Envolve & US Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Host Conference Call to Address Small Business Aid during COVID-19 Pandemic

 

March 28, 2020 – On March 26, Envolve USA hosted a conference call with Senior Staff from the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee so that they could address a group of small business owners and entrepreneurs on the proposed economic stimulus package. Maggie Moore from Chairman Marco Rubio’s small business staff summarized the small business provisions of the stimulus bill passed by the Senate. 

While at this point the bill had passed the Senate in a 96-0 vote, at the time of the conference call it had yet to pass the House and be signed by the President, so Maggie could only speak to the legislation at that current point. In addition to Maggie’s remarks, we heard from several entrepreneurs representing different sectors of the economy. 

  • Christopher Upperman & Angeline Apostolou, CEO and Program Officer, Envolve Entrepreneurship: Envolve hosted the call to provide an opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs to hear more on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Carolyn Pitt, Founder, FilmConnx: Carolyn addressed the challenges freelancers are facing as well as the need to aid new and emerging businesses who have less of a foothold. She also impressed upon the needs of women and minority owned businesses. 
  • David Gibson, Founder, SportsMarkit: David brought up the case for nonprofits needing funding as well, and relayed how disruptions to organized sports affects everyone from professional leagues to independent contractors and managers to local organizations. 
  • Jason Green, Co-Founder, SkillSmart: Jason was interested to know what assistance there would be for government contractors whose projects were disrupted by the pandemic. 
  • Doug Abdelnour, Proprietor, Nancy’s Restaurant: Doug relayed concerns that many seasonal businesses and restaurant/entertainment businesses in general have about staffing, covering lost inventory costs, and losing out on their entire season of profitability. 

CALL NOTES

This is a $2.2 trillion bi-partisan stimulus package, with $377 Billion appropriated for SBA programs. In the bill there are 2 different loan programs applicable to small businesses as well as provisions for debt relief and development assistance:

Paycheck Protection Program – $350 billion in support “loans” (a portion of these will be forgivable). This is designed to cover 8 weeks of payroll and payment for debts for small business owners. Self employed individuals and non profits are also eligible.
There are different formulas to calculate how much your business is eligible for based on how long you have been in business, but the maximum loan size is $10 million.  

EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loans and GrantsWhen applying for an EIDL, borrowers may also request a cash advance grant of up to $10,000 that will be disbursed within 3 days of applying and does not need to be repaid.  The advance may be used to cover payroll, sick leave, business obligations and to meet increased production costs.

Entrepreneurial Development Assistance – $250 million in grants will be appropriated to Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers, and Minority Business Development Agency. The funding will allow SBDCs, WBCs, and MBDCs to hire staff and provide programming to help small businesses and minority-owned businesses respond to COVID-19. $25 million has also been allocated for these associations to create a joint platform that consolidates information and resources related to COVID-19 and $10 million  is specifically designated for minority businesses centers and chambers of commerce.

Debt Relief for Existing and New SBA borrowersThe stimulus includes $17 billion in funding for the  SBA to cover all loan payments for existing SBA  7(a), 504, or microloan borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out an SBA loan within six months after the President signs the bill.

 

For more information on the CARES Act programs as they evolve, please visit the SBA’s website and the US Treasury website for updated guidance. 

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