More Info for Small Businesses Applying for Aid

Here at the Denver Metro Chamber, we are focused on supporting our business community as we tackle the economic trauma of COVID-19. Every day, we hear how our members are adapting in innovative ways to the new environment, including interruptions in service, closures, delays and remote working – just to name a few.

We know many of you need more support, especially organizations with fewer than 500 employees. The Chamber and the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are presenting two webinars this week to bring you the best resources and information to help you navigate this challenging time.

All-Member Policy Update 
Join us for an overview of the federal stimulus package, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and other important federal COVID-19 updates.

Wednesday, April 1 
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet – Confirmed
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner – Invited
Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

CARES Act Impact on Small Business 
Learn how the CARES Act applies to small businesses, what programs are available for small businesses and the application process for payroll protection loans.

Thursday, April 2 
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thomas M. Sullivan, Vice President, Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Frances A. Padilla, Colorado District Director, U.S. Small Business Association

Federal Lending and Grants 
We’re hearing from many members who want more information on the federal Paycheck Protection Program, SBA low-interest disaster loans and SBA bridge loans. Here is what we know:

Paycheck Protection Program 
The SBA and partner banks are ramping up for the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the federal CARES Act enacted Friday. This program provides potentially forgivable loans in amounts to cover 2.5 months of payroll or $10 million (whichever is less). No personal guarantee or collateral is required.

The business and its lender negotiate loan terms, but annual or guarantee fees are waived. Importantly, the loans may be fully or partially forgiven if the money is used for payroll, health care premiums, rent, mortgage interest or utilities, AND the employer either continues to employ its workers or rehires them when they reopen for business.

The lenders and final rules of the program have not yet been finalized. However, after consulting with our banking partners, we’d recommend the following:

  • Contact your current lending institution to see if they are a preferred SBA lender and verify that they can help once the program has been activated.
  • Get your information ready. In evaluating eligibility, lenders are directed to consider whether the borrower was in operation and paying employees or contractors before Feb. 15, 2020.
  • Lenders will also ask you for a good-faith certification that includes information about why you need the loan, how you will use it, current loan applications and the date you started doing business.
  • If you are an independent contractor, sole proprietor or self-employed individual, lenders will also likely need your payroll tax filings, forms 1099-MISC and income and expense statements.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans 
SBA low-interest disaster loans of up to $2 million are available to small businesses and nonprofits without alternative credit available. These loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and additional bills that can’t be paid because of COVID-19’s impact.

In order to prepare, you will need to fill out the following forms:

You can apply for these loans online at covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.

SBA Express Bridge Loans  

Businesses can apply for both Paycheck Protection Loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, as they are nonconflicting programs. Reach out to your current lender and the Denver Metro SBDC at info@denversbdc.org for assistance and recommendations.

Other Notes 
View the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist.

View the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.

President Trump approved Colorado’s Disaster Declaration, unlocking more federal funding for state, local and tribal recovery efforts. View the announcement.

We continue to update our COVID-19 website. Visit www.denverchamber.org/covid.

Thank you for your commitment to your businesses, your employees, our community and the Chamber. We look forward to continuing our work together and will keep you up to date as new programs roll out.

Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.