 217 KB). Eligible applicants may contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office in the state where the project is located.  USDA is developing application guides for lenders and borrowers on the B&I CARES Act Program. The Agency also will host two webinars to provide an overview of program requirements.

To register for the webinar on Wednesday, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, visit globalmeetwebinar.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1324161&tp_key=6067315417

The Free Virtual Accelerator Hello Alice Offers Two-Week Program for Business Owners Focused on “Reopening with Resiliency”

COVID-19 has impacted every business with unexpected obstacles and new opportunities. Join over 100,000 small business owners in the Hello Alice community for a free two-week Sprint starting on May 25 to redevelop your small business strategy and emerge stronger than ever.  Sprints are free and fast-paced educational programs on Hello Alice. There will be articles to read, exercises to complete, and connections to make! The best part? Business owners will receive regular emails from Hello Alice throughout the Sprint to keep them inspired and accountable.  Are the entrepreneurs you’re working with ready to dig into the details of where their business stands, what a resilient future should look like, and how to get there? Ninety-one percent of past Sprint participants reported that Sprints on Hello Alice were valuable to their business.  Sign up for free here.

New Report on the Impact of COVID on Vulnerable Microbusinesses Owned by People of Color, Women, and Immigrants

A new report by Prosperity Now, The Cascading Impact of COVID-19 on Microbusinesses, explores the reasons why businesses owned by people of color, women, and immigrants have been especially affected by the pandemic.  These communities are historically the most vulnerable to financial shocks, and are most represented in the sectors that saw a virtual stoppage in economic activity. The report highlights how and why these vulnerable businesses have trouble accessing financing and how this has been exacerbated by the pandemic.