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Navigating the news is a challenge these days. From burgeoning initiatives to brand-new loans and proposed legislation, it seems like every day, a new small business resource pops up. What is the best way to stay on top of all of the relevant COVID-19 news? How do you zero in on helpful links?

During these challenging times, it is important to remember that WREN is here to help. On this page, we have consolidated an evolving list of regional, state, and national COVID-19 links that will help you sort through the best small business resources, minus the stress.

After you have taken your time exploring this page, we recommend visiting our Grants page for information on WREN’s CDBG Microenterprise Grant Program. As a recipient of this grant, small business owners will have the opportunity to receive free (and timely) 1:1 technical assistance with industry experts, as well as free access to all of our online workshops. In times like these, it’s smart to use every resource at your disposal. Let us help you today, and let’s get through this together!

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BREAKING NEWS: Today, a consortium of funders announced the creation of the Artist Relief Fund, a $10 million national emergency relief fund for artists and creative workers that will provide $5,000 no-strings-attached grants. It is intended for anyone who earns income from their creative or artistic practice and whose income has been severely affected by COVID-19. Cycle 1 deadline is April 23.

CDC Official Website

Small Business Administration Official Website

FTC: Coronavirus Scams

NH Economy Business Center COVID-19 Business Resources

US Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources

US Senator Jeanne Sheehan's COVID-19 Resources for Granite Staters

Save Small Business Fund

Paycheck Protection Program Information:

Yankee Magazine Payroll Protection Program Webinar

Webinar on the Payroll Protection Program

Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Information Fact Sheet

Paycheck Protection Program Application

What Small Businesses Should Know About Cares Act Loans

News Update 4/22/20:

Yesterday, the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act legislation that will provide $370 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs. The House is expected to take up and pass this bill tomorrow. See the Senator’s press release below my signature.

The SBA is still working through a backlog of applications for loans and grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and they just confirmed that they will retain applicants’ information in a queue; however, it doesn’t hurt to reapply. Unfortunately we still do not have a mechanism to check your status for you. The only way to check status is to call 1-800-659-2955.

If your PPP application was not granted before the funds were depleted, please be in contact with your lender to process your application as soon as possible. There will likely be another rush to secure funds following passage of this second wave of funding and it is better to not wait. Each lender manages this program a little differently and there are community lenders in New Hampshire who will work with you regardless of whether you have an existing account with them. This latest package has a set-aside just for that. You can work with a Small Business Development Center advisor for help getting matched with a lender that is best for your situation.

Here are couple key takeaways from the Senate package:

  • $60 Billion Set-aside for Smaller Lenders: A $60 billion set-aside within PPP for small and mid-sized banks and credit unions as well as community-based lending institutions. Most importantly, this set-aside funding will help ensure that unbanked and underserved businesses can get access to PPP. This includes minority-owned businesses, rural businesses, small mom and pop businesses, and smaller nonprofits that too often have been pushed to the back of the line in the program.
  • Additional $50B for the EIDL program: $50 billion in EIDL program subsidy that will support over $350 billion in new disaster loans directly from SBA; and
  • Additional $10B in EIDL Grants: $10 billion for the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Grant program to provide up to $10,000 as a cash advance to provide immediate relief for operating expenses for small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an EIDL. The cash advance does not have to be paid back.
  • The agreement adds agricultural enterprises under 500 employees as an eligible recipient for grants of up to $10,000 and low-interest loans of up to $2 million through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Agricultural businesses can find additional relief through the NH FSA.
  • $2.1 billion for the U.S. SBA in new funding is provided for staff and other expenses to support the SBA’s programs assisting small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Many businesses have raised concerns over access to PPE, sanitation supplies and health screening tools for their current operations or for when they are allowed to begin reopening. The decision on how to reopen the state so we can all begin to rebuild our livelihoods is one that will come from the Governor/State. The State of New Hampshire has formed a task force comprised of leaders from various sectors responsible for developing a plan to reopen our state in a way that protects public health.  We encourage you to reach out to members of this task force with your thoughts/questions/concerns on the State’s reopening plans. The risk of this virus resurging is very real so it is critical that there is sufficient guidance, testing, tracking, reporting and safety supplies. This is a concern that Senator Shaheen shares and she is working to ensure NH has adequate testing so we can be sure it is safe for the state to reopen.

Here are some resources to help you stay connected: