Financial Assistance Available for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19 | Practicing DPMs | APMA
Financial Assistance Available for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

As the nation grapples with the health and economic impact of the COVID-19, the federal government and states are providing financial assistance to small businesses impacted by the disease and the efforts to stop the spread. APMA is providing current resources that may be available to eligible podiatric offices, and we encourage you to check back often as we continue to update this page as new information becomes available in the coming days and weeks.   

While lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering a package that would provide small business relief, the Trump Administration authorized the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to make low-interest working capital loans available to small businesses affected by the pandemic under the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Program. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business.

  • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A list of designated areas can be found here.  
  • Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
  • The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses and payable over a term of up to 30 years.

Businesses that are able to secure a loan elsewhere are not eligible. Eligible small businesses can apply for a loan at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Are there other SBA loans available?

Yes, in addition to the disaster relief loans, SBA has several products for small businesses, including in many cases, podiatric offices.*

The SBA has 68 District Offices, as well as support provided by its Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. The SBA’s Local Assistance Directory can be used to locate offices.

Access to Capital is a SBA-developed Lender Match is a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders within 48 hours.

7(a) program offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000 and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the US states and its territories. The uses of proceeds include: working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; lease-hold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business.

Express loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than seven years with an option to revolve. There is a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial of a completed application. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.

Community Advantage loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.

504 loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention. The eligible use of proceeds is limited to the acquisition or eligible refinance of fixed assets.

Microloan program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets. Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery and equipment, and fixtures (does not include real estate). The maximum loan amount is $50,000 with the average loan size of $14,000.

*The above compilation of additional SBA resources was provided with the assistance of Hart Health Strategies.

Are there state small business loans available?

Yes, APMA created this state-by-state spreadsheet of state-sponsored loans to help small businesses during the pandemic.

Are there other private loans and other resources available?

Bank/Credit Union Lenders

Federal agencies that regulate financial institutions are encouraging these institutions to work with their customers, especially small businesses, impacted by COVID-19. Specifically, FDIC has offered the following guidance for bank customers:

"In certain situations, the FDIC is encouraging banks to allow customers to skip loan payments with no adverse consequences for the borrower, extend loan terms, and restructure loans. However, before skipping payments or otherwise operating in a manner that differs from the terms of a loan, contact your bank to determine its flexibility during this time.

  • Immediately contact your creditors if you do not think you can pay your bills or make credit card or loan payments on time. Paying your debts late or not at all can result in penalties, interest charges, and damage to your credit score. Your creditors should be able to work with you on a solution, but it is important to contact them as soon as possible and explain your situation.
  • If you have additional concerns or a complaint with a business such as a financial institution or an insurance company, be proactive. First, contact the firm directly. If that does not produce the desired results, you may contact the appropriate federal or state regulatory agency for help or guidance."

Similarly, the National Credit Union Administration is advising credit unions to assist their members and work with borrowers affected by COVID-19. Recommendations include:

  • Easing credit terms for new loans for members who qualify
  • Offering payment accommodations, such as allowing borrowers to defer or skip some payments, or extending the payment due dates, which would avoid delinquencies and negative credit bureau reporting caused by any COVID-19-related disruption
  • Waiving late fees on loan balances

Debt Relief and Financial Protection

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has provided resources and guidance on how individuals can financially protect themselves, including student loan deferment and other options. Visit the CFPB COVID-19 Resource page for more details.

Business Interruption Insurance

Podiatrists should also review their insurance policies (including property/casualty insurance policies) to determine if the policy includes business interruption insurance (also known as business income coverage). This insurance is a type that may replace loss of income or pay business expenses during a disaster. Podiatrists should speak with an insurance advisor to determine whether this insurance would apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least one state legislature is considering mandating that property insurers cover COVID-19 as part of their business interruption policy. Specifically, the New Jersey Assembly is considering AB 3844. According to the official summary:

"This bill provides a mechanism by which certain businesses that suffer losses due to interruption as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic may recover those losses from their insurer if they had a policy of business interruption insurance in force on March 9, 2020, the date on which the Governor declared a Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency in Executive Order 103. The bill would apply to businesses covered by such a policy with less than 100 eligible employees in the State of New Jersey. "Eligible employee" is defined as a full-time employee who works a normal work week of 25 or more hours."

Will paid sick leave be refundable for small businesses?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) included a refundable payroll tax credit to reimburse businesses for sick leave and family and medical leave wages paid to employees affected by COVID-19. For businesses that otherwise may not be able to afford the employee costs associated with COVID-19-related paid leave, the Treasury Department has stated that it will use its regulatory authority to advance funds to employers concerned about cash flow.

The bill requires employers to provide notice of eligibility for paid sick leave and family and medical leave to its employees. The Department of Labor will create a model notification within seven days following enactment of the bill.

Disclaimer: This resource is for information purposes only. APMA advises doctors of podiatric medicine to speak with an attorney or financial advisor duly licensed in their jurisdiction.

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