Small businesses in Champaign County have a new source of financial assistance to help them reopen and recover from the pandemic -- the COVID-19 Champaign County Small Business Emergency Grant Fund.
The Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP) established the local grant program with the support of the Champaign County Board of Commissioners, which allocated a portion of local tax dollars generated for economic development through conveyance fees collected on Champaign County real estate sales.
“We are very thankful to the Champaign County Commissioners for funding this important initiative,” Kyle Hall, president of the CEP Board of Trustees, said. “The COVID-19 grant fund can really make a difference in our county. It will help small businesses bridge the gap in revenue during the shutdown and help them meet safety requirements for reopening, so that consumers will return to them with confidence.”
Through 5 p.m. May 15, qualifying local businesses may complete and submit a simple application for $500 to $2,500 in grant funds, at www.champaignworks.com/PayItForwardGrant.
Businesses may submit their applications directly from the website. But if they prefer, they may print out the application form, complete it, and drop it in the Champaign Economic Partnership mailbox (next to the CEP office door, inside the ATM lobby of Security National Bank, 3 Monument Square, Urbana), or email their completed, scanned application to the CEP at email@example.com, by the 5 p.m. May 15 deadline.
“The commissioners want to support the health and vitality of the Champaign County business community during the pandemic,” said County Commissioner Steve Hess, who serves on the CEP Board of Trustees. “Through this grant fund we want to help our local businesses get through this crisis by supplementing the support they’re getting from the state and federal government.”
To be eligible for the grant program, commercial or retail businesses must have a storefront in Champaign County (cannot be home-based or nonprofit), have fewer than 50 employees, be current on local, state and federal obligations such as taxes and assessments, been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and, if a franchise, have no more than two storefronts in the county and not be corporate owned.
CEP Director Marcia Bailey said the grants may be used for operating expenses such as rent, utilities, payroll, and the cost of supplies and modifications needed to comply with safety requirements for reopening. Grant money cannot be used for taxes or other assessments. Grant recipients will be required to report to the grant committee how they spent the money.
“Our grant committee desires to make this a self-perpetuating fund so that money will be available to support future economic sustainability in our community,” Bailey said. “Through the Pay It Forward provision of the program, we will encourage grant recipients to contribute financially to the Champaign County Small Business Grant Fund once their businesses are back on their feet – in an amount equal to or greater than their grant.”
She added, “Our small businesses are essential to the vitality of Champaign County. We want to do what we can to help get them back on track, to continue providing jobs and valuable products and services that make our county a better place to live and work.”
For grant guidelines and the application, visit www.champaignworks.com/PayItForwardGrant
Below are some U.S. Treasury Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans FAQs released last evening, 4-6-2020. These answer quite a few of the questions that many of us have had in regard to the PPP loans and expands on some of the FAQs relating to businesses with more than 500 employees.
Please note that this applies to non-profits as well, but only those registered as 501(c)3.
The Champaign Health District is providing these posters for area businesses to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click to download full version for printing.
Shop the new "Support local fundraiser here and support a local business!
Choose from a nice, soft tee, long sleeve tee, sweatshirt or tote and represent Champaign County! When you checkout, simply enter the name of the business or organization in Champaign County you wish to support and for each item you purchase we will send them a $10 donation.
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
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.
U.S. Treasury Department
Office of Public Affairs
Press Release: March 31, 2020
Contact: Treasury Public Affairs, (202) 622-2960
With $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital Cleared, Treasury and SBA Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds
WASHINGTON – Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin today announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.
The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed.
“This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day. The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”
“This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly. Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level,” said Administrator Carranza. “Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans. We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”
The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.
The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.
You're invited to our first ever Virtual First Friday Coffee! You will need to download the Zoom software https://zoom.us/ you do not have to create an account. We hope you can join us!
Rachel Casey is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Virtual First Friday Coffee
Time: Apr 3, 2020 07:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 112 322 202
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Hello Everyone - In case you did not see via social media, this SBA webinar has been rescheduled for April 7th, from 10:30-11:30am due to changes to SBA programs as a result of the stimulus bill. The link and call-in number will not change. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me directly at my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
If your business may qualify for the Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, we encourage you to join a webinar with Alex Kohls of the SBA’s Columbus District Office on Tuesday, March 31 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The purpose of this webinar is to walk through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, review the application process, and answer any questions. Here is the link to join the meeting and post questions: https://www.uberconference.com/mshimp. The dial-in conference number is (937) 314-3034. No PIN needed.
AND if you are a Champaign County business owner and you haven't filled out the CEP's Business Impact Survey yet, please do so by April 1st at 5pm.
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published its first round of implementation guidance pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The guidance addresses critical questions such as:
The initial WHD guidance is available in three-parts:
Join Montrose Group for a webinar on Mar 27, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT.
Companies and nonprofits impacted by COVID 19 cannot survive or thrive without adequate capital. To position these companies and nonprofits for success, the Montrose Group is hosting a webinar on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 10am Eastern time to review with national experts COVID 19 Small Business Finance Options. Topics to be discussed include the Small Business Administration $50B Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, other SBA programs and COVID 19 state loan programs from over a dozen states. Michael Kinninger, Executive Director of the Ohio Statewide Development Corporation, and the Montrose Group team will outline not just what small business financing programs are available but how companies can access this funding from federal and state government sources.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.