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Economic Relief


On Friday, March 27, the U.S. House passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which is expected to be signed by the President in the coming days. Included in the bill is the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers limited forgivable loans for small businesses to help with payroll, interest on debt, rent, or utilities – the idea of which is to enable employers to retain staff during shutdowns associated with the Coronavirus crisis. The amount forgiven is expected to be tied, at least in part, to maintaining consistent staffing levels during a given period of time. Therefore, if business owners anticipate applying for this type of loan, we would urge them to refrain from laying off employees until the final details are known as doing so may impact the amount of loan forgiveness given. See the Business Loans section below to access “The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act” produced by the House Small Business Committee. (Updated 3/27/2020)

Business loans:

The Federal government is in the process of finalizing an economic relief package that will provide support for businesses and industries affected by COVID-19. Once signed into law by the President, the Small Business Administration will be finalizing regulations and processes so that small businesses can begin applying for financial assistance right away. The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act, produced by the U.S. House Small Business Committee provides a useful roadmap for hearing aid business owners to determine which programs may be helpful and how to apply.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

Other Options

Your state/provincial government may offer small business loans or assistance applying for loans through the US Small Business Administration. Contact your state/provincial department of economic development/small business to determine whether your business may qualify for a small business loan. Some small business loans may be restricted to industries forced to close during the Coronavirus crisis.

Small business owners may be eligible to apply for a business loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Learn more: US Small Business Administration: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources or to apply, click here. The SBA is also advertising the availability of SBA Express Bridge Loans for certain businesses to bridge the gap while waiting for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan application to get processed.

Unemployment benefits for displaced workers:

U.S. Department of Labor: Information about filing for unemployment benefits
Some states are encouraging employers to consider their options before laying off employees. Contact your state department of labor/unemployment office to determine whether there are other options that might work for your business and staff. We also encourage business owners to consider incentives included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress, and signed into law on March 27, 2020, which may provide necessary relief to enable you to retain staff during temporary closures or as a result of reduced hours/business offerings.

Business Expenses and Insurance:

While most leases are highly landlord-favorable, you may want to consider pro-actively contacting your landlord, in writing, to request rent abatement or the ability to seek a waiver to make delayed payments without “breaching” the lease or incurring penalties. Your landlord may be able to pursue an insurance claim for business interruption or position itself for relief under current or expected local, state, and/or federal programs.

You should also be reaching out to your insurance agent to understand your policy and what coverage you might have depending on decreased revenues or forced closure by law.

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