Original Communication Sent Friday, March 13, 2020
On Behalf of Massachusetts SBA District Director, Robert Nelson:
Good morning partners and friends.
I’m sure that in these difficult times, you’re fielding as many calls as we are, from various for Small Businesses throughout the Commonwealth. We wanted to send you a quick update on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program as it seems to be the subject of most calls we’ve received here in the District Office.
The MA Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Baker-Polito Administration are working closely with the U.S. SBA to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which would provide assistance to eligible businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19.
The 1st step in this process is to meet a minimum threshold of affected businesses within MA.
Affected small businesses and non-profits should download, complete, and submit the SBA EIDL Worksheet (https://lnkd.in/ewF7VBy ) & Instructions to expedite activation of the EIDL program. If you know of businesses being impacted as a result of the Corona virus, it would be helpful if you shared this information with them and encouraged them to complete the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Worksheet (link is below to MEMA website) and to submit it as soon as possible.
Completed forms can be submitted by email to Disaster.Recovery@mass.gov or by fax to (508) 820-1401. If you do fax the form, please include your e mail. Please note, this initial survey form is not a SBA loan application.
When the EIDL program is activated, the small businesses will be contacted to apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance page https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
and this website will be updated with application details. For questions, please contact Disaster.Recovery@mass.gov
About the EIDL program: EIDLs provide small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses until normal operations resume.
Thank you for getting this information out to impacted businesses and to your respective networks as we are trying to get enough support as quickly as possible in order to get an SBA declaration for MA and the ability to do direct loans for this disaster ASAP.
Click on the link below or share Small Business Guidance (information below) with affected small businesses.
SBA’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
o Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.
Guidance for Businesses and Employers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:
o Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
o Preventing Stigma Related to COVID-19
o Share Facts about COVID-19
o CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Web page
o Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Prevention, Symptoms and FAQ
The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.
To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use the guidance described below and on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page.
Below are recommended strategies for employers to use now. In-depth guidance is available on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page:
o Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
o Separate sick employees
o Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
o Perform routine environmental cleaning
o Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
o Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from designated countries with risk of community spread of Coronavirus, and information for aircrew, can be found on the CDC website.
o Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
o Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
o If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Common Issues Small Businesses May Encounter:
o Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business’s financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it. See SBA’s capital access resources.
o Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.
o Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request.
o Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.
o Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance; Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.
o Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.
o Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.
o Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website at: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-planning-exercises
SBA Products and Resources
SBA is here to assist small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their own preparedness plans as described by the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor and train small businesses. The SBA has 68 District Offices, as well as support provided by its Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. When faced with a business need, use the SBA’s Local Assistance Directory to locate the office nearest you.
Please complete SBA’s District Office Customer Experience Survey – Anonymous and only takes 5 minutes.
Springfield Massachusetts Office
U.S. Small Business Administration
Office: (413) 785-0484
Cell: (413) 222-4286