515 N Flagler Dr Ste P300, West Palm Beach FL 33401-4326
For personal assistance, call
Get Started

We’re living in an unprecedented time.

Due to the strain of mass lockdowns across the U.S. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are squeezed harder than ever just to get by.

And the reality is, without help, many won’t be able to.

Fortunately, Washington understands this. 

That’s why, in part due to the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (or CARES), which designated $350 billion to help small businesses, new programs have been created which are designed to help small business owners make ends meet in this unprecedented financial crisis. 

At Excel, we wanted to do our part to help small businesses– and the country as a whole– recover. 

That’s why we’ve put together this guide, which not only breaks down those new financial resources but also details a few other lesser-known resources you may not have heard about. 

Notice: Available funds have been temporarily extinguished for both the Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL. 

According to the SBA.gov:

“SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.”

Read on to find out more about additional relief options available to your business and learn more about the PPP and EIDL federal programs so that you’re ready if and when additional funds become available. 

COVID-19 Small business relief

Part 1: New Financial Assistance Resources for SMBs (Updated for April 2020)

First, let’s talk about the most important of those resources: the two major and newly available financial assistance resources created as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis.


The Paycheck Protection Program

Created in conjunction with the CARE Act, the Paycheck Protection Program is one of the largest small business relief bills ever passed by congress.

The program is designed to encourage employers to retain their payroll during the crisis to help support the U.S. workforce and businesses in the process.

While the program is technically a loan, the terms of the loan state that if you retain all employees on payroll for a total of 8 weeks, and that money is used only for expenses related to payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and/or utilities, the loan will be forgiven in its entirety

Can I apply?

If your business has been affected by the coronavirus, you’re likely eligible.

Small business owners will be able to apply through the SBA or approved lenders starting April 3rd and the application period will run until June 30th, 2020. 

These businesses qualify to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program according to the SBA:

  • Any small business concern that meets SBA’s size standards 
  • Any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act with the greater of 500 employees or which meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500
  • Any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location
  • As well as sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons.

Will my loan really be forgiven?

According to the CARE Act, the loan will be 100% forgiven and you will owe nothing provided you use the funds for payroll costs, rent, mortgage interest, and/or utilities. 

According to the Act, 75% or more of the funds must have been used for payroll (and those employees must have been retained or quickly rehired) for it to be fully forgiven. 

That means only 25% of the amount forgiven can be used for non-payroll expenses, including:

  •  Benefits
  • Mortgage interest
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Or other debt

Also, if payroll drops, the amount of the loan forgiven will lower as well (though no specified percentages are yet available).

And keep in mind that the forgiveness won’t go into effect until the end of the 8-week period of unemployment following the receipt of your loan. 

Lastly, keep in mind that no collateral or personal guarantee will be required to be approved for the program and no fees will be charged by the lender or the federal government. 

How much can I borrow?

With the Paycheck Protection Act, loans can be up to 2.5x the business owner’s typical monthly payroll costs (not exceeding $10 million).

To calculate your average payroll costs to get an idea of how much you could receive, use this equation:

COVID-19 Small business relief

Read the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program. 


EIDL Emergency Advance

A second opportunity for financial relief for small businesses exists in the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (or EIDL).

With the EIDL, business owners can receive up to $2 million, with $10,000 of economic relief in the form of an advance that does not have to be repaid, provided you can show you’re experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the current crisis. 

Can I apply?

Any business with less than 500 employees that operates within the 50 states or Washington D.C. qualifies to apply for an EIDL. 

Sole proprietors, self-employed persons, and independent contractors qualify to apply as well.

To apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance with the SBA, click here

Part 2: Additional SBA resources

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Act and the EIDL, other strictly SBA-related resources exist to help offer relief to small business owners.

Here are two such programs:

SBA Express Bridge Loans

The SBA’s Express Bridge Loan program offers $25,000 to business owners who already have a relationship with an approved SBA Express Lender.

These loans can either be used as standalone term loans or as bridge loans while applying for an EIDL. 

If your business is in an urgent need of cash, an Express Bridge Loan could be just what you need to make payroll while you wait for the programs mentioned in the previous sections to come through. 

Keep in mind that an SBA Express Bridge Loan will have to be repaid. However, if you use it as a bridge loan until you’re approved for an EIDL, that can be used in part to forgive a portion of your Express Bridge Loan (up to the amount you were approved for). 

SBA Debt relief

In an effort to further help small businesses during the crisis, the SBA has temporarily amended the policy of its other loan products.

That includes a few points, according to the SBA’s official debt relief page:

  • “The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
  • The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.”
  • Also: “For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.”

In addition to this, all new traditional SBA loans issued will offer the same incentives as usual but with deferred payments

For more information, read up on the SBA’s debt relief efforts here

Part 3: Additional relief resources for small businesses

In addition to the relief programs we’ve mentioned so far, several businesses and banks have stepped up to do their part to offer help to small business owners.

Here’s a list of all COVID-related relief resources we’ve located so far, a list we’ll keep updated as more become available:

We’ll get through this together

If there’s one thing the coronavirus pandemic has proven, it’s our resilience– together. 

No one knows when the pandemic will end, but one thing is for certain: we’ll get through this together.

So let’s come together and each of us do our part to help rebuild in the wake of our collective hardship.