COVID-19 Small Business Resource Center

Updated May 22, 2020 | Andy Barnes, Program Manager, CEBN

The COVID-19 crisis is an especially challenging time for small business owners. In an effort to better help businesses navigate this crisis, the CEBN has compiled a list of financial relief resources. CEBN is also working to add new funding opportunities to our premium members-only Funding Database, and will soon open this up publicly to help businesses that are struggling find the resources they need.

We will continue to update the list of resources below as new information becomes available. Please send any additional relevant resources to CEBN staff should you be aware of any.

Federal Resources


Paycheck Protection Program: Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with an initial $349 billion tranche of funding for small businesses (under 500 employees) to maintain payroll. These loans in most cases will be forgiven entirely if funds are used in approved fashion and payroll is maintained. After initially being exhausted, Congress replenished the PPP with an additional $320 billion and the President signed this legislation into law on April 24. This new funding amended the Paycheck Protection Program in several ways outlined below:

  • Carve out for specific lending institutions: $60 billion in funds have been set aside for Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, community banks, credit unions and other smaller lenders.
  • Limits on lending: No single bank will be permitted to lend more than 10% ($60 billion) of total PPP funds. Larger lenders like Chase have warned applicants that a backlog of existing applicants may exceed this cap. Banks will be limited to a certain number of loan applications per hour to slow the pace of lending.

Apply for funding through SBA’s application portal.

Learn more about guidance from Treasury issued on May 15 regarding loan forgiveness.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Small business owners in the U.S. are eligible to apply for a loan advance of up to $10,000 through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (in implementation, SBA appears to be providing grants of $1,000 per employee). This loan advance will not have to be repaid. After initial funds were exhausted, Congress passed legislation on April 23 replenishing this program with an additional $10 billion. SBA has announced it will resume processing existing applications for the program and will announce as soon as possible when new applicants may apply.

Employee Payroll Retention Tax Credit: The CARES Act created a refundable payroll tax credit for wages paid from March 12, 2020 – Jan 1, 2021. This credit applies to 50% of the first $10,000 paid to each employee during this period for a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee. Credit is available to employers whose operations were fully or partially-suspended or who suffered a 50% decline in gross receipts compared to the same quarter in the prior year. Note: This credit cannot be claimed if a business receives PPP funds.

Additional Federal tax relief:
The CARES Act made the following changes to the Tax Code:

  • Ability to defer the employer portion of Social Security taxes, with repayment over a two-year period
  • Modification of net operating losses (NOL) restrictions to allow employers to utilize losses and amend prior year returns, providing critical cash flow and liquidity during the COVID-19 emergency. See Weaver FAQ for more information.
  • Increase in business interest expense deduction from 30% to 50% of taxable income
  • Immediate write-off of improvements to qualified facilities as opposed to depreciation on a 39-year schedule


Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program: The Federal Reserve has established a lending program for medium-sized businesses with fewer than 10,000 employees OR less than $2.5 billion in revenue in 2019. These loans will be administered through banks, but the Fed will purchase 95% of each loan. More information on the the Main Street Lending Program can be found on the Federal Reserve website.


State and Local Resources


Duke University School of Business: Database of capital relief resources
Forbes: List of state-by-state COVID-19 aid programs

Additional Resources


U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Save a Small Business Grant Program
Weaver: COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Resources
Facebook: Small Business Grants Program