Business Resources

The COVID-19 crisis has created uncertainty and stress for many small businesses. Learn about new programs and relief options below.

Looking for free counseling to help you navigate this uncertain economic time?

These resource partners are ready to help:

  • Visit SBA Sacramento online or call 1-800-659-2955
  • S.C.O.R.E. is offering free recorded webinars that cover topics like Business Succession Planning, Understanding Cash Flow, Marketing Strategy, and more. Find the webinar that’s right for you here.
  • The SBDC Capital Region can help with applying for relief, guiding you through available resources, cash flow concerns, supply chain interruptions, workforce capacity, insurance coverage and more – at no cost.
  • Metro Chamber’s Rapid Response Hub has an employee portal with links to information and resources.
  • Call the Rapid Response Business Triage Hotline at 833-391-1919. It will be available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it will take messages around the clock for callbacks
  • Contact us! Email [email protected] or call 916-442-8575.

FORK 2 FARM RELIEF GRANTS

Through funding from Bank of America, Central City restaurants and food-related retailers can now submit invoices from qualified, local small farms and/or their suppliers to be paid by Fork 2 Farm Relief Grants. Learn more about eligibility and how grants will be distributed at DowntownSac.org/Fork2Farm.

Fork 2 Farm is a new microgrant program administered by the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, supported by Visit Sacramento and Downtown Sacramento Partnership, which aims to reduce the economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and preserve America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.

CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, and ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT

The CARES Act is a robust federal aid package to help bolster the country’s health care response, strengthen the economy, and establish stronger support for unemployed workers. Key components include:

Immediate cash payments

  • Every taxpayer with an income below $75,000 will receive a ‘Recovery Rebate’ of $1,200 (phased out as income increases).

Expanded unemployment insurance

  • Every unemployed worker receiving benefits will get an extra $600 per week, for four months.
  • Benefits have been expanded to self-employed and independent contractors who do not usually qualify for unemployment.

Small businesses access to capital*

  • The Employee Retention Credit provides a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages per employee.
  • A new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) modeled after the existing SBA 7(a) loan program, recently opened an additional $484 billion in government-backed FORGIVABLE loans for small businesses.

With a variety of federal relief programs, wondering what’s right for you?

Need capital to cover the cost of retaining employees?

Need a quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now?

Looking to keep up with payments on your current or potential SBA loan?

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP)  

On Tuesday, April 21 the U.S. Senate passed an additional relief bill for small businesses. The new bill adds $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program. Small businesses who were unable to apply for the first round will get the chance to apply again.

What is a Paycheck Protection Program?

SBA issued loans to help small employers with less than 500 employees that are eligible to be fully forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage, interest, or utilities. According to SBA. “due to high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll.”

  • Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
  • No collateral or personal guarantees are required.
  • Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
  • The loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of .5%.

Where do I apply?

The SBA has updated their Paycheck Protection Program application form, and check out approved lenders in your area here.

What do I need to apply?

If you plan on applying for PPP loans, contact your lender as soon as possible. While the documents required for the application may vary depending upon the bank, here’s what you could need:

  • Basic info about your business and contact info, including color copies of IDs.
  • A copy of your 2019 payroll documentation for the most recent financial quarters (IRS Form 940, IRS Form 941 or GA DOL-4N).
  • Corporate by-laws, operating agreements and/or other ownership documentation.
  • Proof your business paid wages for the period that included 2/15/2020 (pay stub, payroll statement or other verification for at least one employee).
  • A breakdown of the intended use of funds (payroll, rent/mortgage interest, utilities, other).

For additional information about federal relief programs, read:

SBA LOAN ASSISTANCE

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering several federal relief programs to provide working capital to California small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. For more information, visit SBA online at www.sba.gov or call their Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.

ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL)

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is now being offered to U.S. Agricultural businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the SBA will begin accepting new EIDL applications on a limited basis only, in order to focus on relief for those in agriculture.

This loan offers up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue.

  • These loan may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses or 2.75% for non-profits.
  • With a maximum term of 30 years, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay, payments can be affordable.

EXPRESS BRIDGE LOAN PILOT PROGRAM

The express loan helps small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

  • This loan can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA’s EIDL loan.
  • The loan will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan.
  • Learn more here.

SBA DEBT RELIEF

  • The SBA will pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months, beginning with payments due March 27, 2020.
  • The SBA will also pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.

CALIFORNIA DISASTER RELIEF LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM

The Small Business Finance Center (SBFC) is partnering with Financial Development Corporations to provide up to $50 million in loan guarantees and direct loans for small businesses that experience capital access barriers.

  • Qualifying small business owners may apply directly with a lender (LIST to be announced soon) or get additional information by contacting one of the participating Financial Development Corporations (FDCs) here.

Find additional information about the State’s relief efforts at covid19.ca.gov, including:

  • Most small businesses now have until July 31, 2020, to file first-quarter returns. Learn more.
  • Effective April 2, 2020, small business taxpayers, those with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales, can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability.
    • The policy would allow businesses to defer paying their sales taxes without penalties, fines or interest for a year.
    • Payment plan requests can be made here in the coming months. Bookmark and check back for additional updates.

REDUCED WORK HOURS, LAYOFFS, CLOSURE, AND TAX ASSISTANCE

The Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Rapid Response Hub is updated daily with information and links to local, state and federal programs available to provide relief to impacted businesses. Information to support employees, including links to local businesses hiring laid-off workers, is also available in the hub.

Visit the California Employment Development Dept. (EDD) for information about delaying payroll taxes.

ADDITIONAL RELIEF

Yelp Relief Programs

Yelp recently announced $25 million in relief, primarily focused on supporting independent local restaurants and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services.  Yelp in partnership with GoFundMe, also introduced a fast and simple way for independent businesses to accept donations through their Yelp pages. Learn more.

  • Promote donations to your business directly from Yelp: GoFundMe fundraisers will automatically appear on Yelp pages for restaurants, nightlife, beauty, and fitness & active life businesses. Users will see a “Donate” icon on the business’s Yelp profile, inspiring them to take action. This gives the community a simple and easy way to show their support. Businesses must have fewer than five locations. (See FAQ)

Donate4Sacramento Regional Response Fund

Public, private, labor, and nonprofit leaders throughout the Sacramento region have joined forces to raise $1.5 million in private contributions to support families, individuals and businesses. Learn more about the program goals here.

USBG National Charity Foundation: Bartender Emergency Program

The USBG National Charity Foundation is offering a Bartender Emergency Assistance Program for those in the restaurant and bar industry. Apply here.

#UnitedSac Resource Hub

In addition to helpful links for mental health, child care, and community resources, find grant information for non-profit and arts organizations. Learn more at UnitedSac.com.

Restaurants Care Grant Program

California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRAF) introduces Restaurants Care.  A program available for employees who have been affected by COVID-19. This grant will help to cover basic living expenses such as rent, food, and utilities. Apply here.

NEW TEMPORARY DOWNTOWN PARKING OPTIONS

For customers:

  • There are 12 temporary (and free) curbside pick-up zones downtown for customers.
  • Metered parking is still temporarily free after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and all-day Saturday and Sunday, including the Old Sacramento Waterfront, until further directed by City Council.
  • The $6 flat rate Early Bird is still available in all city garages for people that park before 10 a.m. and exit the garage after 4 p.m.

For employees:

  • Discounted validation codes are available to employees of businesses located in the Downtown Partnership boundaries. These validations are intended to be used only by those employees in city-owned garages (see locations here). Email us for vouchers.