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Guide to the CARES Act

This information was provided by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. This guide has been summarized below; download the PDF to read the full Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.

Learn more about your ability to utilize these programs in our Small Business Resource Center.

Paycheck Protection Program Loans:

  • Provide cash-flow assistant through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency.
  • If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed.
  • Provide forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year.
  • Small businesses and other eligible entities can apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.

Small Business Debt Relief Program:

  • Provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504 and microloans.
  • SBA will cover all loan payments on these loans, including principal, interest and fees for six months.
  • Also available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants:

  • Provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
  • To access the advance, first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance.
  • The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance.
  • Can be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruption or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

Cuyahoga County, in partnership with the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) and other partners, has launched a Small Business Resource Center.

How can I reach them?

How can they help?

  • You can access a live agent through the Call Center who can help with:
  • Assistance with applying for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
    • Loans up to $2 million
    • Advance Grants up to $10,000
  • Business Consulting and General Assistance
  • Information about Financial Assistance and Services
  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits Application Assistance to navigate the system
  • Strategies for Retaining and Retraining Employees

If you are a government contractor, Congress has provided relief and protection for your business. Eligible contractors are those whose employees or subcontractors can’t perform work on site and can’t telework due to federal facilities closing because of COVID-19.

  • Agencies will be able to modify terms and condition of a contract and to reimburse contractors at a billing rate of up to 40 hours per week of any paid leave, including sick leave.

Small Business Tax Provisions

  • Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship
    • Provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
    • Those eligible:
      • Employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings.
      • Employers who have experienced a greater than 50 percent reduction in quarterly receipts, measured on a year-over-year basis.
      • Wages of employees who are furloughed or face reduced hours as a result of their employer’s closure or economic hardship. For employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees, all employee wages are eligible, regardless of whether an employee is furloughed.
      • This credit is not available to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes

  • Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.
  • Payroll taxes that can be deferred include:
    • The employer portion of FICA taxes
    • The employer and employee representative portion of Railroad Retirement taxes
    • Half of SECA tax liability
  • Deferral is not provided to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.

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