COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The CARES Act was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020 and provides additional assistance for small business owners. A major piece of this legislation is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing loans up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses. If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive a portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Guidelines on the PPP and other relief efforts are expected soon.

 

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:  The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and · Employee and compensation levels are maintained. Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.

 

When can I apply?  Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.  Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.  Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.

 

Where can I apply? You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating.

 PPP Links:

  1. Paycheck Protection Program Application Form
  2.  Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
  3. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Information Sheet: Borrowers
  4. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Information Sheet: Lenders 

 

 

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now being offered by the SBA to small businesses everywhere in Wyoming that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. For assistance applying for these loans, fill out this short form below. You can also learn more about these loans by clicking here.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21, 2020. Wyoming SBA Director Amy Lea said applicants may apply for loans online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

 

Coronavirus Cybersecurity Scams

There has been a huge surge in online scams regarding COVID-19. Be sure to protect yourself by only downloading apps from reputable sources, taking an extra minute to question emails, and checking the validity of the website. See the full list of cyber scams you should be aware of.

United Way of Albany County Covid-19 Emergency Fund

The United Way has started a Covid-19 Emergency Fund to help local nonprofits deal with the effects of the pandemic in our community. The goal of the fund is to help agencies deal with the extra costs of maintaining their organization and the additional client needs caused by the actual virus and the economic fallout.

To date, the United Way has already made 20 grants. Examples include grants to Family Promise for motel rooms for the homeless families they serve, the Eppson Center for special takeout food prep material, ARK to pay for extra staffing costs because of the virus, Laramie Interfaith for extra client assistance and homeless prevention, and the public library for extra cleaning supplies (before they had to close).

All donations for the fund will be used here in Albany County for education, prevention, and the mitigation of economic hardships caused by the virus.

If you want to donate please send a check to the United Way, 710 E. Garfield Street #240, Laramie, WY 82070 and write Covid-19 in the memo line, or use their website for credit card donations, www.unitedwayalbanycounty.org/donate. Then select Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

BUSINESS RESOURCE LINKS FOR COVID-19

FREE Resources & Webinars for Small Businesses

Below are local resources for Albany County businesses to help deal with the COVID-19 crisis. If you have additional resources that are not listed, please email mross@laramie.org

Please join us April 6th at Noon for a Free Zoom meeting on “The Power of Storytelling for your Business.”

Local marketing expert, Jessica Brauer will be presenting these free tools. This powerful guide is a collaborative effort between LCBA, Downtown Laramie Wyoming and Visit Laramie.

Free Webinar on April 7th – hosted by Manufacturing Works: How innovation can jump start your business:

Business profitability and sustainability can be dramatically improved through innovation. Learn what innovation is and how to foster innovation in the work place. Explore the “Plan Do Study Act” cycle to create a pipeline of new ideas. Innovation isn’t just a buzz word it is a business process with proven results.

COVID-19 Round Table Video Meetings

In a time of uncertainty and heightened emotion in our world, the gift we can best give ourselves is support. The continued closures and preventative measures being taken by small businesses in response to COVID-19 are unfortunate yet necessary steps we are making to ensure the safety of our community. In response to these unexpected stressors, particularly on the economy and livelihood of small business, Jessica Brauer will be offering free, round-table video calls open to the public to address the following:

Creative Covid Marketing for Your Small Business
Thursdays, March 19th, 26th + April 2nd at 7 PM

Working From Home: Staying Productive & Sane with Social Distancing
Fridays, March 20th, 27th + April 3rd at 7 PM

Self Care for Professionals in a Time of Panic
Saturdays, March 21st, 28th + April 4th at 11 AM

Support Local Businesses from Home

 

  1. Help keep members of the community with compromised immune systems safe by following a strict cleanliness protocol. Disinfect your store several times a day, especially high traffic areas like the front door, cash register and counter, restroom, handrails, etc. If you are able, put a bottle of hand sanitizer at your counter and make sure your restroom is stocked with extra soap.
  2. If yourself or a member of your team isn’t feeling well, ask them to stay home. If your hours are impacted by being short staffed, be sure to communicate this with your customers by either placing a sign on your door, sending out an email, or posting to your social media feed.
  3. Consider offering curbside pick up for products or food, in town deliveries, and electronic payment over the phone or online as a convenience to your customers.
  4. Consider offering online or virtual services (i.e. webinars, video workout classes) to customers. And change meetings to conference calls instead of gathering in person.
  5. This is a good opportunity to get creative with your marketing. Promote new pick-up/delivery services, specials, virtual services, pre-sale of services, gift cards, care packages or creative ideas for customers.