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Am I Eligible? The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

DOWLOAD the PDF prepared by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

The administration has released initial guidelines; they are available at www.treasury.gov. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals check eligibility and prepare to file for a loan.

Small businesses and sole proprietors can begin applying on April 3. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning on April 10. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. While the program is open until June 30, 2020, the government is advising borrowers to apply as soon as possible given the loan cap on the program.

Am I ELIGIBLE?
What will lenders be LOOKING FOR? You are eligible if you are:

• A small business with fewer than 500 employees
• A small business that otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard
• A 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees
• An individual who operates as a sole proprietor
• An individual who operates as an independent contractor
• An individual who is self-employed who regularly carries on any trade or business
• A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard
• A 501(c)(19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard In addition, some special rules may make you eligible:
• If you are in the accommodation and food services sector (NAICS 72), the 500-employee rule is applied on a per physical location basis
• If you are operating as a franchise or receive financial assistance from an approved Small Business Investment Company the normal affiliation rules do not apply

REMEMBER: The 500-employee threshold includes all employees: full-time, part-time, and any other status.