Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network

 

COVID-19 - What you need to know as a small business

 

ASBDC Keep CalmWE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS helping businesses cope with the economic consequences of the coronavirus. We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs during these very challenging times.

Although Massachusetts SBDC business advisors are working remotely, we are meeting virtually with clients. Experienced MSBDC business advisors can assist businesses with disaster loan applications. If you are not a client and would like to receive services, please complete our Request for Counseling form available on our website at www.msbdc.org/rfc. We offer online registration for business advisory services.
 

free webinarsVisit our archived COVID-19 webinar page at www.msbdc.org/covid-19/webinars.  For upcoming live webinars, visit our training page at www.msbdc.org/training.  Check back often as we are always adding new webinars.

 

Opportunity Knocks: COVID Business Start-Ups and Expansions in Western MA
The MSBDC co-hosted a live panel discussion featuring four local entrepreneurs who braved the odds by building something new during the pandemic. If you are thinking of launching a new venture or are just curious how these local entrepreneurs did it, view this no-holds barred presentation by clicking here.

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Below are some useful links, resources and articles about what small businesses need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to get information from reliable sources, such as the organizations below. Additional articles on COVID-19 are listed at our "In the News" page.

SCROLL TO END for monthly updates!

  


SBAThe U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Visit SBA's website for additional details by clicking here and sign up for SBA updates.

Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established through the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act to provide over $16 billion in economic relief to target industries. The SVOG application is slated to open April 8, 2021. SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 - 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Those interested in participating can register here.

Mar 22, 2021 - SBA is now allowing applicants that file IRS Form 1040, Schedule C to calculate their maximum loan amount using gross income instead of net profit, which may enable some borrowers to access higher loan amounts. See the form for First Draw PPP applicants and Second Draw PPP applicants online.

Mar 16, 2021 - SBA announces extended deferment periods for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program until 2022.

ASBDCAmerica’s SBDC new federal resource for small business - click here to be redirected

Small Business Resiliency - An actionable business resiliency plan could mean difference between business continuity and closure. Useful documents from America's SBDC:

AIMAssociated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) - Visit AIM's resource page for employers. Also, AIM's has a blog on COVID-19 news and updates.
MGCCMassachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) has a list of financial and general resources available for small businesses.
Franklin County CDCFranklin County Community Development Corporation helped forgive nearly $75,000 in COVID-relief loans for 15 small businesses in Western Massachusetts in March. They still have forgivable loans available for businesses who qualify! If your business is located in Franklin County, please click here to apply or email micro@fccdc.org with questions. View the Family Income Form to see income limits.

For more information about Microenterprise Forgivable Loan opportunities for businesses in Franklin County, and other towns in western Mass, click here and go to "Resources for All Businesses".
Coronavirus.gov has general information about the virus and is a collaboration of the White House, CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

COVID-19 Response Command Center Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) - Under the leadership of Secretary Sudders and reporting to Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, will be the Commonwealth’s single point of strategic decision making and coordination for the Administration’s comprehensive COVID-19 response. You can find the COVID-19 reports from MEMA in the State Library archives by clicking here.

Foley & Foley PC has created several useful documents that are helpful during this COVID-19 crisis, including details for businesses on the eligibility, leave and pay obligations under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

- Chart for Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- What you need to know and do: FFCRA
- FFamilies First Coronavirus Response Act Compliance Package

WesternMass List of Business Resources: Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties (updated daily) - a href="https://bit.ly/WMassBusinessResources">click here.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available. Click here for FAQs on extension of filing and payment deadlines.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has created a “COVID-19 Security Resource Library” — a compilation of tips and recommendations from NCSA and its partners on ways to stay safe online, and how to avoid cyber threats and scams during the COVID-19 pandemic. To access the Library, click here..

MA Department of Unemployment Assistance hosts the Work Share program as an alternative for employers faced with a cut in workforce. Employers can divide available work among affected employees to receive a part of their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits while working reduced hours.

- Employer Unemployment FAQ: COVID-19
- Massachusetts COVID-19 unemployment information
- Important Employee and Employer Information related to COVID-19 and unemployment
The U.S. Department of Labor published information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) that requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Also see, Department of Labor Outlines Small-Business Exemption from Coronavirus Paid Leave Law.

Small Business Resiliency - An actionable business resiliency plan could mean difference between business continuity and closure. Courtesy of America's SBDC and Google.

Return to the Workplace Guide For Massachusetts Employers​​​ - The new 80-page guide is now available for download in the AIM web store. The guide is consistent with the phased re-opening of the Massachusetts economy and accompanying safety standards announced yesterday by Governor Baker. The guide is a collaboration among AIM, AIM HR Solutions and A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Company and is offered free of charge. Click here to download.
Federal Resources for U.S. Small Businesses - The official federal resource website for U.S. small businesses affected by COVID-19. You can view relevant federal agency resources, access the latest news, and search for a Small Business Advisor near you. Click here for information.
JANUARY 2021 

Mass Cultural Council Grants

  • Artist Fellowships are available in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, Film & Video, Music Composition, Photography, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Office hours: Feb. 3. Deadline: Feb. 8.
  • COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals provides $1,500 grants to MA individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists. Deadline: Feb. 2.
  • Festivals Program provides $500 grants to help festival programmers meet the needs of producing, promoting, and developing audiences. Application opens: Jan 27. Deadline: Mar. 15.
  • The Universal Participation Initiative's Innovation and Learning Network provides a series of professional development workshops on Universal Design and accessibility practices, and includes a stipend of $3,000 for staff time. Deadline: Jan. 29
  • Projects grants provide either $1,000 or $2,500 to support a cultural organization's specific project. Deadline: Mar. 2.
  • STARS Residencies grants of $500-$5,000 to schools are available to support creative learning residencies of 3 days or more in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Deadline: Feb. 1.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Shuttered Venue Operators Grant offers emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by the COVID pandemic.
FEBRUARY 2021 
PPP UPDATE - Biden Administration takes steps to promote equitable access to SBA relief... In order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer PPP loans to businesses with 20 or less employees and sole proprietors only from February 24 - March 10, 2021.
New grant program aims to empower black-owned small businesses across New England through $25,000 grants and a direct assistance program
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Plans for Continued Reopening
MARCH 2021 
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established through the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act to provide over $16 billion in economic relief to target industries. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. The SVOG application will open April 8, 2021. Click here for FAQs.

Please note: SBA is still working to determine an exact reopening date for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal. As soon as it is confirmed, we will provide advance notice. Also, we are updating the applicant user guide and FAQs to further clarify information and will post those here in advance of the application portal opening. Applicants may continue to register for a new account.
SBA announces extended deferment periods for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program until 2022.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Franklin County Community Development Corporation helped forgive nearly $75,000 in COVID relief loans for 15 small businesses in western MA this month. They still have forgivable loans available for businesses who qualify! If your business is located in Franklin County, please click here to apply or email micro@fccdc.org with questions. View the Family Income Form to see income limits. For more information about Microenterprise Forgivable Loan opportunities for businesses in Franklin County, and other towns in western Mass, click here and go to "Resources for All Businesses".  
SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.

PPP Update - President Biden announces program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable and extends deadline to May 31, 2021.

APRIL 2021 
SBA is still working to determine an exact reopening date for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal. As soon as it is confirmed, we will provide advance notice. Also, we are updating the applicant user guide and FAQs to further clarify information and will post those here in advance of the application portal opening. Applicants may continue to register for a new account.
 

 

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