The coronavirus economic relief package for workers and small businesses can be confusing. Who qualifies for what programs? How do you apply successfully?
If you’ve been laid off or had your work hours cut due to the pandemic, you're eligible for both state and federal unemployment compensation. That’s a pretty straightforward situation.
If you run a business that’s been hurt by the economic downturn and you have employees, you qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It’s a loan backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that offers relief if you want to continue paying your employees, even if they can’t do their jobs during the health crisis. If you use PPP funds for approved business expenses, such as payroll, rent, and utilities, you don’t have to repay the loan.
Additionally, there are other types of loans you can get through the SBA, such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). It comes with potentially higher loan amounts than the PPP but must be repaid. You may also qualify for an Economic Injury Disaster Grant (EIDG), which pays businesses $1,000 per employee, up to a $10,000 maximum, and doesn’t have to be repaid.
Whether you call yourself a full or part-time freelancer, gig worker, or an independent contractor, you’re still a small business. If you’ve suffered financially due to the pandemic, you have several options to get relief.
But what’s been unclear are the options for the self-employed who have no employees except themselves. Whether you call yourself a full or part-time freelancer, gig worker, or an independent contractor, you’re still a small business. If you’ve suffered financially due to the pandemic, you have several options to get relief.
I interviewed Gerri Detweiler, a nationally recognized financing and credit expert with more than 20 years of experience. She’s the Education Director for Nav, a trusted financing partner for more than 1.2 million businesses. Gerri gives Nav’s customers certainty in an uncertain world through expertise and actionable advice.
On the Money Girl podcast, Gerri and I cut through the confusion to help businesses of any size, including solopreneurs, understand how to get economic relief during the coronavirus crisis. We cover a variety of topics, including:
- Understanding the coronavirus relief options for businesses, the self-employed, and the unemployed
- Whether a solopreneur should file for unemployment or the PPP
- Documents you need to prepare before applying for an SBA-backed loan
- How business credit is different from consumer credit
- Common mistakes that keep businesses and the self-employed from qualifying for economic relief
- Tips to make sure a PPP loan you receive will be forgiven
- How consumers who are struggling to pay bills can protect themselves from debt collectors
Listen to the interview using the embedded audio player or on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Spotify.
If you’re a struggling entrepreneur, check out these resources to understand your options:
11 Options If Your Small Business Can’t Pay Its Bills Due to Coronavirus
Applying for a Business Loan Is Changing Due to COVID-19: Here’s What It Means
How to Apply for a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loan