The federal government's stimulus PPP for small businesses, the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans to small businesses, ran out of money on last week.
Over the weekend, Democrats and Republicans were negotiating a deal that would allocate $310 billion more into the Paycheck Protection Program, setting aside $60 billion of that sum for rural and minority groups. Another $60 billion would go to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, a separate program offering loans for small businesses administered by the Small Business Association.
But until that comes through, there is also help from companies like FaceBook. The social networking site announced that $40 million will go to helping small business owners negatively impacted by COVID-19. It is an update to its small-business grant program introduced in March.
The grants will go to 10,000 U.S. small businesses in 34 locations that Facebook employees live and work. Those in New York and Seattle will be the first to receive funds starting this week, Wednesday 4/22.
"In this challenging time, when information is changing daily, we are listening to and learning from scores of small businesses to understand what they need now and what they will need down the road," said Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.
Facebook’s chief diversity officer Maxine Williams shared that 50% of the grants would be prioritized for minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. To learn more about application requirements, visit the grant website.
Facebook is not the only company offering money. Here are five other organizations that are providing aid for small businesses, and a special focus on women and diverse populations impacted by COVID-19.
1. The Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: Verizon, has pledged to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund is offering grants to business owners facing financial hardship, particularly focusing on business owners of color, women, and other marginalized groups. $10,000 grants will be offered to those who qualify. To fill out an application, visit their website.
2. South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund: The India Center Foundation is now offering support to those of South Asian descent who are arts workers and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The grant focuses on those who work as dancers, choreographers, poets, actors, musicians, producers and other arts workers. Project grants of $1,000-$2,000 will be distributed. To learn more about the grant and to see application criteria, click here.
3. The Your Friends in New York Business Relief Fund: Men’s and women’s fashion label Pyer Moss announced a relief fund has been established for women and minority businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. The Your Friends in New York Business Relief Fund is awarding grants of different amounts to business owners in need. To learn more about the relief fund, click here.
4. The Red Backpack Fund: Women’s undergarment company Spanx has announced that a donation of $5 million is going to support women business owners who have been negatively impacted in some way by COVID-19. 1,000 female business owners within the United States will receive $5,000 of funding. Applications will be open until August. To learn more about the relief fund and how to apply, click here.
5 The Doonie Fund: A new fund called The Doonie Fund, named after the digitalundivided CEO’s grandmother, aid will be provided specifically for Black female entrepreneurs who have experienced hardships as a result of COVID-19. The fund, which was established on April 5th, 2020 has helped more than 93 entrepreneurs by providing micro-investments of $500 or less. Eligible entrepreneurs can apply through their website.
6. Facebook: As mentioned, Facebook, announced that $40 million will go to helping small business owners negatively impacted by COVID-19.
For more information on how COVID-19 is impacting small businesses, watch this Represent NYC interview from Assemblymember Epstein:
Help from NYC
In early March, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his administration’s Small Business Services agency would roll out emergency aid. At first, grants of up to $6,000 were earmarked for businesses with fewer than five employees. Mayor de Blasio announced a zero-interest loan pool of $20 million for businesses with under 100 workers whose revenues had tanked by 25% over 60 days. Each business would be eligible to borrow up to $75,000. More than 15,000 businesses initially applied, and 8,500 completed applications, SBS said last week. Now, the SBS website says “due to overwhelming interest,” the loan fund’s application intake has been paused. The site offers no information about the status of current applicants or how the money will be dispersed.