Guidance for Small Business Owners & Federal CARES Act

March 25, 2020

Many of you that own a small business have reached out looking for guidance.  I have pulled together resources that have been shared with our office from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) that I hope you will find helpful.  I have also included a summary of the current federal CARES Act being considered by Congress.  If there is something specific that is not addressed below, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we will try to help.  

  • This NFIB website is dedicated to updates regarding the status of federal legislation.  That can be found here.
  • NFIB also has a site that they’re using as a clearing house of small biz info regarding Covid-19.  That can be found here.  While this site is updated regularly, it currently contains links to the CDC and SBA, a recording of a webinar and a host of other information. 
  • NFIB Texas also has a resource page with state specific information that can be found here.
  • An SBA loan resource page, including a link to determine eligibility and apply for a loan, can be found here.  While this application is available now, there may be Business Interruption loans included in the second legislative package currently being debated in Congress.  These BI loans could be used for payroll, debt obligations, rent/mortgage, etc. and could potentially be forgiven depend on how they are utilized.  As the details for these BI loans become more clear, we will update that.
  • The TWC has a shared work program for employees who have had their hours cut back.  That page can be found here.
  • Small Business Development Center continues to be an excellent resource for small businesses.  You can find their regional contact information and a Covid-19 resource page here.
  • Finally, I have attached an FAQ sheet from the Texas Workforce Commission specifically for small business owners.  It can be downloaded here.  Following the social media accounts for Texas Workforce Commission is also another great way to stay up to date: FacebookTwitter and YouTube.   (Please note TWC has seen an enormous increase of traffic on their website and call center.  They are rapidly increasing capacity and technology to streamline and handle the volume.) 

Summary of Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
(Note: This information was provided by the House Republican Whip Coalitions Coordinator)

  • Provides grants and loans to small businesses to meet payroll and pay rent.
  • Sends direct checks to individual Americans of up to $1200.
  • Allows regulatory relief so banks can grant loan forbearance for otherwise healthy businesses struggling while business has been shut down.
  • Provides Treasury and the Fed the ability to provide several trillion in assistance to distressed industries, including airlines, through guaranteed loans while also including accountability protections.
  • Rushes resources to hospitals, doctors and other front line providers. 
  • Expands the use of Telehealth medicine to surge capacity and diagnose and treat patients in safe and faster environment.
  • Temporarily expands unemployment insurance to provide life line for those who have lost their jobs.
  • Provides tax policy incentives, such as fixing key technical corrections from the tax cut and Jobs Act, including QIP and NOL.
  • Provides liability protection for providers who volunteer (Good Samaritan).
  • Allows HSA to be used to purchase over the counter medicines.
  • Extends expiring health extenders to November. 
  • For a more detailed summary, click here.