The outbreak of COVID-19 has left people and businesses alike overwhelmed and concerned about the future. While it is important to focus on social distancing and flattening the curve, it is also crucial to think long-term. The government and various companies are acting quickly to launch programs to help people and business owners access the resources they need to keep moving forward.
That leaves us wondering what programs are available, and what am I eligible to apply for? It can be confusing to find, sort through, and understand what is being offered. Gearo broke down various programs that are most relevant to small businesses with highlights of key features. Here’s a list of different options for outdoor retailers to check out:
Business Loans, Grants and Programs
- Disaster Assistance (SBA)
- The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
- Paycheck Protection Program: Section 1102 (SBA)
- The PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- Debt Relief (SBA)
- 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.
- Facebook Small Business Grant Program
- Facebook is launching a grant program providing $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 small businesses. Funds can be used toward payroll, rent, operating expenses, and marketing.
- Google’s Commitment to support small and medium-sized businesses
- $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms. Google hopes this will alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with customers.
- Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
- LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. This can be used for paying rent and utilities, meeting payroll, paying an outstanding debt to vendors, and other immediate operational costs. The application period for round 2 will begin mid-April.
- Gearo COVID-19 Relief Program
- Gearo has committed to making its software platform free for the next six months to help providers relief from the lack of revenue due to COVID-19. The Gearo Automator platform can help automate rentals and even sales, as well as incorporate curbside pickup and delivery into your businesses.
Finally, here is an awesome document with more detailed information for small businesses about the specifics of SBA programs. There are also other ideas for business owners on how to find and conserve cash.
Webinars are a great resource to access more information, whether it’s for your personal knowledge or to help your business. Many outdoor organizations are making resource pages; here are some helpful webinars and websites to find more:
Recorded – Watch Now:
- What You Need to Know about Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- Crisis Management for Small Businesses
- Understanding What’s in the Economic Stimulus Package
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): What Are Your Obligations For Paid and Unpaid Leave?
- Insurance Coverage for Outdoor Retailers and Manufacturing Companies Affected by Coronavirus
- Redefining Retail: 5 Realities Retailers Can Do NOW to Help Protect Their Businesses LATER
Tools for Tracking COVID-19
We are all figuring out how to navigate this pandemic and the resources that are available to us. It can be overwhelming and even frustrating, but we are all in this together. For regular updates on COVID-19 news, resources, and webinars specific to the outdoor industry, check out The Outdoor Industry Association or Snowsports Industries America’s resource page.
Stay healthy and positive! We are in this together.