April 7, 2020 / Kelly Anne Smith, Forbes Staff
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to halt daily life with shelter-in-place orders. Small businesses are being forced to shut down, and now owners are struggling to come up with the cash to keep running.
The federal government is stepping in to help with the Paycheck Protection Program, which was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed on March 27. The Paycheck Protection Program provides $349 billion in forgivable loans to help small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.
Here’s everything small business owners need to know about the program. This post will continue to be updated as more details are released.
What Businesses Qualify?
Small businesses and nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees can apply for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program—that includes sole proprietors and independent contractors. Small businesses in the hotel and food service industries, and that are franchises according to the SBA’s guidelines, may qualify if they have more than 500 employees. One loan will be granted per business, and a taxpayer identification number (TIN) is required to apply.