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Last Updated 11:48 AM EST on 3/30/2020

Throughout all of this, Betterfin has people standing by to talk, to help, and to answer any questions. Everything we do is 100% free for business owners, please just reach out.

Assistance Hotline: 1-347-690-7884 | Assistance Email: assistance@betterfin.com

Here is Betterfin's FAQ on Federal Assistance.

Here is the formal SBA press release.

The SBA has just launched a new expedited process for business owners to apply for assistance, here is what you need to know.

  1. It is for businesses who have been in business 1 year prior to the COVID-19 events. Use Feb 1st, 2019 as a good cutoff.
  2. You need to define as small per the SBA's definition, you can review this.
  3. You can apply at this website.
  4. We are still seeing the SBA require most businesses to fill out the entire form package and application.

From Betterfin:

This article is meant to be a living resource, it will update as we gather information from the federal government, and your state government. It is meant to be an actual guide for someone who owns a business who might be in need of help. Here is what you will find:

  1. How we think Coronavirus will affect most businesses
  2. How you can get Federal assistance
  3. How you can get State assistance
  4. And what we are seeing most businesses do to weather the storm

Here is the summary and punchline, the details follow below:

  1. You are going to see sales and revenue drop for 3-8 months, for some significantly longer and more drastically.
  2. The SBA has a process to get financing for certain states, there is a mail-it-in process and an online process. Both have many forms, can be confusing, and people should expect the process from start to actually receiving the money to take 3-6 weeks.
  3. Your local State government may or may not have a program, many are working on it but it will take some time to formalize and be available.
  4. Our official stance is to apply for assistance, work with your local SBA advisor to have a very solid 6 month cashflow plan, and try and secure other forms of financing as a back up.

Again, in any scenario, Betterfin has people standing by to help you get the answers you need. Contact us here: Assistance Hotline: 1-347-690-7884 | Assistance Email: assistance@betterfin.com

1. How will Coronavirus affect your business?

No sector in small business operates without impact to another. If you have any part of your business that delivers products and services to customers in person, on-site, or through a store front you will see a significant decrease in sales and revenue. Local governments are going to encourage people to stay home, growing concerns of spreading the virus will drive your customers to avoid being in public, travel will also be receding to abnormal lows. The main thing to understand is the banking system is about to undergo significant stress, larger corporations are drawing down all of their available credit, many who don't have financing are looking for debt facilities to weather the storm. There are very few segments of the small business economy that will not see pressure from the overall lull in commerce.

Betterfin has issued an emergency watch list for businesses in the following industries, we expect these industries and sectors closely dependent to experience a very sharp decline in sales and revenue:
  • Travel Agencies (56151)
  • Tour Operators (56152)
  • Semiconductor & Circuit Manufacturing industry in the US (33441a)
  • Auto Parts Manufacturing industry in the US (33639)

2. Federal Assistance

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

Here is the official press release from the SBA. It outlines the disaster program. In summary the federal government can deploy low to no-interest rates loans for businesses suffering a hardship. It is crucial that if you own a business you understand the complexity of the application, and the length of time before the assistance will be funded into your bank account.

Who is eligible?

This list has now been updated to all 52 states and territories including District of Columbia. Here is the official declaration.

What is the application process?

The application process is lengthy it requires the following documents to be completed:

For Sole-Proprietors
For Everything Else (LLC, Corps, etc)

How Do I Apply?

All required documents listed in Filing Requirements must be returned. All forms requiring signature must be signed and dated. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Rd.
Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243

If you have any questions, please contact 1-800-659-2955 or (TTY) (800) 877-8339

-OR-

You Can Apply Online

The online application process for SBA assistance is here here. We are seeing two issues currently.
  1. Slowness due to increased traffic
  2. People unable to select their state or county in the application process.

Tips and Tricks

We have been testing the SBA's website and you might have some trouble shooting here are some important tips.

  • We believe SBA Form 1368 to be one of the most important forms to have done with extreme accuracy. This is how the SBA will determine the amount of assistance you will be eligible for.
  • Owners report they can not select their specific county in the online application, just pick a different one, this can be fixed before you submit
  • The traffic is high, owners need to be patient between loading or you might lose your progress
  • Here we have an amazing walk through from the IOWA SBDC

3. State Government Assistance

New York

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on March 8 that the City will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit.

The City is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Eligible owners who would like to learn more about these programs should fill out our interest form.

This program has not yet formally opened to accept application forms.

Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Wolf today requested that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) implement an SBA disaster declaration to provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

In addition to making sure that this federal funding for small business assistance is available, the Wolf Administration is working with the General Assembly to make sure state funding is available for small business assistance too. Small businesses can apply through the Small Business First Fund (SBD), an existing PIDA loan program. More information is available at www.dced.pa.gov/PIDA.

This program has not yet formally opened to accept application forms.

California

Los Angeles

In light of the sweeping impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our small business community, the City of Los Angeles has responded swiftly and decisively to support our local, community businesses. The newly established Small Business Emergency Microloan Program now provides financing needed to strengthen small business enterprises in this time of acute need that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

http://ewddlacity.com/index.php/microloan-program

Loan Limits $5,000 to $20,000 | Interest Rate- Option 1: 0% for a term of 6 months to 1 year
Eligible Borrowers- Microenterprises in the City of LA that are low-income or will retain low-income jobs or small businesses in the City of LA that will retain low-income jobs

Florida

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.

These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Loan Details

  • Designated Disaster Areas: All Florida counties statewide per Executive Order 20-52.
  • Qualified Applicant: Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and suffered economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with 2 to 100 employees.
  • Amount: Up to $50,000 per eligible small business.  Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business.
  • Term: 1 year.
  • Limitation: Only one loan may be made per eligible business. All previous bridge loans received MUST be paid in full.
  • Interest Rate: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term (1 year). The Interest rate will be 12% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until the loan balance is repaid in full.  Loan default is subject to a normal commercial collection process.
  • Application Period: Applications will be accepted by qualified Florida agricultural producers under this program through May 8, 2020, contingent on the availability of funds.

Get Started

  1. Review eligibility requirements and loan process.
  2. Download, complete and sign the application form.
  3. Gather required support documentation.
  4. Contact and submit completed and signed application and support documentation to your local Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Betterfin can help you with the application and connect you to your local advisor.

4. What does Betterfin Recommend? Be Proactive, Act Now.

Create a Plan and Meet with an Expert

We encourage all business owners to try and speak to a Small Business Advisor who is certified through the SBA's SBDC program. Every owner who might be impacted should start to put together some kind of hardship budget and plan. If you do not have a cashflow forecast for your business that includes scenarios of decreased sales for the next 3-8 months, you need to draft one immediately.

Start Your Hardship Process Now

Government assistance is likely to be inundated with applications and may have stressed resources. This means your application may take weeks to process, and longer to get funded. The application forms will take hours to complete and you may have questions you will want to speak to an expert. If you think you need help financially start getting your paperwork and forms organize and filled out now.

How Can Betterfin Help

We provide a free look at your credit scoring, and provide you with no obligation offers with our partners. That includes banks and non-banks. Please sign-up, we are here to help. We are also working with the SBA and SBDC to connect owners to their local expert, and help with the disaster loan application.

If you would like Betterfin to help you schedule a remote meeting with your local certified SBDC Advisor please visit our Advisor program.

If you would like to sign-up for Betterfin please visit our website.

You can also get immediate assistance here:

Assistance Hotline: 1-347-690-7884

Assistance Email: assistance@betterfin.com

We are seeing lenders start to cut off funding eligibility to more and more industries. Here are some recent changes, these are industries lenders are starting to no longer lend to: