The coronavirus crisis has had a far-reaching effect on the event industry, and many businesses that rely on in-person events to generate revenue are struggling as a result of stay-at-home orders across the country.
Fortunately, some programs that offer financial support to businesses have been launched. If your events-related business needs financial help, one or more of these programs may be worth pursuing.
Federal COVID-19 Economic Relief Programs for Businesses
A few federal economic relief programs have launched to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, including programs from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Federal Reserve, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Treasury Department, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advances
Small business owners whose revenue has been affected by COVID-19 can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan emergency advance of up to $10,000 through the SBA.
SBA Paycheck Protection Loan
The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Loan helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the coronavirus pandemic.
SBA Express Bridge Loan
An SBA Express Bridge Loan allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
SBA Debt Relief
As part of the SBA Debt Relief program related to COVID-19, the SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. In addition, the SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
Main Street Business Lending and Grant Program
The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Business Lending Program provides supplemental lending to eligible small and mid-sized businesses.
Payroll Tax Credits
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the IRS, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the U.S. Department of Labor will allow small and mid-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees to claim refundable payroll tax credits that may be used to reimburse costs related to providing time off to employees as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
State and Local Financial Programs
In addition to the federal programs discussed above, be sure to reach out to your local and state governments to see if there are any financial programs in place to help businesses survive during the coronavirus crisis.
For example, the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is available to small business owners in Florida who experienced economic damage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bank- and Company-Sponsored Economic Relief Programs
A number of financial institutions and companies have created special COVID-19 economic relief programs for businesses. A few examples are provided below.
JPMorgan Chase committed $8 million to help small businesses vulnerable to significant economic hardships as a result of COVID-19 in the United States, China, and Europe.
Amazon’s $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund will provide cash grants to small businesses in Seattle, Washington that have fewer than 50 employees or generate an annual revenue of less than $7 million. In addition, to qualify, businesses must be within a few blocks of Amazon’s Seattle offices, and their revenue must be reliant on customer foot traffic.
The Small Business Relief Fund from GoFundMe.org provides micro-grants to qualifying small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis. GoFundMe, Yelp, and Intuit Quickbooks have committed to donating up to $1.5 million each to the GoFundMe.org Small Business Relief Fund. In addition, a GoFundMe page has been published to solicit donations. As of April 3, 2020, more than $1.6 million had been raised by 1,200 donors.
Key Takeaways about Coronavirus Economic Relief for Event Industry Businesses
The good news is the coronavirus crisis won’t last forever, but businesses in the event industry need help now. Do your research, apply for financial support programs that you qualify for, and put your business in the best position possible to ride out this storm.