This page is dedicated to our COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses and Small Business Owners. There are a lot of resources out there, and there are a lot of places that compile this information. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, please don’t hesitate to ask. This is a very tough time for small business, so we’re doing what we can to reduce the strain on you.
One thing you do not want to do right now is rely on news reports. The information regarding many of these topics is changing faster than news organizations can keep up. An article published two days ago can be largely irrelevant when it comes to new regulations.

Questions? Consultation?

We’ve setup a pay-what-you-can option for COVID-19 related inquiries. Normally our 30 minute consultations are $150, but you can choose to pay up to that amount.[/column]

 

Loans

PPP Loan

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is a forgiveable loan that is granted by any SBA approved lender. Typically, this is your regional or national bank that you already work with. In fact, most banks require that you’re already a customer of theirs before they help you with this loan. Qualified employers (basically anyone with fewer than 500 employees) can apply for a loan equal to 2.5x your average monthly payroll.

This loan gives employers up to 2.5x their monthly payroll expenditures. That disbursement is forgiven if the employer keeps everyone on their payroll for 8 weeks and 75% or more of the disbursement is used for payroll. The only other things this disbursement may be used on are rent/mortgage of the business and utilties.

FAQs

Q: Am I, the owner, included in the payroll?
A: If you’re listed as a w-2 employee of the company, yes.

Q: How long does it take to get the funds?
A: Depends on the bank. It will take between 1 and 10 days from start to finish if you get all the materials in promptly and in an organized fashion.

For more information, this is your primary source: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

EIDL Loan

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is a loan through the SBA. This is a low interest loan (3.75%), but it does need to be paid back (excluding only the advance discussed below). Small businesses may apply for up to $2 million, but there are several stages.

Under $25,000 No Guarantee. No Collateral.
Between $25,000 and $200,000 Collateral Required. No Personal Guarantee.
Above $200,000 Requires Collateral and Personal Guarantee.

This loan must be paid back over a longer period of time. You apply directly through the SBA. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

Note: As of April 16, 2020, the EIDL loan and advance have no funding left.

FAQs

Who Qualifies:
Any company with fewer than 500 employees who has been in business for more than 1 year.
Solo businesses may apply.

Interest Rate:
Except for the Advance, the EIDL loan has an interest rate of 3.75% for for-profits and 2.75% for nonprofits.

Restrictions:
No lobbying. No paying dividends. No paying pre-existing debt. No illegal activities.

Combine with PPP Loan?
Yes. As long as you’re not double-dipping, you can apply for both the EIDL and PPP loans.

 

EIDL Advance

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance is a $10,000 loan that you do not need to pay back. In order to qualify for this advance, you have to certify that your company has suffered an economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This EIDL Advance has had quite a few administrative issues.

Unemployment

At the state level:

  1. The 1 week waiting period has been eliminated meaning that claimants can file a claim the day they are laid off. The employer still has a 10 day period to contest the claim.
  2. Claims can only be made online or by calling the DES office. Wait times calling are very long and the website has a hard time handling the extra traffic. If you, or your employees, are filing for unemployment, you should try off hours. We’ve had successfully guided claimants into filing incredibly early in the morning online.
  3. Employers are not responsible for covering the cost of unemployment if the claimant cites COVID-19 as the reason for the lay off.
  4. Unemployment benefits are expanded to include people who have had a reduction in hours as well as those laid off completely.
  5. Unemployment benefits (from the state) are capped at $350 per week.
  6. Claimants do not need to seek employment during this emergency period; HOWEVER, they do need to certify on a weekly basis that they are searching for work. This was probably just a technical workaround, but DES is instructing people to certify they are looking for work even though they are not required to.
  7. Employers may make claims on behalf of their employees. Lots of changes to this to make the process more streamlined and increase the number of times an employer can do this each year.

At the Federal level:

  1. An additional $600 per week is granted to eligible claimants under the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). First payments for this start April 17, 2020.
  2. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) extends unemployment benefits to eligible self-employed workers, freelancers, and independent contractors who have exhausted other unemployment extensions. This program is anticipated to be ready April 25, 2020 according to NC’s DES.
  3. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits to those who have already exhausted their state unemployment benefits. This is not up and running yet, nor do they know when it will be.

Courts

State Courts are mostly closed until June 1, 2020 according to the most recent order by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. She has also extended filing deadlines and other deadlines through the court, so we are fine waiting to handle most legal matters through the court.

The court is still handling emergency proceedings. These include:

  1. Domestic Violence Proceedings
  2. Certain Criminal Proceedings (bail hearings and things that deal with Constitutional protections)
  3. Guardianship Hearings for those who need to obtain emergency guardianship
  4. Other things considered an emergency by the senior judge of each court.

The Court has also made the following other changes:

  1. No jury trials until further notice.
  2. Hearings are to be done virtually (but as ordered by a judge recently, you actually do need to still wear a shirt).
  3. People are not permitted in the Courthouse unless they have business there that cannot be done via the mail or email.
  4. Service by email is a thing, but only attorney to attorney (unless consented to by the opposing party).
  5. Sworn statements do not need a notarization. Instead they can be affirmed by a sworn statement. This DOES NOT apply to other documents that require notarization.

Taxes

The IRS has an Employee Retention Credit available for qualifying businesses for the 2020 tax year. Basically it covers 50% of up to $10,000 of wages.

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-employee-retention-credit-available-for-many-businesses-financially-impacted-by-covid-19

 

You may also be able to claim an advance on this tax credit. Speak with your CPA or tax accountant for more information on whether this applies to your situation.