LISC National
Stories

Small Business Resources for COVID19 Challenges

3.23.2020

Thank you for all the important work you are doing with your communities this week in response to COVID-19. The community response already is incredible, as are the needs.

For those of you who work with small businesses in your neighborhoods, we wanted to make sure several financial resources and related reading were on your radar to be shared. We know many retail/consumer oriented businesses are experiencing decreased sales, contemplating lay-offs (if not already), and feeling tremendous uncertainty about the future. These are a few resources that have just been developed or already exist locally to help small businesses. However, these resources (particularly loans) are not going to be a good fit for every business, but may make sense for others. We know that more resources will become available in the coming days and weeks both locally and nationally.

If you have any questions on the resources below, go straight to the source. If you have any questions for LISC, contact Emily Scott. Thank you for the work you are doing and being good advocates for the community during this strange and stressful time.

Resources:

Kiva, an international crowdlending platform with which LISC has a partnership, has expanded its eligibility and loan size. Kiva loans are 0% interest and zero fee for the borrower and are great for small businesses with a broad social network.  LISC can match loans from the crowd dollar for dollar up to $15,000. If a business is specifically interested in this opportunity, please contact Emily Scott escott@lisc.org. Click here to view the flyer.

Verizon recently donated $2.5 million to LISC to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises that don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital in historically underserved communities. LISC will launch an online process for small businesses to submit applications for grants (sign up here to stay updated on the process). Applications will be reviewed and then entered into a lottery. The grants are designed to help business owners fill urgent financial gaps - from paying rent to meeting payroll - until they can resume normal operations or other financing becomes available.

The Indy Chamber Rapid Response Hub is positioned as a portal for resources as they come online. It also has some guidance for businesses to consider from resources like the IU Kelly School of Business.   The Indy Chamber Business Ownership Initiative provides microloans of up to $50,000 for small businesses.

Bankable, nonprofit lender based in Anderson, has developed a new QuickBridge Loan ranging from $500 - $50,000 in specific response to businesses in Indiana experiencing cash flow challenges, supply chain disruptions, etc. due to COVID-19.

Build Fund, a nonprofit lender based in Indianapolis, provides small business lending options up to $1,000,000 and provides certain real estate technical assistance for small businesses.

As part of the Small Business Relief Initiative, GoFundMe, Yelp, and Intuit QuickBooks have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund. GoFundMe.org, the company’s charitable and advocacy arm, started the Small Business Relief Fund to benefit small businesses. Supporters can donate to the Small Business Relief Fund and GoFundMe.org will provide grants to small businesses across the United States, starting with the hardest hit areas. The Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. 

The US Small Business Administration has released a Coronavirus: Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources guide which covers guidance on employee policies, insurance, disaster recovery loans and more.

The Arts Council has launched an Arts and Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for artists and small nonprofit arts organizations.  These rapid response grants will be awarded to individuals who experienced financial hardship due to event, production and performance cancellations.

Facebook will soon be offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses.

The Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership has created a Corona Virus Manufacturing Community Discussion Forum specifically for manufacturers.

The Economic Innovation Group has released an article “How to Rescue Main Street from Coronavirus Before It’s Too Late” which suggest some parameters for new loan funds that might be created nationally as part of this response.

Resources and guidance from the US Chamber of Commerce for businesses whose employees can’t work from home, staying connected to customers, tech tools to keep employees connected and ways for businesses to communicate their safety measures with employees/customers including customizable flyers, etc.

This long list of guides and resources from the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives.