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Updates To Business Financial Assistance Resources

Besides changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, recent legislation has updated or renewed a number of resources that may provide financial assistance for small businesses. We have compiled a list of these programs and initiatives below. Please note that this is not intended to replace advice or guidance from your accountant, and the information provided is subject to change.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

  • The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open.
  • This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.
  • Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
  • Learn more about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund program on the SBA website

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans

  • COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide funds to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred
  • Loan amounts may be up to $500,000, depending on qualifications and approval dates
  • Proceeds must be used for normal operating expenses and working capital, and collateral may be required
  • Learn more about Economic Injury Disaster Loans on the SBA website

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

  • This $15 billion grant program provides assistance for eligible live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, or talent representatives that have experienced at least a 25% drop in revenue. 
  • Grants are equal to the lesser of $10 million or 45% of gross earned revenue in 2019. Grants must be used for specified expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities, and personal protective equipment.  
  • If you receive a grant you may not apply for a new PPP loan. If you already received a PPP loan, your Grant will be reduced by the loan amount.
  • Learn more about Shuttered Venue Operators Grants on the SBA website

Microenterprise Grant Program (West Central Wisconsin Only)

  • West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (WCWRPC) is administering a $510,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coronavirus (CV) award from the Wisconsin Department of Administration to establish a Microenterprise Grant Program for West Central Wisconsin.
  • The Program will provide up to $5,000 in grant funding to eligible small businesses located in Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire (excluding the City of Eau Claire), Polk, and St. Croix counties to cover working capital needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The business must have five or fewer employees and meet specific income and eligibility requirements
  • Learn more about the Microenterprise Grant Program on the WCWRPC website

SBA Loan Debt Forgiveness

  • The new law resumes the government payment of monthly principal and interest on small business loans guaranteed by the SBA under the 7(a), 504, and Microloan programs. Borrowers with loans approved by the SBA prior to the CARES Act will receive an additional three months of payments beginning in February of 2021. Those payments will be capped at $9,000 per borrower per month.  
  • After that, certain borrowers will receive an additional five months of payments, including: borrowers with SBA microloans or 7(a) Community Advantage loans or borrowers with any 7(a) or 504 loan in hard hit sectors: educational services; arts, entertainment and recreation; food service and accommodation; support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction; apparel manufacturing; clothing and clothing accessories stores; sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores; air transportation; transit and ground passenger transportation; scenic and sightseeing transportation; publishing industries; motion picture and sound recording; broadcasting; rental and leasing services; and personal and laundry services. 
  • New SBA loans made or approved between December 22, 2020 and September 30, 2021 will receive six months of government payment of principal and interest, also capped at $9,000 per month.

Expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit

  • The new law significantly expands the employee retention tax credit beginning on January 1, 2021. The credit expires on June 30, 2021. The prior credit was 50% on $10,000 in qualified wages for the whole year (or a maximum of $5,000 per employee). The new credit is 70% on $10,000 in wages per quarter (or a maximum $14,000 per employee through June 30th).  
  • The new law also expands which employers are eligible. Prior to the new law, the employee retention tax credit applied only to an employer who experienced a decline in gross receipts of more than 50% in a quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019. Eligibility is now expanded to include employers who experienced a decline of more than 20%. 
  • In addition, the employee cap under which it is easier to claim the tax credit has been raised to 500 employees from 100 employees. Now, employers with 500 or fewer employees can claim the credit for wages to paid to employees irrespective of whether the employee is providing services.  
  • Employers can now also receive both the Employee Retention Tax Credit and a PPP loan, just not to cover the same payroll expenses.

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