We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty and many questions at this time. There are also many resources and a lot of information coming out. In order to best serve the small businesses of Alexandria, we will be compiling information and resources for small businesses on this page.
Updated as of 9/13/2021
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) SBA Direct Forgiveness For Loans of $150,000 or Less
If you have spent your PPP funds, this may be an appropriate time to consider applying for Forgiveness (you must apply within 10 months of spending the funds during your Covered Period). Your lender may have more time available now to deal with any issues you may have than when the rush periods occur. Approximately 12% of lenders opted to use the SBA portal for forgiveness. Therefore, it is suggested that you first check with your lender of record to find out if they opted to use the SBA’s portal. If so, these borrowers may find the session(s) listed below to be helpful to them. In general, most large-bank lenders did not opt to join the portal and have instead, set up their own forgiveness portals, whereas small-banks opted in.
PPP Direct Forgiveness Borrower Portal Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJU4eJtqgM
PPP Forgiveness Factsheet can be found here.
EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan
If your business is still in need of financial assistance, the SBA’s EIDL Program with its low interest rate (3.75%), generous terms (30 years) and no personal guarantees for loans under $200,000, is your best source. But with the PPP Loan Forgiveness process in full swing and the many administrative tasks connected with the other recovery programs along with their normal load, expect a longer than usual approval process (probably several months).
EIDL Application – https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loans
Changes to EIDL Program
In the Economic Aid Act of March 2021, there were also several notable changes to the EIDL program that merit noting. These include:
- The amount of the EIDL advance will no longer be deducted from the amount of PPP debt forgiven
- EIDL first advances will no longer be considered taxable income
Targeted EIDL Advance
This is a grant program. The Targeted EIDL Advance provides businesses in low-income communities with additional funds to ensure small business continuity, adaptation, and resiliency. Advance funds of up to $10,000 will be available to applicants in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied for an EIDL Advance but received no funds due to lack of available program funding. Applicants do not need to take any action. SBA is reaching out to those who qualify. All communication from SBA will be sent from an official government email account ending with @sba.gov. Please do not send sensitive information via email to any address that does not end with @sba.gov.
For more information on the Targeted EIDL Advance program visit the SBA webpage here.
Virginia’s “Return to Earn” Grant Program
The Return to Earn grant program will reimburse bonuses made by eligible small businesses up to $500 for new hires.
Unemployed Virginians are facing a variety of childcare, transportation, and other barriers to returning to the workforce while some small businesses are struggling to find workers. To support Virginians in their transition back to employment, Governor Ralph Northam will invest $3 million to pilot the Return to Earn Grant Program.
The initiative will reimburse up to $500 that a qualifying small business pays directly to a new employee hired on or after May 31, 2021 to support their transition back to employment. Funds will only be reimbursed for new hires in positions that pay at least $15 per hour and qualify as W-2 employment, either full- or part-time.
To learn more and to apply, go to https://workforcecouncil.arlingtonva.us/governors-return-to-earn-initiative/.
Virginia ABC Laws
July 1st, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) began enforcing new laws passed by the Virginia General Assembly during its 2021 session. This includes:
- Allowing localities to create special large outdoor entertainment districts where consumption of alcohol would be allowed.
- Allowing restaurants to continue selling cocktails to go, a holdover from the pandemic.
- Cocktails to-go will be allowed until July 1, 2022. Mixed drinks to-go must cease at 11pm, wine and beer to-go must cease at midnight
- Allowing wine and beer to continue to be delivered without a delivery permit until January 1, 2022.
- Nonprofit groups will be allowed to conduct virtual fundraising events, including the sale and shipment of wine in closed containers.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)
This was a grant program. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund stopped accepting applications and had depleted its funds the week of May 24th, 2021.
For more information on the program visit sba.gov/restaurants.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)
This is a grant program. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) sets aside $15 billion for entertainment venues that were forced to close during the pandemic. Many of the provisions are similar to those found in the PPP loan program; but this is a grant fund with no repayment being required. As of August 20, 2021, SVOG is no longer accepting new applications.
The SVOG portal remains open to all active applicants and awardees. Later in August, SBA will open the program for supplemental SVOGs for 50% of the original award amount, capped at a total of $10 million (initial and supplemental combined). Details will be announced at a later date.
Supplemental Funding: Recipients of first, second, and third priority round awards who suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss for the most recent calendar quarter (as of April 1, 2021, or later). On Friday August 27th, the SBA announced it will begin sending invitations for supplemental awards for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.
For more specific information on the program visit the SBAs webpage on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
Miscellaneous Changes to SBA Programs and Tax Policy
The Economic Aid Act of March 2021 included a plethora of changes to existing SBA and other programs that will benefit small businesses. These include the following:
- The Employee Retention Tax Credit was expanded in the following ways:
- The program was extended through June 30
- The decline in gross receipts has been decreased from 50% to 20%
- The tax credit, originally 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages (approximately $5,000 per employee) has been increased to 70% ow qualified wages, or up to $10,000 per quarter
- The employee size of companies has been increased from 100 to 500
- Businesses can now claim the tax credit and a PPP loan
- A good breakdown of the Employee Retention Tax Credit for restaurants can be found here.
- SBA loan debt relief extension:
- New and existing 7(a), 504, and microloans will receive an additional 3 months of principal and interest relief, capped at $9,000 per borrower per month, starting in February
- Businesses in hard-hit industries will receive an additional 5 months of relief
- The SBA will also cover the principal and interest payments on new loans approved between February 1st and September 30th, also capped at $9,000/month
- SBA guarantees:
- SBA guarantees will increase to 90% and will waive borrower and lender fees on 7(a) and 504 loans
Webinars for More Information
COVID-19 Relief Legislation details are worth following closely, and we’re encouraging business owners to:
- Sign up for webinars – we have links for upcoming programs and for recordings of past programs above and here
- Contact your banker
- Consult with your accountant
- Keep checking this Alexandria SBDC webpage for updated information
VA 30 Day Fund
The nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans up to $3,000 to small businesses in need. It was launched by Virginia technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife, Burson. Working with other business leaders throughout the Commonwealth, the Fund’s goal is to help save as many Virginia jobs as possible while small businesses await recently approved federal funding.
Virginia businesses that qualify for assistance from the Fund are:
- For-profit small businesses that employ three to 30 people;
- Based in Virginia and have been operating for at least one year;
- Owned and operated by a Virginia resident.
To learn more about the VA 30 Day Fund click here.
REBUILD! VA Grant Program – CLOSED 12/9/2020
The Rebuild VA Grant Fund is a program to help small businesses and non-profits whose normal operations were disrupted by COVID-19. The Grant Program allocated all $100 million in funds and is now closed. For the full press briefing click here. To get updates on this grant program you can sign up for alerts and give feedback for the program on their home page here.
RECOVERY RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
As Virginia businesses and communities look forward to safely reopen, the Virginia SBDC network and Alexandria SBDC have developed the Business Recovery webpage to help owners carefully plan for and execute their businesses’ new strategy.
These detailed guidelines cover a broad range of critical considerations. While business owners can use them by themselves, they were designed to ideally be used in collaboration with Alexandria SBDC’s Business Analysts. The guidelines are set forth in three sections: REVIEW, RESET, AND REVIVE. As a first step, we encourage you to carefully examine the questions and resources under each section. At that point, contact Alexandria SBDC at email@example.com to schedule a virtual meeting with an Alexandria SBDC expert consultant for objective feedback on your questions and ideas. As a reminder, all services of Alexandria SBDC are without cost.
The Alexandria SBDC’s confidential one-2-one consultations have a solid track record of helping business owners through such deliberations. We also have contacts in the community that can help you make opportune connections.