New COVID Business Assistance Programs and Update on EIDL Loans
Heads up on new COVID Business Assistance Programs Passed by Vermont Legislature (Note: These are not yet signed into law)
The 2022 Legislative Session is wrapping up this week. In S.11, the Legislature has allocated additional ARPA funds to assist with business recovery:
- Short-Term Forgivable Loan Program (Sec.47): $19,000,000 to VEDA to create a program offering forgivable loans to Vermont businesses and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees. The applicant must demonstrate economic harm from lost revenue, increased costs, challenges covering payroll, rent or mortgage interest, or other operating costs that threaten the current capacity of the business to weather financial hardships and result in ongoing financial insecurity due to COVID. Maximum loans are lesser of (1) $350,000.00; (2) six months’ of eligible operating expenses; or (3) the amount of the cumulative decline in adjusted net operating income during the COVID-19 public health emergency in 2020 and 2021. Loans can be used to pay for eligible operating expenses, but not for capital expenditures. VEDA will forgive the loan when evidence is submitted showing that the loan was used to pay for eligible operating expenses.
- Creative Economy (Sec. 52b): $9,000,000 to the Vermont Arts Council to provide grants for monthly operating costs, including rent, mortgage, utilities, and insurance, to creative economy businesses and nonprofits that have sustained substantial losses due to the pandemic.
- Community Recovery and Revitalization Grant program (Sec. 46): $10,580,000 to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development for grants to eligible businesses, non-profits, and municipalities. Grants of up to $1,000,000 or 20% of total project cost.
- COVID-19 Paid Leave Grant Program (Secs. 54a): $15,180,000.00 through the Department of Financial Regulation to reimburse employers for the cost of paid leave provided to employees between 7/1/22 and 6/30/23. Reimbursement is paid out at 100% of employee’s hourly wage for up to 40 hours/employee or the employee’s average weekly hours, whichever is less. Max grant per employee is $21.25/hour and $850.00 in the aggregate. Employers may also utilize money to retroactively provide paid leave to employees who did not have paid leave available when they were absent for a COVID-19-related reason.
These programs are likely to commence on or around July 1, 2022. ACEDC will provide additional updates, including application and portal information as soon as it becomes available.
Update on SBA EIDL Loans
- If you have an EIDL PENDING APPLICATION FOR AN INCREASE, the SBA has announced that they expect to run out of funds for the increases in the next few days. Therefore, it is paramount that you complete all necessary requirements no later than 11:59 pm on MONDAY MAY 16th. This includes any documentation or signatures required. Check the portal immediately to see if you have unfinished tasks to complete.
- All EIDL loan recipients should make sure that they have downloaded copies of all their loan documents from their portal to their own computers by 11:59 pm on MONDAY MAY 16th. If you have not yet done this, make sure that you do by May 16. You are responsible for keeping all your initial loan documentation electronically (and in hard copy) for the duration of your loan.
- Please note that as of 11:59 pm on May 16th the portal access will be permanently closed. If you fail to download your documents by this time you will need to contact the Disaster Customer Service Center at (833) 853-5638 to request your documents.
- Please note that new applications for a loan increase are no longer being accepted.
- We also encourage you to begin the process of setting up your payments and understanding the amount of interest that is accruing. See the SBA info page here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/make-payment-sba