Cash From The Big Guys
Updated: Jul 15
By Steven Davidson
Small businesses are still facing difficulties when finding ways to stay alive while the coronavirus pandemic continues. The federal government has provided some relief through the CARES Act, which created the Paycheck Protection Program and Employee Retention Tax Credit, and most states have created their own programs to help those who are struggling. These programs have stopped the bleeding, but they are not enough to fully heal the problem. Since these programs are not applicable to all small business owners, a question on many people’s minds is what are the larger, multibillion dollar companies doing to help? Small business owners will be happy to hear that many corporations have created their own programs to help the fight against Covid-19. Here is a list of the top 6 programs offered by corporations to small businesses.
1. Hello Alice Business For All Covid-19 Grants
Hello Alice is a resource center for business owners which helps with their launching and growth. In partnership with Verizon, Ebay, Silicon Valley Bank, and many other big companies, Hello Alice is providing $10,000 in emergency grants to small business owners. To be eligible for entry into the grant contest, business owners must be all of the following as of March 26, 2020:
a. Legal resident of the US (excluding US territories)
b. At least 18 years old
c. Be a leading executive of the business who is legally able to bind the business
Furthermore, the business itself must have its main place of business in the US and be participating in only legal business activities as a permissible business entity. Those who win may be subject to background checks and other forms of eligibility verification.
The grants are distributed through six different rounds with each winner receiving $10,000. Rounds are essentially blocks of application submissions and are structured, so businesses can receive funding as quickly as possible. Winners are decided by Sponsor’s weighing demonstrated need, proposed use of funds, and meeting the eligibility criteria above. The application period ends July 16, 2020. For a full list of round dates and other information about the rules of the program, click here.
2. Google Programs
It is no surprise to see Google, one of the biggest companies in the world, really stepping up to the plate in light of this pandemic. They have provided over $800 million for crisis response and small business support. Not all of this directly helps small businesses financially, so we will be looking at the main program designed to help them, called Google’s Advertising Credits.
Google Advertising Credits
Google is offering $340 million in advertisement credits to small and medium sized businesses who advertise through Google. The credits can be used for future advertisements on Google and are automatically applied to those who qualify with no application process. Each eligible customer can receive one credit worth about $1,000.
To be eligible for the credit, businesses must have spent money on Google Ads, directly or through a third-party, in ten out of twelve months in 2019 and in January or February of 2020. The credits are being rolled out in phases to ensure they are properly received and are valid until the end of 2020. For more information on the program, take a look at Google’s Ad Help Center
3. Kiva Support Loans
Kiva is a non-profit that grants entrepreneurs fast access to capital. In response to the Coronavirus, Kiva has opened applications for up to $15,000 in loans at 0% interest for business owners based in the US and over 18 years old which:
a. Use the loan for business purposes
b. Not engaged in multi-level marketing, direct sales, illegal activities, or pure financial investing
c. Not in foreclosure, bankruptcy, or under any liens
d. Have good social capital by having some friends and family make a loan to you
A main question surrounding this loan is what exactly is social capital and how does one meet this requirement? Kiva loans do not require a certain credit score or history and instead uses this to decide whether a borrower is credible. Borrowers are given a fifteen-day period to get a certain number of lenders from their network to give them a loan. The number of lenders required is between 5 and 35, depending on subjective factors. For more information on the loan’s requirements, go to Kiva’s loan page.
4. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Grants
The LISC has partnered up with Verizon and Sam’s Club to create a relief grant to help small businesses. The grants are for either $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 and priority is given to business owners who are of color, women, or veterans. Each person can only apply for this grant once, even if they own multiple businesses, so the LISC recommends applying for owners' largest business. The grants can be applied in each round. Owners must be over 18 years of age, show they are promoting the best interests of the community, and show difficulty accessing capital due to Coronavirus. For more information about the grant and registering for notifications about new rounds of funding, visit LISC’s funding page.
5. Honeycomb Relief Loan
Honeycomb Credit is a crowdfunding website for small businesses looking to raise capital. They have launched a loan program in which qualifying businesses can get up to $50,000 dollars in loans. They have provided 2 loan options with criteria to be met for each and are available in every state except South Dakota and Alabama. For more information, go to their loan application site.
The first loan option offers between $10,000-$50,000 in working capital. They allow for an initial 45 day period of no payments, a 3.75% interest-only payment period over the first 6 months, and 5% interest rate over the rest of the loan. It is for 3 years with no penalty for prepayment. Here are the necessary criteria:
● 3+ years operating history
● Turned a profit in 2019
● Good credit score and positive net worth for owners
● 1.2+ debt service coverage ratio
● Legally registered and organized
● No delinquencies
● Good standing lease agreement
● Blanket lien on business
● Demonstrate community support
This loan is better suited for newer businesses but offers less capital. The loan is for $10,000-$25,000 and comes with the same criteria as the option 1 loan except the 7.5% interest rate over a 3-year fully amortizing loan after the interest only period. Here are the financial qualifications for this loan program:
● 1+ years of operating history
● At least break even in 2019
● 20% owners must have above average credit scores
● 1.0+ debt service coverage ratio
● Non-negative net worth for all owners
● No delinquencies unless they are directly from Coronavirus
● Good standing lease agreement
● Blanket lien on business
● Legally registered and organized
● Personal guarantee
● Community support evidence
For businesses needing more capital, there are other options provided. Owners need to only fill out the form in the link above to hear what they have to offer.
6. MainVest Loan Program
MainVest is a crowdfunding source for businesses to raise capital. As part of their Main Street Initiative program, the company is offering a loan for $2,000 with 0% interest to businesses that are currently brick and mortar and have experienced financial hardship due to Covid-19. The loan is to be repaid after 120 days and is immediately applied for when businesses follow the steps for a capital raise through Mainvest’s website. A capital raise is a funding program that allows for business owners to raise up to $250,000 from investors on the site. Once the capital raise is established, the loan can take as little as 48 hours to be received. For more information on this and other Mainvest programs, go to The Main Street Initiative.
The following list contains different options companies are looking to help small businesses in ways that are either not directly financial, have run out of money but might add funds, or have smaller relief options that might not be enough for some small businesses.
Facebook Small Business Grant (Waiting for additional funds): Though they are not currently taking new applications, Facebook created a program with over $100 million in funding for small businesses who qualified. Their website ensures that new resources will be available soon, so there may be more funding to this program in the future.
The program was offered to small businesses that have between 2-50 employees and have been in business for over a year. They must be near a location where Facebook operates and show challenges arising from Coronavirus. For a full list of application requirements and updates on future funding and programs, visit Facebook’s Business Boost site.
GoFundMe Grant: GoFundMe has partnered with several other websites to offer a grant for $500 to small businesses that raise $500 through their website. This may not be a lot of money for most small businesses, but in times like these, any opportunity for free money is a good one. For more information, click here.
Capital One’s Save Small Business Fund: Partnering with the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Capital One has launched this philanthropic venture for small businesses to take advantage of donations to this fund. Though the application process has closed, those who have applied are still receiving grants and more funding may lead to a reopening. To be eligible, businesses must employ between 3-20 people, be located in an economically vulnerable community, and have been harmed by Covid-19. For more information and updates, go to the Save Small Business Fund website.
Kabbage Online Hub: Kabbage is an online site where businesses can sell gift cards through a URL. The company has created a hub where businesses can sell gift cards, redeemable after the pandemic to boost sales while limited or closed. To learn more, visit Kabbage’s Online Hub and create an account to get your business started.
Kangaroo Security: This security company is offering 3 months of free security monitoring kits to businesses that cannot be present and want to protect themselves from theft. The offer is available until June 30, 2020 and comes with a camera, motion entry sensors, and complete service with professional monitoring. To get started, click here.
Are you interested in launching or sustaining a pandemic proof small business? Spot issues, take action, stay safe, and thrive in a post Covid-19 world with Legalucy. Learn more at thelucyreport.com
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