Mar. 17, 2020

Support for Small Businesses Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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Even as health officials urgently work to find a vaccination to stop COVID-19 in its tracks, small businesses are also desperately seeking a shot in the arm. Companies—particularly those involved with global trade—are getting hit hard. Fortunately there are developments underway to offset the impact.

Concerned about the employer-mandated sick leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Act passed a week ago, some Senators are looking to amend the bill to mitigate impact on small businesses. In addition, Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill that could extend the loan limit for SBA Express from $350,000 to $1 million and waive all fees for loans for one year.

Meanwhile, the SBA is offering loan programs designed to help companies that are hit with financial loss due to COVID-19. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are available to qualifying businesses based on their locale and the extent of economic hardship. To see which locations qualify, check the Disaster Loan Assistance page on the SBA website. The maximum loan amount with this program is $2 million, with a loan rate of 3.75 (or 2.75% for nonprofits). Companies looking to explore an EIDL will need IRS Form 4506T to start, and can apply online at the SBA website.

As various relief legislations move through the process, the US Chamber of Commerce is seeking to eliminate employer payroll taxes through May. It is also working to waive the requirement that small businesses prove EIDL would be their sole source of credit—especially important given that additional funding can help companies ramp up their fiscal and operational strategy to power through a tough economy.

As an example, customers who rely on trade financing through Flexport Capital are able to finance their inventory purchases and cost of shipping. This helps them extend working capital, improve payment terms, and help manage the financial health of their business in a time of uncertainty.

To learn more about available Flexport financing options, connect with a trade finance expert.

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