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Loans for small businesses affected by the coronavirus

Where to find free or low-interest funding to keep you afloat.

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We’ll continue updating this page with resources and information as new details emerge in the world’s response to COVID-19.

With canceled events, few customers and supply chain disruptions, small businesses across the country are taking a hit during the coronavirus outbreak. You might be able to find low- or no-cost financing to cover operating expenses from the government and some private lenders. You also might be able to qualify for a cash grant.

Where to find a loan during the coronavirus outbreak

Some lenders as well as federal, local and state governments have rallied to offer either low- or no-interest loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These are the main types of loans available to businesses affected by the coronavirus.

WATCH: How your business can survive the coronavirus

Must read: Can I still apply for a disaster loan or Paycheck Protection Program loan?

Yes, can still apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. And the deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was extended to August 8, 2020.

But these aren’t the fastest options out there. If you need money fast, you might want to consider other loans available during the COVID-19 outbreak.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans

The deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program was extended to August 8, 2020.

The SBA is offering up to $10 million to small businesses affected by the coronavirus to cover overhead costs and retain employees. Here’s how the PPP breaks down:

  • Maximum loan amount: $10 million for 7(a) loans, $1 million for Express loans — based on payroll expenses
  • Maximum interest rate: 1%
  • Term: 2 years, with payments deferred for 6 months — though interest accrues during this time

Unlike other 7(a) and Express loans, you’re not required to pay any fees or provide collateral or a personal guarantee. You also don’t have to prove that you struggled to find funding elsewhere.

If your business keeps on employees at the same salary, it could have up to 100% of the loan balance forgiven.

This new program was launched as part of the March 2020 stimulus package, along with other programs for small businesses. It’s not only available to small businesses with less than 500 employees, but also sole proprietors, independent contractors and faith-based organizations.

The loan program also expanded eligibility to business owners with felony criminal histories in an announcement on June 8, 2020. The look-back period was reduced from five years to one year for business owners with non-financial felonies — opening up the program to more applicants.

You can find an SBA-approved community development financial institution (CDFI) or other lender to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan through by using the SBA’s Lender Match tool. Or check out our step-by-step guide to applying to the PPP for more help.

3 lenders share tips for applying for the PPP loan

Apply for a small business loan today

Lenders are no longer offering SBA PPP Loans, so instead we recommend applying for an SBA loan through an online lender.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
Lendio business loan marketplace
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560+ personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 75 legit business lenders.
Fundera
$2,500 – $5,000,000
7% to 30%
$300,000+ of annual revenue, 680+ personal credit score, in business for 3+ years
Get connected with short-term funding, SBA loans, lines of credit and more.
Fora Financial Business Loans
$5,000 – $500,000
6+ months in business, $12,000+ monthly revenue, no open bankruptcies
No minimum credit score requirement and early repayment discounts for qualifying borrowers.
Become business loan marketplace
$5,000 – $500,000
Starting from 7.5%
At least 3 months in business with $10,000 in monthly revenue or at least 6 months in business with $3,000 in monthly revenue.
Compare loan offers from top lenders using this marketplace. It’s free & won’t affect your credit.
Main Street Finance Group Business Loans
$5,000 – $1,000,000
Varies
1+ years in business, $10,000+ monthly revenue
Apply online and get approved within hours with minimal paperwork. Multiple financing options available.
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Compare up to 4 providers

SBA disaster loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to businesses in all 50 states affected by the coronavirus, including nonprofits and sole proprietorships. It reopened the program to all types of businesses — not just agricultural — on June 15, 2020.

While the SBA originally said these loans would be available in amounts up to $2 million, The New York Times reports that an influx of applicants caused it to lower this to just $15,000 — plus an advance of up to $10,000 that doesn’t need to be repaid. Before the SBA pulled the brakes on the program, it had reduced advances to $1,000 per employee before the outbreak, up to $10,000.

Interest rates are still capped at 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. Terms run up to 30 years, depending on your ability to repay, and you have the option to defer repayments for one year. You can apply through the SBA Disaster Assistance website.

How SBA disaster loans work

Main Street Loans

The Federal Reserve has plans to launch a program for small and midsize businesses called the Main Street Lending Program. Funding runs from $1 million to $25 million for new loans — and up to $150 million if you add funds to an existing loan. Rates are variable and run from 2.5% to 4% over the secured overnight financing rate (SOFR). The loans come with a four-year term, as well as a year of deferment.

Currently, you need to have no more than 10,000 employees or an annual revenue $2.5 billion or under. But this program is still in the works, so details are likely to change. Generally, it’s a better deal for larger businesses that don’t qualify for an EIDL or PPP loan.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

If you need more than $10,000 to cover expenses now, you can apply for a disaster bridge loan in addition to your disaster loan. This program offers up to $25,000 in funding with less paperwork and a quicker turnaround, though the exact timing depends on the lender.

Lenders can charge up to 6.5% over the prime rate, or 9.75% as of April 3, 2020. The maximum term is seven years, but if you receive disaster loan funds, you can use it to pay off all or part of your bridge loan.

These loans are available through lenders that offer SBA Express loans.

Discounted business loans

Some lenders have started offering discounted loans to help small businesses combat the coronavirus. While these loans are still rare, more may be coming soon, especially in areas where the government subsidizes or backs these loans, like Washington State.

And, while many banks don’t offer disaster loans, most are offering assistance and resources to guide you through the application process.

LenderLoanAmountCostHow it works
FundRocketStimulus 2020$1,0000% APR
  • No credit or collateral requirements
  • Apply by setting up an account on Womply and reaching out to say you’re interested in the loan
  • Pay it back with weekly installments of either 10% of sales or $100 — whichever is lower
  • No repayments are required if there are no sales
LiftFundDisaster Relief 2020 LoanUp to $50,000Rates vary depending on if you’re a new or returning customer.Applications have been temporarily closed, but you can fill out an interest form on LiftFund’s website.

  • Payments deferred for up to 120 days
  • Businesses must be operating as of August 1, 2019 and experiencing a revenue decrease of at least 15%
  • Collateral required to back the loan
  • Applicants must have a 6-month recovery plan and be in good standing with creditors for last 6 months
U.S. BankQuick Loan$5,000 to $250,000APR 2% lower than what your business would have otherwise qualified for
  • Discounted rates on this unsecured term loan, with the same requirements and terms of a U.S. Bank Quick Loan
  • Apply online, through U.S. Bank’s mobile app, over the phone or at a branch
U.S. BankCash Flow Manager$10,000 to $250,000APR 1% lower than what your business would have otherwise qualified for
  • Discounted rates on its business line of credit, with no changes to requirements
WaFd BankSmall Business LifelineUp to $200,0000% APR for first 90 daysWe could no longer find details about this loan on the WaFd Bank website, as of June 8, 2020. It may have closed applications, so reach out to a WaFd Bank customer service representative for more information.

  • No interest for the first 90 days on these credit lines for businesses that have seen a 10% drop in revenue
  • Revolving credit line with terms up to 5 years
  • Expedited application for loans $30,000 and under
  • Available in:
    • Arizona
    • Idaho
    • Oregon
    • New Mexico
    • Nevada
    • Utah
    • Washington
    • Dallas or Austin, Texas
WefunderCoronavirus Crisis Loan$20,000 to $1 million3% to 10% APR
  • Crowdfund your loan from friends, family and Wefunder’s network of investors
  • Wefunder charges a 4% platform fee for successful campaigns, taken out of the loan
  • Defer repayments until 2021, then repay the loan with 2% to 20% of your sales
  • Equity option if you don’t want to repay the loan

9 ways to increase cash flow during the coronavirus outbreak

Local government loans

These cities have started offering loans for small businesses that have been hurt by the coronavirus. This list is growing fast — check with your local officials if you don’t see your city listed here.

Bexar County, TX

Applications have been temporarily closed, but you can fill out an interest form on LiftFund’s website.

Bexar County teamed up with LiftFund to offer interest-free disaster loans of up to $25,000 to small businesses. Terms are either 24 or 36 months, depending on how much you borrow. Payments are deferred for 120 days.

How do I apply?

You can apply by filling out an application on the LiftFund website.

Who qualifies?

Your business must meet the following criteria to qualify for this loan:

  • Hasn’t received a Bexar County COVID-19 loan
  • Business located in Bexar County, Texas
  • At least 15% revenue loss since March 1, 2020
  • Fewer than 10 full-time employees
  • Annual gross revenue of $1 million or under
  • In good standing with creditors for six months prior to outbreak
  • Businesses that have closed plan to reopen in the same location
  • Eligible type of business

You also need to verify the information in your application by connecting with your business’s bank account and presenting your business’s plan of action to rebuild after the outbreak.

Chicago, IL

Applications for the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund have closed.

The Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund allows businesses to borrow up to $50,000. The APR is set at 1% for the first 18 months and will increase to 5.75% for the remaining loan term. At least 50% of the proceeds must go toward payroll, and borrowers are required to make maintain 50% or more of their workforce for at least six months.

How do I apply?

You can apply directly on the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund website.

Who qualifies?

To apply for the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, your business will need to meet these requirements:

  • 50 employees or less
  • Annual revenue of $3 million or less
  • Decrease in revenue of at least 25% due to the coronavirus
  • Located in the City of Chicago
  • At least one year in business

Corpus Christi, TX

Applications have been temporarily closed, but you can fill out an interest form on LiftFund’s website.

The City of Corpus Christi has launched a Disaster Relief Loan program in partnership with microlender LiftFund. Businesses can borrow up to $25,000 at 0% interest with terms from 24 to 36 months, depending on the size of the loan. Payments are deferred for 120 days.

How do I apply?

You can apply by filling out an application on the LiftFund website.

Who qualifies?

Your business must meet the following requirements to qualify for this loan program:

  • At least 15% revenue loss since March 1, 2020
  • No more than $1.5 million in annual gross revenue
  • Business located in Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Closed businesses plan on reopening in the same location
  • In good standing with creditors for six months before outbreak

You’ll also need to verify your application by connecting with your bank account and presenting a plan of action to deal with the outbreak.

Denver, CO

Denver partnered with CEDS Finance to create the Denver Microlending Program, which offers business loans between $5,000 and $50,000 with terms up to five years.

How do I apply?

You can fill out the intake form on CEDS Finance’s website.

Who qualifies?

The Denver Microlending Program has two main requirements:

  • Gross annual revenue of $1 million or less
  • Certified by Denver’s Division of Small Business Opportunity (DSBO)

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles launched the City of LA Small Business Emergency Microloan Program to help small businesses deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses can borrow between $5,000 and $20,000.

There are two types of loans, depending on your business type:

  • Microenterprises that are either low income or provide low-income jobs. These come with 0% interest with terms from six months to one year.
  • Small businesses that offer low-income jobs. These come with interest rates from 3% to 5% and terms up to five years.
How do I apply?

You can apply online through the City of LA’s website. You’ll need to submit the following documents along with your application:

  • Most recent business tax returns, if available
  • Most recent personal tax returns
  • Interim financial statement
  • Personal financial statement
  • Three months of bank statements

It also requires a personal guarantee from all owners with a 20% stake in the company or higher.

Who qualifies?

Small businesses and microbusinesses can qualify if they meet the following requirements:

  • Located in the City of Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles Business Tax Registration Certificate filed before March 1, 2020
  • Explanation for any derogatory marks on credit report
  • No debt write-offs in past 12 months
  • Loan must help business retain jobs

If you or another owner have bad credit, you can bring on a cosigner to up your chances of approval.

New York City, NY

The New York Community Trust is offering nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 outbreak interest-free loans between $100,000 and $3 million. Repayment terms range from one to three years. It’s also offering financial coaching and cashflow planning to organizations that receive these loans.

How do I apply?

You can apply for the loan on the Nonprofit Finance Fund website.

Who qualifies?

You must meet these requirements to qualify:

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
  • Based in New York City
  • Recipient of New York City or New York State government funding
  • Annual operating budget under $20 million, excluding government contracts
  • Robust programming and services for all New York City residents

Financial assistance for New York businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak

Sacramento, CA

The City of Sacramento has temporarily paused its Small Business Economic Relief Loan Program due to a high volume of applications.

You can sign up to get notified when the program is available again on the Sacramento City website. You can get more information about relief available to your business by calling 916-808-7196.

If you had an application in, you should have received a response by April 16th. If you didn’t, reach out to the number listed above to ask about the status of your application.

San Francisco, CA

Applications for the San Francisco Hardship Emergency Loan Program have closed.

The San Francisco Hardship Emergency Loan Program (SF HELP) offers businesses based in the San Francisco area loans up to $50,000 with 0% interest. Repayments are flexible, and funds can be used as working capital or to fund equipment and inventory purchases.

How do I apply?

You can fill out the SF HELP inquiry form with information about your business to start the application process.

Who qualifies?

Businesses that meet these requirements may qualify for the SF HELP program:

  • Located within San Francisco city limits
  • For-profit business
  • Annual revenue of $2,500,000 or less
  • Valid San Francisco business license
  • Business bank account
  • Demonstrate 25% drop in revenue since January 1, 2020

South County, CA

The South County Economic Development Council (EDC) is offering $5,000 interest-free business loans to restaurants that are staying open during the outbreak. There are no repayments until April 1, 2021, when the full loan balance will be due. The South County EDC will only offer around 50 of these loans, so apply as soon as you can.

How do I apply?

You can download an application on the South County website. Once completed, email it along with copies of the following documents to SCEDC@SouthCountyEDC.com.

  • Proof of San Diego residency, such as driver’s license
  • W-9 IRS form
  • Copy of current business license
  • Document showing the owner has authority to sign a promissory note
Who qualifies?

Restaurants must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Located in an eligible ZIP code
  • Open for takeout or delivery and operating according to San Diego County guidelines
  • Not part of a franchise or chain
  • Owners can’t have a financial interest in more than three San Diego County restaurants
  • Owners must live in San Diego County

State government loans

These states are offering programs specifically to combat the coronavirus. This list is changing rapidly — check with your state if you don’t see yours listed here.

Additional SBA assistance

In addition to loans and grants, the SBA Debt Relief Program will cover the principal, interest and fee payments for six months on all new or current 7(a) loans — including Community Advantage loans — and non-SBA microloans. It’s also automatically deferring all payments on current disaster loans until December 31, 2020, so your business doesn’t need to apply.

The SBA is making resources more widely available by publishing essential information in the 10 most commonly spoken languages in the US, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Korean.

Grants available to business owners affected by the coronavirus

Some local governments like San Francisco and companies like Amazon have started offering cash grants to businesses affected by the coronavirus. These tend to be smaller than loans and are limited to businesses in specific geographic areas.

You can find out if grants are available in your area by contacting your local business department and any corporations with headquarters where you operate.

Visit our page on business grants to find funding today

Use local resources to stay on top of your options

Loans, grants and other financial aid programs are changing on a near-daily basis as the outbreak progresses. You can keep up with the options available to you by reaching out to your local small business development center (SBDC).

Michael Myhre, the CEO of the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, told Finder that SBDCs offer free help to small businesses during any disaster, including the coronavirus outbreak.

“Our team of disaster specialists can assist you with preparing and submitting your loan application and with other post-disaster challenges,” he said. You can find an SBDC near you on the America’s SBDC website.

Banks offering coronavirus assistance to businesses

These banks are part of a growing list of lenders that are offering financial assistance to small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus.

BankAssistanceCustomer service helplineWhere to find more info
ACNB BankRelief for business banking customers through April 30, 2020:

  • Potential fee waivers on deposit accounts and loans
  • Potential loan payment amount and length adjustments
  • Monthly maintenance fee waiver
800-862-6200Learn more
Associated Bank
  • Deferral for small business loans
  • Small business credit card fee waivers if customer service is contacted
  • Late fee suspension of small business loans
800-337-4641Learn more
Bank of AmericaBank of America won’t report late payments to credit bureaus for up-to-date business accounts, in addition to the following relief:

  • Deposit accounts — refunds on overdraft, monthly maintenance and nonsufficient funds fees
  • Credit cards — refunds on late and payment deferral fees
  • Small business loans — payment deferral and late fee refunds

 

  • Banking customers: 888-287-4637
  • Credit card customers: Call the number on the back of your card
Learn more
CitibankCitibank is offering the following assistance for retail and small business products:

  • Waived monthly service fees
  • Waived remote deposit capture fees
  • Waived early withdrawal fees on CDs
Call the number on your statementLearn more
Citizens bank
  • Up to 180 days of payment deferrals
  • Up to 90 days of service fee waivers for Cash Management
  • Late fee and overdraft fee waivers
  • Grants available through the Relief and Recovery program
877-363-2472Learn more
County BankRelief for insurance and business banking customers on a case-by-case basis800-726-8689Learn more
CVNB Bank
  • Deferred loan payments for up to 90 days
  • Interest-only payments on loans
  • Loan agreement modifications
800-999-3126Learn more
Fifth Third Bank
  • Small business loans — defer loans for up to 90 days with no fees and the option to modify repayments; waived fees for 6 months on Fast Capital loans
  • Deposit products — waived fees for 90 days
877-534-2264Learn more
Fulton Bank
  • Small business unsecured line of credit
  • Mobile remote deposits and ACH payment options
800-385-8664Learn more
Horicon Bank
  • No fees on certain deposit accounts and loans
  • Deferred loan payments for business loans
  • Fee waivers and payment relief for business credit cards
888-343-3040Learn more
Huntington Bank
  • Small business loan payment deferral
  • Fee and late payment waivers
  • Credit card payment assistance
800-480-2001Learn more
PNC Bank
  • Loan and credit card hardship programs
  • Loan agreement modifications
  • Waived monthly fees
  • Loans and lines of credit: 877-287-2654
  • Credit cards: 800-558-8472
Learn more
Santander
  • Credit products — payment extensions, deferment and suspensions, refunds on late fees
  • Deposit accounts — waived overdraft fees, increased ATM withdrawal limits.
  • Credit cards — increased credit limits
877-768-2265Learn more
Truist

(Formerly BB&T and SunTrust)

Payment assistance relief on business loans and credit cards
  • Former BB&T clients: 800-226-5228
  • Former SunTrust clients: 800-786-8787
Learn more
U.S. BankHardship assistance on a case-by-case basis888-287-7817Learn more
ValleyLoan assistance and payment relief on a case-by-case basis800-522-4100Learn more
Wells FargoPayment deferral, waived fees and other assistance on business loans and credit cards800-219-9739Learn more
WesBanco
  • Deferred loan payments for up to 90 days
  • Additional assistance for existing customers on a case-by-case basis
800-654-6288Learn more

Other banks and lenders may be offering deferment and additional assistance on a case-by-case basis. Contact yours to find out what options are available, or read our page on financial assistance during the coronavirus outbreak.

9 ways to protect your business and employees during the outbreak

Keep your bottom line and employees safe by taking these precautions, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Ask employees to stay home. The CDC advises businesses to encourage sick employees to stay home. And allowing all employees to work from home if possible can help prevent spreading COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
  • Separate sick employees. If an employee shows up with a cough, shortness of breath or a fever, have them work in an area away from other employees, if not sent home right away.
  • Invest in cleaning. Have your regular cleaning crew do a deep clean with disinfectant, making sure they wipe down frequently touched surfaces like door handles, desks and keyboards.
  • Leave reminders on hygiene. Hang posters reminding employees of CDC-recommended practices, like frequently washing hands for 20 seconds, coughing and sneezing into tissues, and avoiding touching their faces.
  • Bend company etiquette rules. Consider holding meetings via video calls instead of in person, encouraging employees to avoid handshakes and loosening up work-from-home policies if at all possible.
  • Encourage direct deposit. Ask employees who receive paper pay checks or cash to sign up to have their salary electronically deposited into their bank accounts.
  • Hold off on taxes. The IRS extended the 2019 tax deadline to July 15, 2020 to free up cash for small businesses and individuals.
  • Learn how to raise money. Invest some time into learning how to crowdfund and fundraise efficiently by using a service like Founder Gym.
  • Apply for financing now. Even if you’re not totally sure you’ll need it. You’ll have an easier time getting approved for financing before your business has been affected. Consider taking out a line of credit, which you can draw from as needed to cover expenses.

How long is the coronavirus outbreak expected to last?

It’s still unclear how long the coronavirus is expected to last, according to the CDC. Many viruses decrease during warmer months, but the CDC says that’s not always the case. And even if the rate of COVID-19 cases decreases in the summer, there’s a chance it’ll come back in the fall.

You can stay up to date on the latest coronavirus news by regularly visiting the CDC COVID-19 landing page.

Bottom line

Look to your local, state and federal government if your business has already been hurt by the coronavirus and needs funds. Continue your search with our guide to business loans.

Frequently asked questions

Finder.com received a PPP loan in May 2020.

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