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A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Coronavirus-Related State Assistance Programs: Who is Giving What to Whom (Part II)

SANFORD MICHELMAN
MARCH 27, 2020


Having taken a deep dive yesterday into the CARES Act and other measures recently taken at the federal level to ease the economic pain inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, Michelman & Robinson now turns its attention to state assistance packages. An overview of relief programs in California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey—along with some miscellaneous funding initiatives—follows.

California


CALIFORNIA I-BANK ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL) PROGRAM

The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (“IBank”) Small Business Finance Center’s (“SBFC”) existing loan guarantee program is designed specifically for disaster relief and is currently available to small businesses needing assistance to overcome economic injury caused by COVID-19. SBFC does not make direct loans, but rather assists businesses in securing guarantees (up to 95%) on lending.

Benefits: This program guarantees from 80% to 95% of a loan, up to $1M. The SBFC’s guarantees are up to seven years (though the terms of particular borrower’s loan may be longer), and interest rates are negotiated between lenders and borrowers.

Who qualifies: Small businesses located in California having between one and 750 employees, as well as eligible non-profits.

How much can a borrower get: The program will guarantee up to $1M on loans as much as $20M.

How to obtain a loan guarantee: Qualifying small business owners may apply for loan guarantees (or get additional information) by contacting a participating Financial Development Corporations (FDCs) located throughout California, linked here:

California Capital Financial Development Corporation

California Coastal Rural Development Corporation

California Southern Small Business Development Corporation

Nor-Cal Financial Development Corporation

Small Business Development Corporation of Orange County

Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation

Valley Small Business Development Corporation

LOS ANGELES CITY SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY MICROLOAN PROGRAMS

L.A.’s Economic and Workforce Development Department has set aside $11M for no-fee microloans of $5,000 to $20,000, which may be used to cover working capital.

Benefits: Eligible borrowers can avail themselves to $5,000 to $20,000 microloans with relaxed underwriting, no minimum credit score, a generous allowance to meet debt service, and a 100% loan-to-value ratio. The applicable interest rate can be either 0% (for a term of six months to one year) or 3% to 5% (for a term of up to five years). 

Who qualifies: Microenterprises within L.A. that are low-income or will retain low-income jobs, or small businesses in the city that will retain low-income jobs.

How much can a borrower get: $5,000 to $20,000.

How to obtain loan proceeds: Qualifying microenterprises and small business owners may apply online.

Illinois

ILLINOIS SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY LOAN FUND


This $6M fund established by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses in every industry outside of Chicago.

Benefits: $50M loans will be supported by a $30M loan loss reserve, consisting of $20M of DCEO funds and $10M secured in partnership with the Illinois banking community.

Who qualifies: Small businesses outside Chicago with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3M in revenue in 2019.

How much can a borrower get: Up to $50,000 to support working capital. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months, and will then be obligated to make fixed payments at 3% interest for the remainder of their five-year loan terms.

How to obtain loan proceeds: Borrowers can apply on the DCEO website.

Start date: Applications become available on March 27.

DOWNSTATE SMALL BUSINESS STABILIZATION PROGRAM

This new $20M program supports small businesses in suburban and rural counties across Illinois, providing grants of up to $25,000 to small businesses in communities served by DCEO's Office of Community Development.

Benefits: Businesses of up to 50 employees can partner with local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 for working capital (the program redeploys Community Development Block Grant funds).

Who qualifies: Local governments recognized by the Illinois constitution and able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale (including cities, villages, and counties) can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or less. Municipalities cannot be a HUD direct entitlement community or be located in an urban county that receives entitlement funds.

How much can be obtained: Up to $25,000.

How to get grant proceeds: Businesses in eligible areas should work with their local governments to submit applications. 

Start date: Applications available on DCEO’s website by March 27, with grants to be offered on a rolling basis.

DCEO HOSPITALITY EMERGENCY GRANT PROGRAM

This $14M grant program aims to help small hospitality businesses make ends meet.

Benefits: Up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels. These grants may be used for working capital (payroll, rent, etc.), job training, and technology to support shifts in operations.

Who qualifies: Small bars, restaurants, and hotels.

How much can be obtained: Bars and restaurants that earned between $500,000 and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, while those generating less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019 can obtain up to $10,000. For their part, hotels with less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000.

How to get grant proceeds: Applications are available on the DCEO’s website and are due by April 1 at 5 p.m. All valid, eligible applications received in a timely manner will be entered into a lottery, and grant winners will be notified on April 4.

CHICAGO SMALL BUSINESS RESILIENCY FUND

The new fund from the City of Chicago (in partnership with Catalyst Fund) will provide more than $100M in low-interest loans to severely impacted small businesses over the coming months, targeting historically under-resourced communities with an emphasis on minimizing hardship for those businesses and their employees.

Who qualifies: Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3M in gross annual revenue. Additionally, applicants will have to show at least a 25% revenue decrease due to COVID-19 and have no current tax liens or judgments.

How much can a borrower get: Up to $50,000 in low interest loans with repayment terms up to five years.

How to obtain loan proceeds: Small business owners can apply online and include their most recent tax returns, bank statements going back to October 2019, and photo IDs.

Start date: Applications accepted beginning March 31.

New York


The State of New York has no specific coronavirus-related packages providing direct financial assistance to businesses, though New York City does. Statewide, there are general economic development grants and loans for capital expansion and special tax incentives for businesses that open operations in the state and employ a certain numbers of employees. In an attempt to address the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken administrative actions to help impacted individuals residing—and businesses located—in New York.

EXECUTIVE ORDER MARCH 19, 2020

Benefits:  Guidance to mortgage servicing companies requesting that they provide 90-day forbearance to borrowers with no effect on credit, and waive late fees for homeowners seeking help from their lenders due to coronavirus-related economic difficulties. By way of his EC, Governor Cuomo also asks that mortgage servicers provide an additional 90 days to consider loan modifications.

Who qualifies:  Any borrower in New York with a mortgage, home equity credit line, or similar facility secured by a home.

How to obtain relief:  Debtors must contact their loan servicer.

EXECUTIVE ORDER MARCH 19, 2020

Benefits: Guidance to financial institutions requesting that they provide 90-day forbearance and other flexibility to business and personal borrowers.

Who qualifies: Any borrower in New York.

How to obtain relief: Debtors must contact their lenders.

NYC EMPLOYEE RETENTION PROGRAM

Grants made available by NYC Small Business Services through SBS Connect on the NYC website.

Benefits: Grants of up to 40% of payroll for two months.

Who qualifies:  Businesses with five or fewer employees that are located within the five boroughs and able to show at least a 25% reduction in revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak. Such businesses must have been in operation for at least six months, and have no tax liens or unsatisfied legal judgments.

How to get grant proceeds: Interested parties can apply online here.

Start date: Program is currently in effect.           

NYC SMALL BUSINESS CONTINUITY LOAN FUND

Zero interest loans made available by NYC Small Business Services through SBS Connect.

Benefits: Loans of up to $75,000

Who qualifies: Employers with 99 or fewer employees that can show at least a 25% decline in revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak, and who can demonstrate the ability to repay the loans and have no tax liens or unsatisfied legal judgments.

How to get loan proceeds: Interested parties can apply online here.

Start date: Program in currently in effect.

New Jersey


In New Jersey, several state agencies are currently engaging with local business leaders, local financial institutions, and business advocacy groups to better understand what support would be most impactful to ensure business and employment continuity given hardships resulting from COVID-19. In the meantime, New Jersey does have some existing financing programs that businesses can leverage.

MICROBUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) maintains a microbusiness loan program for small for-profit businesses in the Garden State.

Who qualifies: For-profit businesses legally registered to do business in New Jersey and a location in the state (home-based businesses are not eligible), with annual revenues in the most current fiscal year of no more than $1.5M and 10 full-time employees or less at time of application.

How much can a borrower get: Up to $50,000.

How to obtain loan proceeds: Borrowers must speak with an NJEDA Small Business Services team member prior to applying in order to ensure that the relevant business is program eligible. The team member will guide borrowers through the application process, and provide each one a verification code that will allow it to complete and submit an application.

Start date: Program in currently in effect.

PREMIER LENDER PROGRAM

The NJEDA’s Premier Lender Program creates new opportunities for small businesses and NJEDA’s lending partners by providing new, low-cost financing opportunities.

Who qualifies: Businesses and non-profits in operation for at least two full years, having 1.1x debt service coverage ratio (for businesses), 1.0x debt service coverage ratio (for non-profits), 100% loan-to-value for real estate, and 90% loan-to-value for equipment. Businesses must commit to the creation or retention of one new, full-time job for every $65,000 of NJEDA exposure within two years.

How much can a borrower get: Up to $2M loan participation or $1.5M loan guarantee for fixed assets.

Start date: Program in currently in effect.

ACCESS LENDING PROGRAM

Access is a pilot lending program from the NJEDA that provides financing to small businesses in New Jersey, either in the form of direct loans through the NJEDA, or through loan participations or guarantees in partnership with an NJEDA premier lender.

Who qualifies: Small businesses that (1) have been in operation for at least two full years; (2) have average historical and global debt service coverage ratios over the past two years of at least 1.25x; and (3) provide collateral in the form of a lien on assets purchased for fixed financing and a lien on all business assets for working capital financing. Loan-to-value may be greater than 100% for real estate and 90% for equipment (based on other underwriting criteria), and the FICO score of 50% of personal guarantors must be 700. Businesses must commit to the creation or retention of one new, full-time job for every $65,000 of NJEDA exposure within two years.

How much can a borrower get: Loan participation or guarantee of up to $1M for fixed assets or $500,000 for working capital, or a direct loan of up to $500,000 for fixed assets or $250,000 for working capital.

Miscellaneous Available Coronavirus Business Grants


FACEBOOK SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS PROGRAM

Facebook has announced that it will offer $100M in cash grants and ad credits to up to 30,000 small businesses across 30 countries.

AMAZON NEIGHBORHOOD SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND

Amazon has announced a grant fund available to small businesses in Seattle. The company is currently accepting applications online for a total of $5M in cash grants, intended for businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7M in annual revenue. To qualify, businesses should also have a physical presence within a few blocks of Amazon’s Regrade, South Lake Union, and Bellevue office buildings. The applicants’ businesses must be open to the general public and reliant on foot traffic for customers.

JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION RELIEF FUND

This fund is being supported by corporate, foundation, and individual donors to help provide microgrants to independent small businesses in the food and beverage industry.

YELP SUPPORT

Though not providing cash grants, Yelp is offering $25M in waived advertising fees, free advertising, products, and services to small businesses (mainly local restaurants and nightlife establishments) that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


We are working diligently to keep our clients up to date on coronavirus-related developments. Nevertheless, these developments are changing daily and, in some cases even hourly, so it is important that you make sure you are dealing with the most current information. That being said, this alert is not offered, and should not be relied on, as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for guidance and counsel regarding any specific concern or situation.