Coronavirus: How Small Businesses Can Get Help
Many small businesses have closed or cut staff due to coronavirus. But federal and state help is available.
Businesses and non-profit groups are eligible for federal loans of up to $2 million from the Small Business Administration.
“They’ve had to close or employees have had to go home and they still need to pay them and money isn’t coming in. This is the loan they want to apply for,” said Victoria Guerrero, director of the SBA’s regional office in Miami. She says the coronavirus outbreak has created an unprecidented situation for her agency.
“Typically, when we talk of disasters, it’s really localized to a certain area,” she said. “A brush fire, or hurricane. This is the first time we’re seeing something nationwide and, in essence, it’s global pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the state is offering $50,000 bridge loans for any for-profit business with 2-100 employees. The loans are interest free for a year and applications will be accepted through May 8. The University of South Florida’s Small Business Development Center is handling applications in the Tampa Bay region.
More help for small business is likely, as Congress considers a trillion-dollar economic stimulus package.