Big News for Small Business
MD
03/26/2020 01:48 PM
These are truly historic times we are living through and we will persevere. Late last night, the Senate voted to pass the largest economic rescue effort in American history and the bill is being sent to the House today. The $2 trillion relief package contains funds to help American workers, families and small businesses.

I was on a conference call with Senator Ben Cardin and Maryland County Chamber Presidents late yesterday and he laid out what assistance the package offers for small businesses. I don’t claim to have captured all the highpoints, but here are some of the notes I took from this call pertaining to what is contained in the bill that affects small businesses:

$367 billion in loans for small businesses. Small businesses could obtain federally-backed loans from private lending institutions through June 30, 2020.

The process involved with these loans will be similar to the SBA 7A Loan Program and any FDIC approved bank should be able to administer these loans. NOTE: Please remember the bill has NOT been passed yet, so the specifics as to obtaining the loans, or administering the loans, has not been finalized. Subsequently, the banks are not able to begin the process of giving the loans yet, so don’t contact them until these specifics are announced.

Expenses eligible for a loan are:
Monthly payroll for a 10-week period
Mortgage/rent and utilities for the same period

The loan will be forgiven if the business maintains their workforce, or brings back employees who have been laid off due to the coronavirus. You will also need to spend the money and provide verification that you have done so.

501c3 Non-profits are included as eligible for these loans/grants.

I believe the self employed will also be eligible.

There will be more specific information when this bill passes the House vote and is signed by President Trump. I wanted to make sure you knew this will be coming very soon, however, as it is my understanding the loans will be given on a first come first served basis. Senator Cardin also stated that there will most likely be another stimulus package coming quickly that could contain additional money for small businesses if the current allocated assistance runs dry. Considering that there are, according to the Senator, 30 million eligible small businesses in the USA, the probability of burning through the entire $367 billion seems very likely.

Even though I wanted to highlight the impact on small businesses, the bill also includes: loans for large industries, direct payments to most Americans, expanded unemployment benefits, money for state and local governments, money for hospitals and the suspension of student loan payments until September 30, 2020.

Now, more than ever, please continue to support local businesses!

Mike McMullin
President/CEO
Carroll County Chamber of Commerce
 
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