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By Debbie Gregory.

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The federal Small Business Agency known as the SBA has a few new ways to help small businesses stay in business while we all navigate the COVID crisis. Thanks to H.R. 748 the SBA has been able to expand their loan programs with new offerings for small businesses as well as some specific options for large corporations.

 

What Other Assistance does H.R. 748 Provide?

 

The program also provides $17 billion dollars to small businesses that have existing SBA loans. These funds can be used to pay six months of principal and interest payments on existing SBA loans.

 

1.) Additionally, the program provides $10 billion dollars for disaster loans and emergency grants. Each of these types of loans are limited to $10,000 per small business. These types of loans are quite like the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP described in part one of this mini article series.  They can be used for other operational expenses beyond payroll, mortgage or rent, and utilities.   In theory, any small business that applies for an economic injury disaster loan receives an advance, within 3 days, of $10,000 regardless of whether they eventually are approved for the loan. This $10,000 advance does not need to be repaid either. The loan itself can be for up to $2 million dollars at a low interest rate (currently it is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations). Repayment terms vary. You can apply for this loan directly from the SBA here> https://covid19relief.sba.gov/.

 

2.) The program also provides $265 Million dollars for SBA business development services. The SBA offers Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) that provide no-cost services for small businesses and entrepreneurs that will assist in critical business areas such as:

  • Consulting
  • Mentoring
  • Training services
  • Business development services
  • and much more

 

What Other Financial Assistance Programs Have Been Added for Businesses that Do Not Qualify for Other SBA Programs?  

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is having severe economic consequences all over the United States. Many larger businesses are ineligible for SBA programs. However, the goal of H.R. 748 is to assist large employers as well. Some of the additions that can help larger companies include:

 

1.) H.R. 748 states that the Federal Reserve can now make loans, as well as loan guarantees, to businesses not covered by other programs.  They can also now make loans to state and local governments. Unlike the SBA programs for small businesses, the Fed cannot forgive these loans and borrowers must repay them.

 

2.) H.R. 748 also provides the federal -19 pandemic. The funds are as follows:

 

  • $25 billion for loans to passenger air carriers
  • $4 billion for loans to cargo air carriers
  • $17 billion for loans to businesses critical to maintaining national security
  • $32 billion for additional financial assistance to air carriers and related employers (such as caterers and airport contractors)

 

Small Business or Large Corporation – if you need help to keep your business afloat while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the United States, then check out what is available to you from the SBA and H.R. 748.   We advise that patience is in order.

 

If you are not yet a member of VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association, we invite you to join.  Please be advised that there are not any dues or fees and you can use our seal on your collateral and website.   You may register for membership here:   https://vamboa.org/member-registration/ ‘’

 

Everyone stay safe and healthy!

 

By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Did you know that the Small Business Administration (SBA) helps small businesses obtain the loans they need? The federal SBA provides a wealth of financial assistance, and other services to small businesses across the United States. Recently they have added quite a few new programs to help thanks to H.R. 748.

 

How does the SBA determine whether or not your business is considered a small business? The SBA determines whether you are a small business using either your revenue numbers or your employee headcount (the headcount varies by industry).

 

The main SBA program most business apply and qualify for is a loan guarantee program. The SBA may repay a portion of the amount borrowed by qualified businesses in cases when the small business borrower cannot repay the loan. Loan guarantees reduce the overall risk to the lender, thus enabling the small business to obtain more favorable terms, such as a lower interest rate or longer term.

 

The SBA also directly makes low-interest loans to businesses and nonprofit organizations following declared disasters. A disaster loan may be for either covering repairs and replacement of physical assets damaged in a disaster or covering small business operating expenses after a disaster.

 

What is new?   H.R. 748 is!

In general terms, H.R. 748 provides $349 billion dollars for forgivable small business loans. This program is called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and was designed to subsidize small businesses so that they can continue to pay their employees and overhead costs while their revenues have been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Unlike a typical SBA loan, businesses will not be required to repay these loans if the money is used exclusively to pay:

  • Employee wages
  • Employee benefits
  • Mortgage or rent for the business’s location
  • Utility bills for the business’s location

 

Instead, the loans will be forgiven after eight weeks. The business is required to clearly document how the money was used to ensure adherence to the loan program’s rules. If the business has not properly documented spending the loan money, or spent the money on other things, they will be required to pay all of it back in full at an interest rate of four percent (4%).

 

Is $349 Billion Enough to go Around? 

The program has enough to provide every eligible employer a forgivable loan for up to 2.5 months of payroll.   With this said many are receiving so much more including businesses that you might not characterize as small businesses.   For example, large public companies and major sports teams have received PPP funds and the the money has been depleted once already and refunded.

 

Who is Eligible for Assistance? 

All businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 employees are eligible. There are also a few businesses that will qualify even though they have more than 500 employees. For example, a business may have more than 500 employees per location. Some sole-proprietors and self-employed people are also eligible for relief. Loans are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

How Much Money can you Get? 

You can qualify for about 2.5 times your average monthly payroll, or up to $10 million dollars. You do not even need to prove that you could potentially pay back the loan; instead, you simply need to prove that you have been running your business prior to February 15, 2020. This sometimes translates into the money going to businesses that don’t need it and there has been some widespread fraud.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of this mini article series.   Part 2 will provide information on other assistance programs that H.R. 748 provides. There are even a few programs designed for specific types of large corporations.

 

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association believes that small veteran and military business owners should benefit first.   They made huge sacrifices for our nation.  We are disheartened to see huge corporations receiving this money and the program running out.

 

If you are not already a member of VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association, please consider joining.  We do not charge dues or fees and members can use our seal on your collateral and web site.   Here is a link to register to join:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

 

By Debbie Gregory.

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As a public service to VAMBOA’s Veteran and Military Small Business Owners, we are bringing you this fraud/scam alert to keep you informed.   Please be vigilant and do your homework to check out so that you are not a victim to grant fraud, load fraud and phishing.

From the Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General:

The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19).

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times.  Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.

Scams and Fraud Schemes

Grants:

  • SBA does not initiate contact on either 7a or Disaster loans or grants.  If you are proactively contacted by someone claiming to be from the SBA, suspect fraud.

Loans:

  • If you are contacted by someone promising to get approval of an SBA loan, but requires any payment up front or offers a high interest bridge loan in the interim, suspect fraud.
  • SBA limits the fees a broker can charge a borrower to 3% for loans $50,000 or less and 2% for loans $50,000 to $1,000,000 with an additional ¼% on amounts over $1,000,000. Any attempt to charge more than these fees is inappropriate.
  • If you have a question about getting a SBA disaster loan, call 800-659-2955 or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • If you have questions about other SBA lending products, call SBA’s Answer Desk at 800-827-5722 or send an email to answerdesk@sba.gov.

Phishing:

  • If you are in the process of applying for an SBA loan and receive email correspondence asking for PII, ensure that the referenced application number is consistent with the actual application number.
  • Look out for phishing attacks/scams utilizing the SBA logo.  These may be attempts to obtain your personally identifiable information (PII), to obtain personal banking access, or to install ransomware/malware on your computer.
  • Any email communication from SBA will come from accounts ending with gov.
  • The presence of an SBA logo on a webpage does not guarantee the information is accurate or endorsed by SBA.  Please cross-reference any information you receive with information available at sba.gov.

Report Fraud

Report any suspected fraud to OIG’s Hotline at 800-767-0385 or online at, https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/oversight-advocacy/office-inspector-general/office-inspector-general-hotline.

Small business owners, including veteran and military owned small businesses are dealing with a multitude of challenges now.  It is unfortunate and sad, that on top of everything else, there are people and groups out there with the goal of scamming or committing fraud.  Unfortunately, this is the reality so please check everything and make sure you are sure that you are dealing with legitimate entities.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

By Debbie Gregory.

In a small business, everyone who works there is valuable. So when a worker who serves in the National Guard or the Reserves gets called up, it can be a hardship for the business, whether it’s the owner, the CEO or an essential employee.

In an effort to help small businesses when this happens, Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL) has introduced bipartisan legislation to improve existing Small Business Administration (SBA) programs offering loans and deferrals, which are currently underutilized due to a lack of awareness and because their eligibility restrictions do not fully reflect current deployment practices.

H.R. 7199, the National Guard and Reserve Entrepreneurship Act, would restructure these programs so that companies are eligible whenever a Guardsman is performing active services for more than 30 days, in contrast to current law which requires the Guardsman to be deployed “during a period of military conflict.”

The bill would also direct SBA to work with the National Guard and State Adjutant Generals to raise awareness of other SBA programs that would be helpful to Guardsmen or affected businesses, and to develop more targeted outreach.

The programs include:

• Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL), a direct loan program that provides emergency working capital to small businesses to meet their obligations until operations return to normal after the essential employee is released from active duty military

• Repayment Deferral for Active Duty Reservists (Repayment Deferral), which authorizes the SBA to work with private lenders to defer interest or loan repayment for small businesses facing similar situations.

“National Guard members and military reservists are an integral part of our armed forces and national defense,” said Schneider. “We should do everything we can to support their service. This bill makes current support programs at the SBA more accessible and efficient so more small businesses have support while members of their team fulfill their military service obligations.”

SBA Head Hits the Road to Spread the Word

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By Debbie Gregory.

Beginning in boot camp, servicemembers learn how to navigate unknown terrain and make things happen with limited time and resources. The transition from military service to entrepreneur is a path that many veterans take. In fact, nearly 10 percent of U.S. small businesses (approximately 2.4 million) are veteran-owned and employ about 5.8 million individuals.

Veteran-owned small businesses contribute approximately $1.4 trillion to the nation’s total sales/receipts per year. But military and veteran entrepreneurs face many of the same challenges as their civilian counterparts run into: funding, financial management, regulation and compliance, and marketing strategy.

Linda McMahon, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), is a rock star who is currently on the Ignite Tour. No, it’s not a musical event, but rather a spreading of awareness of the SBA’s programs and services that assist veteran entrepreneurs.

One of McMahon’s missions is letting veterans and active-duty servicemembers know that aside from loans, the SBA offers a variety of mentoring and network opportunities, with more than 20 specialized veteran outreach centers and a numerous training programs.

At the veteran outreach centers, veterans can access business plan workshops, concept assessments, mentorship, and training.

Aptly named Boots to Business, one SBA program is part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and is offered at participating military installations and online. The program works with veterans (and their spouses) as they prepare to leave the military and transition into the private workforce.  Last year alone, about 17,000 people went through the program

As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. For more information the SBA’s veteran programs, go to www.sba.gov.

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