May 20, 2020 by Ben Chafetz

Adapting to Coronavirus Part 2: Business Resources For eCommerce Companies

Last week, 121eCommerce kicked off a four-part series focused on helping your eCommerce store adapt to the lasting effects of Coronavirus.

Part 1 covered several resources available to help with digital marketing.

This week, we’ll review some business resources that can help you get the funds and relief you need

In this guide, we’ll explore a few top options. No matter your industry, you may be able to qualify for one or more of these programs.

Let’s get started!

Federal Loans And Grants From The CARES Act 

First and foremost, the best place to turn for aid if your business has been financially impacted by COVID-19 coronavirus is the federal government. The passage of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) set aside more than $1 trillion to help businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals who have been affected by COVID-19 coronavirus. Here is a quick overview of each of the major programs that are part of the CARES Act.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program was initially funded with $350 billion, but ran out of cash quite quickly. However, it recently received a second round of $310 billion in funding – so now is the time to apply if you haven’t already done so.

All small businesses are eligible for the PPP, as long as they have 500 or less employees, are defined as “small” by the SBA Size Standard, or meet a few other requirements.

With the PPP, you can borrow up to 2.5x your current average payroll costs, with a limit of $10 million. Payments are deferred for six months, and the loan has a 1% APR and comes due in two years. In addition, loan forgiveness is available for a portion of the loan.

For a more comprehensive overview of the PPP, click here. To apply for a loan, you can visit the SBA (Small Business Administration) here and get started right away. 

Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve created the Main Street Lending Program as part of the CARES act, and this program will provide in excess of $600 billion in funding to qualifying small and medium-sized businesses.

To be eligible, your business must:

  • Have been established before March 13, 2020
  • Be an eligible business according to SBA regulations
  • Have no more than 15,000 employees or a 2019 revenue of $5 billion
  • Be created or organized in the U.S., with “significant operations” and “a majority of employees” within the U.S. 

Depending on the size of your company and your revenue, you can take out a 4-year loan of between $500,000 to $10 million. Note, however, that these loans are not forgivable, unlike EIDL loans and PPP loans.

For a more detailed guide with more information about interest rates, repayment, and more, check out this link. You can also learn more about the Main Street Lending Program directly from the Federal Reserve here.

State-By-State Resources For Grants & Loans

Depending on the state you’re in, you may also be able to get grants and loans from the state, or from the city in which your business is based.

For example, Connecticut is providing $50 million in recovery bridge loans for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees. These 0% interest loans are available for up to $75,000 or 3 months of business operations expenses, whichever is less.

The best way to find out if there are local or state resources available for your company is to do a bit of Googling. This article from Forbes also has a decent roundup of available programs on a state-by-state basis, though it doesn’t include every state.

Relief From Banks And Credit Unions

Beyond state and federal relief, some banks and credit unions are providing relief options for customers – like low interest loans, forbearance on existing loans and debt, and other such programs that can help new and existing business customers get through the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

Each bank is participating in different ways. The best resource we’ve found is this page from the American Bankers Association, which lists different banks and their relief programs in alphabetical order. 

Get The Relief You Need To Keep Your Business In Good Shape

The future is uncertain, but with these COVID-19 coronavirus relief programs, you’re sure to be able to get the funds you need to keep your doors open, continue paying employees and cover other operational expenses.

Thanks for reading, and from the team at 121eCommerce, good luck out there – and make sure you stay safe. Interested in other resources related to COVID-19, eCommerce, digital marketing, and other such topics? Take a look at our blog – you’re sure to find an article or two that will catch your interest.

Be sure to check out the rest of the series for even more resources and tips:

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