** Check back often for updates **
• UPDATE 5/20/20: The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application. The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.
The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:
• Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
• Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
• Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
• Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
• Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined
The PPP was created by the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to eligible small businesses to keep American workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. The documents will help small businesses seek forgiveness at the conclusion of the eight-week covered period, which begins with the disbursement of their loans. Click here to view the application and instructions.
To apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, visit www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.
• UPDATE 5/14/20: If your company can sell or donate PPE or other critical supplies to the state, please visit the NCDHHS website and complete the online COVID-19 procurement form to be considered. Companies making COVID-19 supplies not purchased by the state are referred to www.SupplyConnector.org, an online PPE marketplace serving to connect manufacturers and private companies in need of PPE.
• UPDATE 5/14/20: Here is an update from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). As our state’s economy slowly starts to reopen, one thing is for certain: Information seems to be changing daily. Navigating the new guidelines and operating procedures for the phased reopening can be difficult. The EDPNC is here to assist you and your business in finding a fluid, flexible plan for reopening. Here are some resources that you might find helpful:
– N.C. Business Reopening Resources – COVID-19
– Latest COVID-19 Information for Businesses and Employers from NCDHHS
– N.C. Immediate Employment Opportunities: Does your business have multiple urgent job openings? Contact us to be placed on this list.
Every step the state takes towards reopening gives every business a better shot at recovery. There will be a long road ahead for many companies, but North Carolina is truly the best place for businesses to recover.
• UPDATE 5/12/20 8:00 am: Are you still waiting to receive your Economic Impact Payment? The Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are strongly encouraging people to visit the website by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 13 to help speed up the process for delivery of this payment to you. Please visit the IRS News page to read about this update on receiving your payment.
• UPDATE 5/7/20: As retail businesses in North Carolina begin to open their doors, the Alexander County Economic Development Corporation hopes the following information may be helpful as we begin to relaunch our economy.
Phase 1 of Reopen Plan Begins on Friday — Phase 1 of Governor Cooper’s plan to reopen businesses begins Friday, May 8, at 5:00 p.m., removing the designation of essential and non-essential businesses and allowing businesses to open if they can practice social distancing and other transmission reduction strategies. Retail businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity; however, many businesses such as hair stylists, gyms, and others will remain closed during Phase 1. Click here for information on the Reopen plan.
State Legislature Adds Funds to COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program — This week, the NC General Assembly added $125 million in new funding to Golden LEAF for the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program. Small businesses are eligible for loans up to $50,000. Applications are open and will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit www.ncrapidrecovery.org to learn more about the program and submit an application for your small business.
EIDL Funding Available for Agricultural Businesses — The SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. Click here for more information and to see if your business qualifies for these loans.
PPP Funding Still Available — The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) remains open, allowing small businesses and nonprofits to secure loans which can be forgiven if used for payroll and certain overhead expenses. Click here for more information.
National Retail Federation Operation Open Doors Checklist — Download a checklist from the National Retail Federation providing guidance to better prepare for opening your doors to the public.
• UPDATE 5/7/20: Golden LEAF receives $125 million in funding to support NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program, which provides grants to entities for the purpose of making loans to assist small businesses affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. The Golden LEAF Board modified the terms of the existing NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program to align with the provisions of the bill. Effective today, loans made from the program to small businesses will include a limit on the number of employees per business, a minimum interest rate for the first six months of the loan term, and an increased time for repayment. Read more…
• UPDATE 4/29/20, 9:00 am: The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at Appalachian State University in Hickory is offering free counseling and services to area small businesses. You can register online for counseling, or call (828) 345-1110. Learn more at www.sbtdc.org/asu.
• UPDATE 4/27/20, 9:50 am: The Small Business Administration (SBA) will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EDT. With the additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis. The agency will provide further information on the availability of the EIDL portal to receive new applications (including those from agricultural enterprises) as soon as possible. To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.
With the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, non-essential businesses have been forced to close and employees are out of work in Alexander County, North Carolina, and across the country. The Alexander County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) offers the following information to assist local businesses and citizens.
As part of the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security) Act passed recently, Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support small businesses and nonprofits in need of working capital for payroll and basic overhead expenses during this time. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. This loan has a maturity of two (2) years and an interest rate of 1%. The PPP loans are being made through local banks and lenders. Visit www.bitly.com/sbapaycheckprotection to learn more and find a lender near you.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program offers low-interest loans for working capital to small businesses and nonprofits which have been impacted by COVID-19. Applicants can request a $10,000 advance/grant which the SBA will pay within three days of the application. Loans up to $2 million are available. Visit https://covid19relief.sba.gov to complete the application.
For additional information about SBA resources and financial assistance, visit www.bitly.com/sbacoronavirusrelief.
Download this PDF document from the SBTDC (Small Business and Technology Development Center), which contains detailed information and comparisons of the various loan/grant programs.
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has business resources and assistance information online at https://edpnc.com/covid-19-resources. In addition, Business Link North Carolina (BLNC) has dedicated staff for phone inquiries at 800-228-8443. BLNC staff, who are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., will connect your business to the appropriate organization for assistance. All inquiries will receive a response from a confidential business counselor within three (3) business days.
Check out the NC Department of Commerce’s webpage for valuable resources and information.
The CVCC Small Business Center supports businesses in Alexander and Catawba counties. The SBC is working to support start-up and small business clients in the current COVID-19 coronavirus environment. The SBC is shifting the majority of its programs to webinar format, and will continue to provide confidential business counseling via telephone and video conferencing. If you have questions, visit www.bitly.com/cvccsbc or call 828-327-7000 ext. 4102 to schedule a free confidential counseling appointment.
UPDATE 4/13: Western Region Unemployment telephone numbers to try for assistance: (919) 623-2149 or (919) 418-9190 or (919) 605-7555 or (984) 960-6406.
UPDATE 4/9: For employees who have been temporarily laid off or lost a job, the NC Division of Employment Security is working around the clock to process unemployment insurance claims. DES is taking immediate actions to respond to the huge surge of unemployment claims that have been filed as a result of COVID-19. The division is quickly adding staff, equipment, and IT infrastructure to help individuals and employers file and respond to unemployment claims. DES knows how important it is to continue processing claims and issuing payments as quickly and efficiently as possible. The division is aware of issues people are having accessing their online accounts and long wait times to speak to someone at the Customer Call Center. DES will ensure claimants do not miss out on any weeks of eligibility due to high call volume. DES will begin the claim with the week when they initially attempted to file. If your account is locked, it will automatically unlock after 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, you can try to sign in again or reset your password yourself. For other password/PIN issues, please email NCDESpasswordhelp@nccommerce.com for assistance. People are encouraged to regularly check www.des.nc.gov for the most up-to-date information. People without internet access should call 888-737-0259 for assistance.
UPDATE 4/9: The US Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service provided additional information about the federal government’s Economic Impact Payments. Distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next two weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment. Visit the IRS website for complete details.