This page will be updated frequently to provide more information and resources available to small businesses.
Last updated: August 25th
Free COVID-19 Stress Management Intervention from the Anxiety & Stress Clinic at UT Austin:
The Anxiety & Stress Clinic at UT Austin is providing up to three free, remote stress management therapy sessions for people in Texas that are experiencing significant distress due to COVID-19. Click here to complete their survey and book a session.
- Alice: Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus, as part of our broader mission to ensure Business for All. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community: covid19businesscenter.com/. You can find more information here
- City of Houston: The Small Business Economic Relief Program (SBERP) provides grants for small businesses in Houston that are in most financial need and exhibit a reasonable likelihood of surviving the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local chambers of commerce are also eligible to apply for the SBERP. Applications are due September 4th. Learn more here.
- Facebook For Business: Facebook for Business is committing $100 million to the Black business community in the US. This includes $25 million in support of Black content creators and $75 million in grants of cash and ad credits to support Black-owned small businesses and nonprofits supporting the Black community. Applications will open in the coming weeks. Click here to learn more.
- Neighborhood Business Grants: Through a program called Neighborhood Business Grants, funded by Lowe’s and LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), grants will be awarded to 750 businesses in 15 cities nationwide, including Houston. The application window is August 18-23. Click here to learn more.
- Small Business Relief Fund: A program supported by GoFundMe, Yelp, and Intuit QuickBooks: gofundme.com/f/smallbusinessrelieffund
- Southern Smoke Fund: Grant application for those in the food and beverage industry: apply here.
- Texas Black Expo: The Texas Small Business Emergency Micro-grant Source (TSBEMS) was developed to provide emergency funding assistance for Texas small business owners in order to help them continue to function when unexpected financial challenges threaten their daily operations. You can apply online here.
- The Red BackPack Fund: The Red Backpack Fund, established by The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation will be working with GlobalGiving to make 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis. Learn more here.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: Small Business Owners may qualify for a $5,000 grant from the Save Small Business Fund. To qualify, businesses must:
- Employ between 3 and 20 people;
- Be located in an economically vulnerable community; and
- Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Skills Development Fund COVID-19 Special Training Initiative:
NOTICE: Currently Skills Development Fund is only accepting COVID-19 training applications.
The Skills Development Fund is launching a new training initiative to assist businesses across Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public community and technical colleges, Workforce Development Boards and TEEX (Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service) can assist businesses who want to train their workforce. The Skills Development Fund pays for the training.
The Office of Employer Initiatives – Skills Development Fund Outreach and Project Development Team works with businesses and training providers to support application development and submission. The Skills Development Fund and Self-Sufficiency Fund Grants Team provides grant management support. If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected] or reach out to a Regional Representative through the Skills Development Fund Outreach Team Map.
- SDF COVID-19 Special Initiative Funding Application with Overview
- SDF COVID-19 Special Initiative Business Application
- SDF COVID-19 Special Initiative Training Request
- SDF COVID-19 Special Initiative Course Descriptions
- FAQ for COVID-19 Special Training Initiative
- Skills Development Fund Flyer
Small Business Administration (SBA) Resources:
If you have an SBA loan under any of these programs (504, 7 (a) Community Advantage, Microloan) the SBA will relieve of any obligation to pay the principal, interest and any associated fees that are owed on a loan in a regular servicing status for a 6-month period beginning with the first payment due on a loan after March 27, 2020. SBA will pay this first loan payment to the Lenders within 30 days of the first due date after March 27, 2020. If a Lender receives a loan payment from a Borrower after March 27, 2020, the Lender must inform the Borrower that it has the option of the Lender either returning the loan payment to the Borrower or applying the loan payment to further reduce the loan balance after application of SBA’s payment.
PeopleFund is a preferred SBA lender and can assist you finding the right help, whereas from the SBA or one of our programs. Please know that all SBA disaster relief loan applications are being processed directly by the SBA and have to be submitted directly though their website as explained below.
What’s an EIDL?
- The SBA EIDL program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2M to businesses and private non-profits. The loan amount is based on the working capital needs caused by the coronavirus so the business can meet its ongoing obligations.
- EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. See below to see what EIDL proceeds cannot be used for.
- The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- EIDLs have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on borrower’s ability to repay.
- For the first $25,000, no collateral is required. Over $25,000, you may be required to pledge available collateral.
- For this specific declaration, payments will be deferred for 12 months.
Who is eligible?
- A small business concern, Most private non-profits of any size, A small business engaged in aquaculture. Small agricultural cooperative.
- 1. Located (physical presence) within the declared disaster area.
- 2. Have suffered, or are likely to suffer, substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster,
- 3. Do not have Credit Available Elsewhere,
- 4. The size of the applicant alone (without affiliates) must not exceed the size standard for the industry in which the applicant is primarily engaged and The size of the applicant combined with its affiliates must not exceed the size standard designated for either the primary industry of the applicant alone or the primary industry of the applicant and its affiliates, whichever is higher.,
- 5. Must be an independently owned and operated business
- Click here to see eligibility.
How do I apply?
- If you have specific questions about the EIDL, including questions about the status of your application or to change any information you originally submitted, you will need to contact the Disaster Response Center at [email protected] or 1-800-659-2955 respectively (please be aware that wait times are long at this time).
- Click here to apply online
- Need help? Call the SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email [email protected]. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call 1-800-877-8339. The call center is open Monday – Sunday, 8a.m. – 8p.m. ET.
- After you apply, you will be provided a decision of either approved, needs additional information, or denied. This decision should take no longer than 4 weeks, but this is dependent on application volume.
- If you are approved, you will receive $25K of their disbursement 5 days after you have received an approval. You will then be assigned a disaster response case manager to assist in working through the rest of the disbursements, and you are able to ask for up to $2 million (dependent on need).
- If you are denied, you will be provided a reason/denial code which should give you more information.
They have narrowed the mandatory documentation requirement down to three documents you can find directly on their site. However, we would also recommend you prepare the additional documentation they could request from you to be prepared.
For program questions or assistance in completing the application online, businesses can contact the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.
Tips for applying:
- Apply using Microsoft Explorer or Edge browser. There has been difficulty with Chrome.
- Disaster Processing – Make sure Economic Injury Disaster Loan is selected.
- How to define a loss:
- A business needs to define its loss in comparison to its 2019 operations/financials. Losses will be compared to the effective incident period starting on January 31, 2020. Just a loss needs to be reported; there is no threshold of a percentage or dollar amount.
- Provide as much information as possible and be thorough on filling out documents requested so that there aren’t hold ups due to requests for additional documentation.
- If you can obtain credit elsewhere, such as with a bank, you will likely not be approved.
- You must provide evidence of the economic loss as of January 30th, you should include a Profit and Loss statement (P&L) for 2019, a year-to-date P&L, and a narrative of your effects.
- There is no time in business official requirement, however, the SBA is using operating history as a piece of determining ability to repay. If there isn’t enough operating history or revenue generation there, it is likely you will not be approved which is why it is important to include a P&L for 2019.
- When determining the amount you need, be sure to keep it to working capital needs for the next 6 months only. The loan will not fund new projects, expansion, refinancing existing debt, owner salaries, or repairs.
- There is no harm in applying, even if you think you may not have a great chance, we would encourage you to apply anyways along with keeping aware of other opportunities for assistance.
- The sooner you are able to apply, the better as they will be receiving a large volume of applications.
- At the end of this funding application, there will be an option to select the Economic Injury Grant. EIDL candidates may be eligible to receive an advance that does not have to be repaid regardless of approval. The amount of the EIDL Advance will be determined by the number of pre-disaster (January 31, 2020) employees. The Advance will provide $1,000 per employee up to a max of $10,000. To ensure you are considered for this, you must select the Economic Injury Grant check box at the end of the application.
EIDL proceeds may not be used for:
- Payment of any dividends or bonuses;
- Disbursements to owners, partners, officers, directors, or stockholders, except when directly related to performance of services for the benefit of the applicant;
- Repayment of stockholder/principal loans, except when the funds were injected on an interim basis as a result of the disaster and non-repayment would cause undue hardship to the stockholder/principal;
- Expansion of facilities or acquisition of fixed assets;
- Repair or replacement of physical damages;
- Refinancing long term debt;
- Paying down (including regular installment payments) or paying off loans provided, or owned by another Federal agency (including SBA) or a Small Business Investment Company licensed under the Small Business Investment Act. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is not considered a Federal agency for this purpose;
- Payment of any part of a direct Federal debt, (including SBA loans) except IRS obligations.
- If a direct Federal debt is delinquent, your recommendation must be based on independent documentation from the appropriate Federal agency explaining how the delinquency will be cured. 50 30 9 76 Effective Date: May 31, 2018
- If a direct Federal debt is delinquent because of the disaster, the SBA should make arrangements with that Federal creditor to have payments deferred or a similar action taken to bring the delinquency current prior to approval of an EIDL. If the Federal creditor cannot or will not cooperate, the likely result will be a decline of the EIDL request. However, if the applicant has other resources or recoveries, the SBA should generally allow (and perhaps require) those resources to be applied first to ineligible needs, such as the payment of direct Federal debt.
- When processing during the injury period, it is generally appropriate for you to negotiate with Federal creditors to defer payments (or take similar action) until the end of the injury period. You must document why this was or was not imposed.
- Pay any penalty resulting from noncompliance with a law, regulation or order of a Federal, state, regional, or local agency.
- Contractor malfeasance;
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides funding for payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities and a portion, or all of the loan, may be eligible for forgiveness (interest rate 1%). The SBA deadline for this program is August 8th.
- Click here to find a sample application
- Click here to see the program guidelines
- Click here to see a Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act
- Click here to see a CARES Act checklist compiled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Click here to read a simple guide about the Payment Protection Program
- Click here to read another guide about the PPP
- Click here to read a PPP Fact Sheet from the Treasury
- (Note: some of the attached documents may contain interest rate for the program, the interest rate was changed to 1% as of April 2nd.)
- You can apply for both the EIDL and the Paycheck Protection Program Loan, but not for the same purposes. We can assist you in wading through the best options for you based on your capital needs.
- The CARES Act will forgive portions of the PPP loan related to payroll and specified expenses during what they call a “covered period”. This is still a bit unclear, but this act will not forgive your entire loan amount.
- A portion of this legislation is dedicated to providing payment relief for current SBA borrowers. Borrowers with an SBA loan currently in good standing will receive 6 months of principal, interest, and fees paid for them by the SBA as of March 27th. You should not have to do anything to initiate this, however, if your lender has already taken a payment for this period, you are able to request a refund or have the amount applied to your balance.
- If you have been approved for PPP, the amount you have been approved for in the EIDL advance will be subtracted from the amount you are approved for in the PPP.
How do I apply?
- You will apply for the PPP with third-party lenders like banks, community lenders, and financial institutions. There are many banks who are already eligible and ready to begin taking applications as of April 3rd. You will need to contact your banking institution to learn more. Many banks are electing to assist their clients first. We recommend contacting your home banking institution.
- Click here to find a lender eligible to issue a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Lender Assistance Hotline: (833) 572-0502
- QuickBooks has started taking and funding applications too if you are a QB payroll client: Click here to find more information.
***Although you may be able to qualify for the EIDL, PPP, and Economic Injury Grant Program, you cannot double dip on funds. The SBA will deduct the amount received from the Economic Injury Grant from your overall loan amount with EIDL and PPP, so it is important you know what you are applying for and with who.
- Regarding the IRS, please see their website: irs.gov/coronavirus
- IRS People First Initiative: The IRS is automatically suspending several programs for 3.5 months, including installment agreements. Click here to learn more
US Chamber of Commerce:
The US Chamber of Commerce has published a variety of resources, including COVID-19 Tips for Employees: uschamber.com/coronavirus#resources
There are legislative initiatives in the works also to provide economic stimulus as well as tax and federal obligation relief. The SBAs EIDL program (discussed above) is the only phase of relief that has been approved as of yet. It is unknown what will be approved and what won’t. The US Chamber of Commerce, Forbes, and other media/organizations are keeping up with the efforts. The US Chamber outlines current efforts here. It is important to continue keeping an eye on this to help you formulate new pieces of your plan.
- City of Austin Resource Comp: The City of Austin has done a great job of keeping up with additional disaster-related funding sources. Some are City specific, but many are universal. You can check out any additional grant or funding opportunities here.
- Duke University: Duke University has created a corona-virus related funding tracker that is up to date with all funding, grant, and resource options nationally. You can continue checking the funding tracker here.
- Grants.gov: Grants.gov similarly tracks grants available to non-profits and small businesses. You can track those grant options here.
Resources for Veterans:
- Veteran LLC website puts you in contact with local community lenders and local resources dedicated to help your small business.
- Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) provides an interactive map that shows the closest VBOC to you.
- Bunker Labs is hosting regular webinars and has a Facebook page with live assistance.
- PenFed Foundation Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program has a list of several resources for veteran entrepreneurs.
Resources for Restaurants/Food Industry:
- The restaurant/food service industries have been pretty severely impacted. There are a lot of great resources in the works and Eater has done a great job of keeping up with them. You can continue to keep up with them here.
- Seated Hotline – Free Finance and Law Hotline for Restaurant Owners
Consumer Beware: Scams to look out for:
- Beware of anyone calling saying they need your personal information to process your personal stimulus relief check, they are most likely not legitimate. As long as you have filed taxes for 2018, you should be good to go.
- Beware of organizations posing as charitable organizations during this time, it is likely there will be a spike in fraudulent charities arising.
- Beware of at-home test kits for COVID-19. There are currently NO legitimate at-home test kits.
- Beware of online sellers claiming to have high-demand products like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, masks, or hand sanitizers. Ensure you have verified the company is legitimate before purchasing or sharing any personal details.
Texas Economic Development:
Visit this web page for frequently updated information and resources regarding Coronavirus: gov.texas.gov/business/page/coronavirus
Texas Comptroller’s Office:
These are challenging times for businesses all over the nation. The Texas Comptroller’s office knows that during periods of economic hardship, paying or remitting taxes and fees on time can feel like an extra burden when there’s so much uncertainty.
The Texas Comptroller’s office understands that virtually all taxpayers are doing their best to remain in compliance and be responsible in submitting the taxes they collected from their customers. With that in mind, The texas Comptroller’s office is here to offer assistance to those businesses that are struggling to pay the full amount of sales taxes they collected in February.
For businesses that find themselves in this situation, the Texas Comptroller’s office is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.
We ask that you contact their Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 to learn about your options for remaining in compliance and avoiding interest and late fees on taxes due.
In addition, the Texas Comptroller’s office has a variety of online tools for businesses seeking assistance. See their COVID-19 emergency response webpage for access to online tools, tutorials and other resources for tax services, and to establish 24/7 online account access with Webfile.
Texas Workforce Commission:
The Texas Workforce Commission is offering options for both unemployment assistance as well as shared work plans. Unemployment assistance applies directly to employees who have been laid off, suspended, or have had hours cut and individuals will need to apply directly. Shared work plans are meant to be applied for by employers who have had to cut employee hours to help supplement payroll costs. You can find more information about unemployment assistance here and shared work plans here. TWC also has outlined more resources for employers here in regards to taxes, unemployment benefits, shared work, appeals, and sick/health prevention.