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Coronavirus Pandemic Federal and State Aid For Businesses

Coronavirus Pandemic Federal and State Aid For Businesses

FEDERAL PROGRAMS

PPP Loans. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Congress recently approved an additional $310 billion in funding to restore the PPP Program, which had run out of money.

Importantly, these PPP loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Interest is to be no more than 4% and the amount applicants receive is based on a calculation of average monthly payroll cost multiplied by 2.5, to cover two and a half months of payroll (including healthcare costs and paid sick leave) with a maximum loan amount of $10 million. Small businesses, 501(c)3 nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees, certain veterans' organizations, sole proprietors, the self-employed, individual contractors may be eligible.

The administration's PPP program guidelines can be found at www.treasury.gov, and the U.S. Small Business Administration's search tool to find a bank that offers PPP loans can be found at www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued step-by-step guides to help businesses apply for these loans.

SBA EID Loans. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expands the Small Business Administration's long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). The EIDL program was created to assist businesses, renters, and homeowners located in regions affected by declared disasters.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued step-by-step guides to help businesses apply for these loans.

Payroll Tax Deferral. Program allows eligible businesses to defer payment of payroll taxes of up to $5,000 per employee. Cannot accept PPP loan. Must be fully or partially closed or have 50% drop in quarterly revenue. The Employee Retention Tax Credit program allows employer to defer payment of the employer's portion of payroll taxes.

The status, including availability of funding, of these programs is constantly changing. Congress is also working on a second round of stimulus payments. Businesses should check online for updates and keep communications with your banker open.

UTAH PROGRAMS

The COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program was created on April 30, 2020, when Governor Herbert signed S.B. 3006. The program, managed by the Governor's Office of Economic Development, grants $40 million in rental relief to Utah small businesses that have lost revenue as a result of measures taken during the pandemic to minimize the public's exposure to COVID-19.

The Cultural Assistance Grant Program, known as “Create In Utah,” was approved in H.B. 5010 by the Legislature during its June 18 special session. It provides $9 million in grants to cultural, artistic, botanical, or zoological organizations with annual budgets of more than $5 million. The funding, which comes from the federal CARES Act, is targeted for programs that boost tourism and help local economies recover.

Covid-19 Displaced Worker Grant Program. This $9 million initiative, called “Learn & Work In Utah,” provides training for workers displaced due to COVID-19 by funding GOED's Utah Works program within Talent Ready Utah. This initiative includes support for the Utah System of Higher Education's Custom Fit program and several other workforce training programs to provide education and training to displaced workers. Talent Ready Utah and the Utah System of Higher Education are responsible for “Learn & Work In Utah.”

Covid-19 Impacted Businesses Grant Program. This $25 million initiative provides grants to businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify for this “Shop In Utah” grant, businesses must offer a discount or other offer with an estimated value to consumers of at least 50% of the grant amount. GOED must award at least 75% of grant funds to Utah small businesses (companies with 250 or fewer full-time employees).

Covid-19 PPE Support Grant Program. This $5 million initiative, called “Safe In Utah,” provides grants to businesses to improve workplace safety for workers and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic through measures such as personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases, workplace redesigns, signage, and technology solutions that allow for distance working. The grants are capped per business at the lower amount of 1) $100 per full-time equivalent employee, or 2) the actual expenses a company incurs in taking these health and safety measures. GOED must award at least 75% of grant funds to small businesses.

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