Small business tips for navigating the remainder of 2020

Small Business

With a crazy 2020 almost on the books, let’s take a look at the opportunities your business has had available and what you need to do to cross the finish line on Dec. 31.

Our small business team is ready to assist you with any of the following year-end items. Please let us know what we can do to help.

Have you spent your Payment Protection Program dollars?

This Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program is closed and now is the time to seek forgiveness.

According to the SBA, borrowers may be eligible for loan forgiveness if the funds were used for eligible payroll costs, payments on business mortgage interest payments, rent, or utilities during either the 8- or 24-week period after disbursement.

A borrower can apply for forgiveness once they have used all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness. Borrowers can apply for forgiveness at any time up to the maturity date of the loan. If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, then Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan payments are no longer deferred and the borrower will begin making loan payments to their PPP lender.

Work with your PPP lender to apply for loan forgiveness. SBA has created an information fact sheet that will assist you in a successful forgiveness process.

Did you apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan? The application is still OPEN.

There is still time to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This longer-term, low-interest loan can help you get your business back up and running.

Small business owners, including agricultural businesses and nonprofit organizations, can apply for an EIDL. The program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Potential borrowers should visit covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ for the application.

Proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as the continuation of health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments. Payments will be due 12 months after signing the promissory note. Payments to this loan are not forgivable; however, payments can be made any time and there is no prepayment penalty.

Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit

Although the application period for this year was closed as of Nov. 1, small business owners in Nebraska can still apply for the credit (will be considered next calendar year).

Designed to promote the expansion of small businesses across the state and, in doing so, strengthen our communities, the Microenterprise Tax Credit is available to businesses with five or fewer employees. About 145,000 Nebraska businesses are eligible for the credit.

If approved, applicants will receive a 20 percent tax credit on business investments for a maximum lifetime credit of $10,000. All applicants must be personally involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. Agricultural businesses with more than $500,000 in assets can only use the tax credit for a limited set of activities, such as agritourism, aquaculture, or producing fruits.

Eligible expenditures include building expansion, increased employee wages, and purchasing of equipment, among others. The expansion must develop new income or jobs. To apply, documentation verifying the business’ finances, similar to those required when applying for a loan, will be needed.

There is $2 million available on a first-come, first-served basis, so interested business owners should apply as soon as possible.

Click here for more information on the program and to access the application.

Nebraska Coronavirus Relief Fund

The State of Nebraska has received Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to assist small businesses with grant dollars.

The Nebraska Coronavirus Relief Fund is available to certain businesses and livestock producers. Eligible applicants may receive a one-time grant of $12,000. However, restaurants/bars are eligible for a second grant, up to a total of $24,000.

Online applications should be submitted before the closing date of Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. CST.

Center for Rural Affairs small business lending

The Center for Rural Affairs has a variety of loan products available to meet Nebraska small business needs.

Whether the purpose is for working capital, equipment, inventory or real estate, our lending team can assist you.

Applications are accepted through our secure online lending system and many borrowers can be prequalified in as little as two business days.

Contact us at loans@cfra.org for more information.

Center for Rural Affairs small business training and coaching

The Center for Rural Affairs provides free services to all Nebraska entrepreneurs wanting to start and/or grow their business.

Our staff is available to assist your business with any of the above programs as well as troubleshooting in accounting, emergency preparedness/disaster response, business planning, and more.

We offer a virtual atmosphere and self-paced learning opportunities.

Click here to learn more or contact us at wbc@cfra.org to request assistance.