COVID-19 Update Letter: Federal CARES Act & Small Business Loan Resources; Business Tax Deadline Extended

Federal CARES Act & Small Business Loan Resources; Business Tax Deadline Extended

A note from GMC CEO & President, Michael Skelton

4/1/2020

Dear Chamber Members,

While following the news from around the globe and across the country on the COVID-19 pandemic can understandably be overwhelming, it is critical we keep our focus on what we can control here in our community. Social distancing, staying at home, and closures of schools, businesses, and key institutions, though jarring and painful to our normal way of life, are working  to slow the spread. Let’s all stay focused on maintaining our commitment to these efforts so our sacrifices in the days ahead deliver the results we need for our community and state to get healthy and rebound as soon as possible.

Details on new resources and tools to support the small business community and keep commerce moving in this environment lead today’s update:

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed by the President over the weekend. The legislation includes a variety of new and expanded loan programs and financial tools available to small businesses in response to the impact of COVID-19 emergency. Below is a high-level summary to help you and your business navigate all the options and find more information.

Federal Paycheck Protection Program Update – Applications Open this Friday April 3rd

The US Treasury department has posted additional resources and guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act. Key updates and resources for members to be aware of include:

  • The program will accept applications from small businesses and sole proprietorships on April 3rd and from independent contractors and self-employed individuals on April 10th.
  • Applications can be submitted through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution and federally insured credit union. 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 they are participating. Visit sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders.
  • The CARES Act allocated $350 billion to fund PPP loans. If you are considering applying for this program, please move quickly and consult with your lending partners so you are prepared to submit an application. Once all of the allocated funds are reserved, it is not clear if and how quickly Congress might allocate additional funds.

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program

  • Cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency.
  • Loans are eligible to be forgiven for up to 8 weeks of payroll costs and payments can be deferred for at least 6 months.
  • Program is retroactive to February 15th to all businesses to bring back workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans are designed to provide small businesses working capital to cover needs like payroll, accounts payable, fixed debts and other bills due to lost revenue caused by a natural disaster.
  • Loans are low interest and available for amounts up to $2 million with deferments on payments of principal and interest.
  • Federal CARES Act has made available an emergency grant of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits harmed by COVID-19. The grant is awarded within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. These grants provide immediate cash relief and are 100% forgivable and do not need to be repaid.

The CARES Act also establishes opportunities to provide debt relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans and new borrowers who take out SBA loans within the next 6 months.

  • Relief for small business entails SBA covering all loan payments, interest, and fees for six months.
  • Applies to 7(a), 504, and microloans offered by SBA.

If you are looking for a detailed virtual overview of the CARES Act with an emphasis on the business loan provisions, attorneys from Chamber Member Mclane Middleton will provide an overview in a free webinar today at 1 pm. Click here to register.

Business Tax Deadline Extended
In response to the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on the business community, the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (NHDRA) has announced it will grant relief in the form of filing extensions and safe harbors from penalties for payers of the business profits tax, business enterprise tax, and interest and dividends tax. View the news release from NHDRA here and the technical information release here.

GMC Virtual Programming and Webinars
We were excited to ramp up our offerings of virtual programming last week with an informative webinar on the tools needed for a successful remote workplace, a Small Business Connections networking event and the Manchester Young Professionals’ first “virtual happy hour” with Ancient Fire Mead & Cider Whether its key information to help support your business or unique and fun ways to stay connected, we’re looking forward to providing you with these high-quality opportunities. Check out the Union Leader’s recap of these new programs and our virtual programming strategy.

Essential Business List Reminder and Updates
A reminder to contact me with any questions or issues related to the essential business list published last week as part of the Governor’s “Stay at Home” emergency order. The list continues to be refined and an update was issued over the weekend that clarified that non-essential retail business may continue to operate so long as they transition to curbside pick or delivery for orders completed online or by phone. Businesses not listed as essential are able to request the essential designation by submitting an email to essential@nheconomy.com and should include basic contact information and a brief justification.

Be well and stay healthy!

Mike Skelton, President & CEO, GMC