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With PPP gone, what are the other government funding options that are still available?

Posted by Neha De

November 17, 2021    |     4-minute read (835 words)

The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which provided small business owners with billions in COVID-19 relief, concluded May 31. However, in order to forge ahead, many businesses still need affordable financing options. Here are some government funding options that are still available for small business owners. 

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan

This federal small business loan program allows small businesses to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact by providing accessible and borrower-friendly capital. The COVID-19 EIDL is funded by the SBA directly; however, unlike the PPP loan, it cannot be forgiven. However, companies in low-income communities may be eligible for a COVID-19 EIDL advance of up to $15,000 that does not need to be repaid. Business owners can choose to get the advance without getting the loan.

Small business owners, including agricultural businesses and nonprofit businesses in all U.S. states, Washington, D.C., as well as territories can apply for the COVID-19 EIDL, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

In addition, new changes to the COVID-19 EIDL have increased the maximum available loan amount from $500,000 to $2 million, expanded the use of funds to include payment of nonfederal and federal debt and extended the payment deferment period to 24 months for all loans. 

Small business tax credit programs

The American Rescue Plan expands a number of critical tax benefits, particularly the employee retention credit and paid leave credit, to small businesses.

The American Rescue Plan extends the availability of the employee retention credit for small businesses through December 2021 and allows companies to offset their current payroll tax liabilities by up to $7,000 per employee per quarter. This credit of up to $28,000 per employee for 2021 is available to small businesses that have seen their revenues shrink, or even been temporarily shuttered, due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Capital Investment Program

Established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) was developed to encourage low- and moderate-income community financial institutions to supplement their efforts to support small businesses and consumers in their communities.

Under this program, the Treasury will provide up to $9 billion in capital directly to depository institutions that are certified Community Development Financial Institutions or minority depository institutions to provide loans, grants and forbearance, among other things, for small businesses, minority-owned businesses and consumers, especially in low-income and underserved communities, that may be disproportionately impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Treasury will also allocate $2 billion for CDFIs and MDIs with less than $500 million in assets and another $2 billion for CDFIs and MDIs with less than $2 billion in assets. 

Comcast RISE fund

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, between February and April 2020, the number of active Black-owned businesses declined by 41%, Latinx-owned businesses declined by 32% and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%, versus just 21% for the general population. To counter that, Comcast RISE was created to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support. 

According to their website, “In March, Comcast RISE announced $5 million in grants to 500 businesses across select metropolitan areas. Each business received $10,000 to invest in its own growth and sustainability. The grants were awarded in May. A second round of funding with an additional $6 million in grants to 600 businesses will be awarded in November.” 

Local loans and grant programs 

States and cities have also implemented their own COVID-19 relief programs. For example, the city of Chicago launched the Chicago Creative Worker Assistance Program, which has allotted $2.3 million in grant relief to artists and creative workers that suffered lost income due to the pandemic.

Then, there is the California Rebuilding Fund that has provided loans to more than 700 small businesses. The fund offers low-interest loans to eligible businesses across the state, distributing them through a network of community lenders.

In Kentucky, Louisville Metro Government has entered into an agreement with LHOME, Louisville’s intentionally inclusive lender, to manage a $2.2 million loan fund to assist small businesses in Smoketown, Shelby Park and the nine west Louisville neighborhoods that have been financially disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The city of Providence, Rhode Island, is also offering microgrants of $2,500 to small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PPP loan forgiveness

According to U.S. Small Business Administration, “a borrower can apply for forgiveness once all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness have been used. Borrowers can apply for forgiveness any time up to the maturity date of the loan. If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, then PPP loan payments are no longer deferred, and borrowers will begin making loan payments to their PPP lender.”

While loan forgiveness will not offer a business additional funding, it will ensure the company can put money it already has toward expenses rather than PPP loan payments. 

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