Federal SMB COVID-19 Loans and Grants

8 min read · 8 months ago


We have compiled a selection of the top resources for financial relief that are being offered by the Federal government.

San Diego County | Small Business Stimulus Grant

Small businesses who provide local goods and services to the community and are headquartered and operating in San Diego County may be eligible for a Small Business Stimulus Grant to help with financial hardship experienced as a result of COVID-19. Other restrictions are in place and more details can be found on the application site.  


Department of Justice | Impact and Cost-Efficiency Evaluation Grant

The National Institute of Justice, under the DOJ, is offering a $3 million grant opportunity to small and other businesses to conduct a multisite impact and cost-efficiency evaluation of veterans treatment courts. Applications for this five-year contract are due on January 13, 2022.

DHHS | Occupational Safety and Health Training Project Grants

The Department of Health and Human Services is offering in the range of 29 grants starting at $50,000 to small and other businesses to provide occupational safety and health training. Applications are due on December 17, 2021.


System for Award Management (SAM) | Training Overview – Webinar

Vendors who wish to do business with the federal government are required to register in SAM to be awarded contracts. This video provides an overview of the registration process, how to request the necessary codes and additional resources.


NIH | Exploratory Grant in Cancer Control

Small businesses and other entities are invited to apply for this research grant to focus on different aspects of cancer control through behavior modification, screening and understanding of causes. The goal is to support novel approaches that can have a major impact in the field of cancer research.


Grants.gov | Federal Grant Application Guidelines

Grants.gov offers a range of grant writing resources and tips, as well as advice for applying for federal grants either individually or as a team. There is a chatbot feature and these resources are also available via an app.


USA.gov | COVID-19 Scam Alert Information

USA.Gov provides information for individuals to protect themselves against the many scams and fraudulent activities that have arisen in connection with COVID-19. There also is a link where potential scams can be reported.


USDA Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program

Funding for small businesses and nonprofits who have farmers markets or who produce certain small scale specialty crops can apply for this grant. Applications must be submitted by November 22, 2021.


National Eye Institute Eye Care Resources

The National Eye Institute offers several resources for eye care for children and adults in various circumstances. Program are established to provide exams, glasses and cataract surgery.


USPS General Delivery for Temporary Mail Service

Individuals or businesses without a permanent address can have mail and packages sent to General Delivery as a temporary mailing address. This is a free service.

SBA | CDC/504 Loan Program

This program of the U.S. Small Business Administration offers long-term, fixed-rate financing for major assets such as equipment or real estate. Businesses with an average net income under $5 million after federal income taxes for the previous two years and a tangible net worth under $15 million can apply.


National Institute on Drug Abuse “$100,000 for Start a SUD Startup” Challenge

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is supporting research ideas related to Substance Abuse Disorders (SUD) and is offering ten prizes of $10,000 each for ideas that can be fostered into a biotech startup. Submissions are accepted through November 16, 2021.

Employee Retention Credit Extension

Through the American Rescue Plan, the Department of the Treasury has extended the Employee Retention Credit for small business through December, 2021. This is a tax credit against some payroll taxes and the maximum tax credit has increased to $7,000 per employee, per quarter in 2021.


SBA | Office of Women’s Business Ownership Programs

This Small Business Administration (SBA) program offers business training, counseling, federal contracts and access to credit and capital for women. There are SBA district offices in every state that can provide additional information supported by resources from thousands of partner organizations.


SBA | How to Determine Eligibility for SBA COVID-19 Relief Funding Options

Many SBA funding opportunities have specific guidelines that can be confusing, especially when applying for multiple options. This chart cross-references popular funding programs to provide a clear overview of restrictions or opportunities that may affect your business.


Modifications to COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Program (9/8/21)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is expanding eligibility for EIDL, increasing the cap to $2 million, changing the appeal process for businesses that have been turned down, adding to the categories for which the loans can be used and more. This program offers fixed-rate loans to small businesses, including sole proprietors and independent contractors, and runs through December 31, 2021.


How to Get Forgiveness for a PPP Loan

This article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides an overview on who qualifies for PPP loan forgiveness and outlines a process for completing an application. This is an option for businesses with a loan of $150,000 or less.


Main Street Emergency Grant Program

Proposed by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), would allow small businesses to apply and receive grants quickly through the Treasury Department.

The Main Street Emergency Grant Program would allow small businesses, including self-employed individuals, and nonprofits to rapidly apply for grants through the Treasury Department to cover fixed costs, including payroll, during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Grant amounts would be based on a percentage of expenses necessary for the survival of the business.

Businesses could spend the money on payroll or other fixed costs, such as rent, that are necessary to keep the business operating.

These grants would turn into loans that would have to be repaid if businesses failed to restore their payroll to 80% of prior levels within 12 months of the termination of the COVID-19 public health emergency, unless the business can demonstrate a hardship that prevented them from doing so.

The Main Street Emergency Grant Program also offers forgivable loans to midsize businesses who are experiencing similar losses. These loans would be forgivable if businesses restore their payrolls to 80% within 12 months of the termination of the COVID-19 public health emergency.


$2 trillion stimulus bill

Late Wednesday night, the Senate unanimously passed the largest economic stimulus package in American history.  The $2 trillion stimulus bill will include a $367 billion program aimed at helping small businesses continue to make payroll.


Paid Sick Leave & Unemployment Aid 

Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Wednesday evening with the primary purpose of making sure people continue to get paid. It requires employers to provide paid leave for their employees and specifies the differences between how family leave and medical leave are treated. The leave will be reimbursed by the federal government and the legislation includes language that tells the Department of Labor to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave mandates.


US Chamber | Mentors to Help SMBs Apply for Disaster Assistance 

The US Chamber has compiled an article outlining the valuable resources that they are offering to help your small business survive the Coronavirus. This includes SCORE which is a program that offers advice and assistance from its business mentors to help SMBs navigate financial challenges and assistance in applying for SBA disaster assistance loans. SCORE has centralized all of its assistance options here.

Paycheck Protection Plan | $349 billion toward job retention

The Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act, is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury.  This program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

SBIR and STTR | Seed Grants for R&D

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant programs (SBIR, STTR) are competitive grant programs for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees who engage in federal research and development. The program connects small businesses with universities and research centers that have federal grants. Grants are available through multiple agencies such as EPA and the Departments of Energy and Transportation.

FEMA | Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance

FEMA is providing grants to participating states to supplement payment of lost wages for those receiving at least $100 in weekly unemployment compensation as a result of COVID-19. The additional amount individuals will receive depends on the state in which they live. The link here is to a list states approved for the grant, which is updated as new states are approved.

Federal Employee Education & Assistance (FEEA) | Hardship Assistance Fund

The FEEA offers no-fee, no-interest loans up to $1,000 to federal employees who have exhausted other resources. Those with salaries under $75,000 per year may be eligible for a grant/loan combination.


Small Business Association (SBA) | Debt Relief efforts

The SBA will provide financial reprieve to small businesses by paying six (6) months of principal, interest and associated fees for current 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. Payments on current SBA Disaster Loans for home and business can be deferred through December 31, 2020.


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences | Worker Training Program (WTP)

The WTP offers grants to nonprofits, including health and safety organizations, for the purpose of providing training to workers facing a hazardous environment. There are six program areas, including an infectious disease response program.


USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) | Grants for Agricultural and Behavioral Sciences

The NIFA offers grants to support research education and extension efforts across a wide-range of agricultural and behavioral sciences, including health, food science, natural resources and more. This site provides a list of grants and more information and resources for the grant application process.

Small Business Administration |  HUBZone program

Small businesses that operate in historically underutilized business zones can apply to be a HUBZone-certified business. Businesses in the HUBZone program can compete for set-aside contracts and receive a 10 percent price evaluation preference in contract competitions.


Connected Communities |  Funding Opportunity

The Department of Energy is seeking interest in projects that will maximize building, community and grid efficiency. A range of projects will be considered and applicants are encouraged to attend a webinar on November 10, 2020 at 2:00pm for additional information. Concept paper submission is February 17, 2021.


NIH, CDC and SBA  | Small Business Innovation Research Grants

The identified agencies are seeking grant applications from small businesses to contribute to their research and development missions. There are more than 40 areas of research available under this funding opportunity, ranging from general agency research to areas of greater medical focus, as well as mental health, environmental health and multiple other options. Applications must be received by April 5, 2021.

CARES Act | Extension

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act extension authorizes additional emergency aid for unemployment benefits, offers additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and tax deductibility for expenses paid by PPP loans, provides additional Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and more. It also extends several tax provisions.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) | Tax Credits

The FFCRA offers tax credits to businesses for certain costs associated with providing paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave as a result of COVID-19. These credits are available to employers with fewer than 500 employees who were required to pay “qualified” sick leave or family leave wages.


Stay safe and remain strong in this turbulent time. And remember to check back on this article for updates as details of the above guidance and resources change.


If you have additions that you would like to see on our page please send them to reeves@yahoosmallbusiness.com.