State Programs and Grants That Can Help Your Business Survive the Coronavirus by Sandra Beckwith

State Programs and Grants That Can Help Your Business Survive the Coronavirus

Federal, state, and local governments and organizations have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by offering small business grants and loans. Here are tips for applying and a partial list of state opportunities.

by Sandra Beckwith
updated April 15, 2020 · 3 min read

One of the few saving graces in the COVID-19 pandemic is that small businesses now have access to a wide range of financial programs to help them survive.

Federal, state, and local governments and organizations responded surprisingly quickly to business owners' pleas for help with rent, payroll, and other expenses when customers had to stay home. Many of these programs come in the form of grants and small loans. They're designed to help the country's 30.2 million small businesses stay in business.

How to Apply for Coronavirus Grants and Loans

Applying for funding isn't a quick or easy process. Experts stress the importance of being both prepared and patient before starting any application process.

"Collect all of your documents before you start. You will need your tax returns for three years, as well as profit and loss statements, payroll statements, and employee forms," says Andrya Allen of Crossland Communication. She also advises her clients to:

  • Document current expenses and lost revenue
  • Summarize your company's experience since the start of the year, with details about the impact on your industry plus changes to your profit statements
  • Use your computer's default browser, since many application systems won't operate with alternatives like Google Chrome
  • Expect to spend three to five hours on each application

"Triple-check your application for mistakes and make sure you're submitting everything required," adds Jared Hecht of loan marketplace Fundera. He notes that about 75% of Fundera's applications, in the best of times, need some correction. A mistake or missing document in the current, highly competitive situation makes it too easy for the organization to reject your application.

Insurance business advisor Wilfrid Baptiste of Financial Blind Spot tells business owners on his daily COVID-19 webinars to "apply for grants and zero-interest loans first because it's free money." He also encourages webinar participants to look past federal programs to local opportunities. To find them, type "[your city/county/state] COVID-19 small business [grants/loans]" into Google, using all permutations.

State Grant and Loan Programs

Here's a sampling of the small business grants and loans that are available on the state level. For more opportunities, check Baptiste's constantly updated list as well as Fundera's "Best Small Business Grants for 2020, Including Coronavirus Grants."

In addition, consider applying to the better-known national programs that include the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and Paycheck Protection Program, Facebook's Small Business Grants Program, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Save Small Business Fund.

Business broker Terri Sherman offers one last tip: "Be patient. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people seeking the same resources you are, so it's a process."

If you need assistance applying, contact your accountant or legal advisor.

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Sandra Beckwith

About the Author

Sandra Beckwith

Sandra Beckwith has been writing for traditional and online publications since she sold her first magazine article while… Read more