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8 Small Business Resources for your Financial Health During COVID-19

April 9th, 2020 | | John Ohlin

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As we navigate this new environment – physically, mentally, and economically – I wanted to share some resources and support on behalf of our whole team at Deerwood Bank.

We serve hundreds of businesses at Deerwood Bank. The local restaurants, the mom and pop shops, the hard-working tradesmen, the essential healthcare workers – businesses of all types and sizes. We are honored to serve them during good times, and now, during the tough times. As COVID-19 changes what we thought 2020 would look like, we’re all adjusting – especially small businesses.

For all of the small businesses navigating these difficult times, we see you, we hear you, and we’re here to serve you. Below are some resources to help during this time – some government programs and some ideas and resources right in our own communities. We’re in this together and we’ll get through this together.

John Ohlin, President/CEO


Local Resources

  1. Utilize local SBA resources.
    Your local SBA office is a great resource to get started. They’ll have information on programs and resources available and will be able to help you sift through the programs and find the ones that can be most beneficial for your business.  Visit the SBA’s Local Assistance Directory to locate the office nearest you.
  2. Connect with your Business Banker.
    Your business banker is always here to serve you, but especially during this time of uncertainty and unease. One of the greatest benefits of working with a community bank like Deerwood, is that you’ll get personal service, personal guidance, and a personal relationship with people who care about your business and success.Together, we’ll work through this. We promise we’ll do everything in our ability to make this time more bearable for you and your business. Call your Deerwood business banker, or connect with a business banker for the first time.
  3. Utilize your City and Chamber’s resources.
    Many Cities and Chambers are stepping up their business support game in light of the current events. From serving as a resource for small businesses to finding creative funding options to promoting business’s specials on social media, your City and Chamber can be tools in your toolkit to lessen the burden during this time.

State Resources (sourced from MN Deed)

  1. Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.
    Summary of Program:
    This program provides an 80% loan guarantee for loans up to $250,000 made by a qualified economic development lender within this program. This program is intended to be an incentive to the private market to make loans to small businesses and provides the guarantee for those loan dollars. The state is providing a loan guarantee of $10 million which is likely to leverage between $20 and $25 million in lending by private banks. You can find details for this program on DEED’s website.Why this might make sense for you: Your lender will consider your situation and may require this guarantee in order to lend money to your business.
  2. Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan Program
    Summary of Program:
    Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loans are made through an approved lender – you can find FAQs, application materials and lenders on the DEED website. These loans are for $2,500 to $35,000 and at a 0% interest rate. There is a total of $30 million available for this program.Why this might make sense for you: If you are affected by Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08, this program could provide a 0% loan to help you meet expenses.

National Resources (sourced from MN Deed)

  1. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
    Summary of Program: Congress authorized a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers those who do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits, such as independent contractors and self-employed people. The program was authorized but must be created by the states, so Minnesota must build out this program before it can be implemented. More information will be available soon, however it could be several weeks before payments begin.Why this might make sense for you: If a self-employed person needs compensation or a business or nonprofit needs funds for employee compensation, including: salaries, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips or equivalents; vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; payment required for providing group health care benefits (including insurance premiums); payment of retirement benefits; and payroll taxes.
  2. SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
    Summary of Program:
    The SBA PPP is a new federal $350 billion loan program at SBA for small businesses, self-employed people, and gig workers to help them from going under due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If employers maintain payroll, the loans would be forgiven.Why this might make sense for you: If you are affected by Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08, this program could provide a 0% loan to help you meet expenses.
  3. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
    Summary of Program:
    Low interest, long term Economic Injury Disaster Loans for up to $2 million: The first payment is deferred for 12 months. The application has been simplified and can be completed 100% online through their improved web portal at sba.gov/disaster. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75% and the loans can be extended over 30 years.Why this might make sense for you: The SBA EIDL can be used to maintain payroll, provide paid sick leave, meet increased costs, make rent or mortgage payments, as well as repay unmet expenses and obligations.SBA EIDL Grants – Businesses applying for an EIDL loan can request up to $10,000 be disbursed immediately. The amount need not be repaid, regardless of the loan decision. The form to apply for an advance is part of the new EIDL application. If you have already applied for an EIDL Loan and wish to apply for the advance, please fill out the new, streamlined application. Why this might make sense to you: This advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending and will be forgiven.

If you have questions about how to access these programs or benefits, please reach out to your business banker and they’ll do their best to make the process nice and simple for you. We’re all in this together, and I’m confident our communities and our country will come out of this stronger and better than ever.

Lastly, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the essential workers in our communities. To all the healthcare workers, public safety personnel, grocery store clerks, and the list goes on. Your work, dedication, and effort during this time does not go unnoticed – we are grateful for YOU.

Do you have questions or concerns about business relief loans and/or other support programs?

Connect with a banker. We are here to help in your time of need.