The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted our professional and personal lives. Most businesses are unable to operate in their normal fashion. More than 30 million individuals have filed job loss claims in the past month alone. Our education system — K-12 schools, colleges and universities — has moved to distance learning. These disruptions are compounded by the fact that thousand of individuals have died from COVID-19.


 is here to be a marketplace of information and is working with the Legislative Issues and Public Affairs Committee to develop tools and resources to help you navigate these trying times. Below is important information about the CARES Act and how it may benefit you, whether you are a business owner or an employee negatively impacted from the COVID-19 pandemic.


What is the CARES Act?

In March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2. trillion disaster relief aid package to help support workers, families, and small businesses.


What Support Is Available For Small Businesses?

The programs and initiatives in the CARES Act are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. As it continues to roll out, there will be many new resources available for small businesses (as defined as less than 500 employees), which means many HBCUs and churches as well as certain non-profits and other employers will be eligible for aid.


Three CARES Act programs to focus on:


1. Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grant

These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments. To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance.


The SBA is not currently accepting new applications for the EIDL COVID-19 program, but may begin accepting new applicants as a result of $10 billion in additional disaster aid funding Congress approved. If you are a small business owner, periodically check the  to see if new applications are being accepted.


Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.



The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides low-interest loans to small businesses, which are fully guaranteed by the federal government and forgiven if participating small businesses adhere to requirements regarding retaining and rehiring (if required) their employees. In March, Congress authorized an initial $349 billion and recently approved an additional $310 billion due to the intial funding being exhausted. The additional funding includes set-asides regarding which financial entities will provide PPP loans:


  • $30 billion of PPP funds are allocated to be loaned by non-big banks, particularly community finance institutions (CFIs) as well as credit unions and insured deposit instititions with assets of less than $10 billion.
  • $30 billion of PPP funds are to be loaned by non-big banks, particularly insured depository institutions and credit unions with assets $10 billion and $50 billion.


To address the lending issues as a result of the initial rollout and in an effort to help get PPP loans from participating banks to more small businesses in a more timely manner, from participating banks once they are made. If this purchase program becomes a reality, then banks would essentially be incentivized to make loans to more small businesses and not just those that are their existing clients.


3. Main Street Lending Program (MSLP)

A total of $600 billion will be made available for businesses with less than 10,000 employees or revenue of $25 billion or less for 2019. This program will provide low-interest loans to eligible businesses. The loans will have a 4-year maturity term and defers debt service (principal and interest) payment for one year. To learn more about the MSLP program . The application process for this program has not opened yet; stay tuned for announcements regarding the program’s opening.


What Support Is Available For Individuals, Households, and Families?

The CARES Act addresses the financial hardship of individuals and households by providing varied financial relief assistance, including:

  • Expanded Unemployment Insurance (UI) assistance
  • Student loan forbearance (initially 6 month)
  • Mortgage forbearance

How Can I Support Small Businesses?

During this unprecedented time, it is more important than ever that we support each other and keep dollars in our community. Earlier this year, the National Green Pages e-directory ( launched. The e-directory, which focuses on creating a business network of Link entrepreneurs globally on one comprehensive platform, now boasts of nearly 150 listings of Link-owned businesses and is growing.


Check out the National Green Pages to learn about the goods and services our Link sisters are providing and buy (Links) green!


If you haven’t already, visit  and register and list your business/profession today!


Additional Resources and Information


Assistance for Individuals and Families

Assistance for Small Businesses

Paycheck Protection Program Resources

Findings and Information

Leave a Reply