WRENTHAM — Town Administrator and Emergency Management Director Kevin Sweet would like to share the following information with local businesses on resources available during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
On Friday, March 27, President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion coronavirus response bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, into law. The bill, known as the CARES Act, benefits several groups, including individuals, small businesses, hospitals and public health agencies, state and local governments and education agencies.
Click here for a comprehensive guide of benefits for small businesses through the CARES Act, courtesy of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Additional information can be found on the federal Small Business Administration website.
One of the major takeaways for small businesses is that the bill provides relief by creating a $350 billion loan program (the “Paycheck Protection Program”) to prevent layoffs and business closures while employees remain at home. The relief applies to companies with 500 employees or fewer (as well as to most 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) non-profits).
This program would provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through federally guaranteed loans to small employers who maintain their payroll during the emergency.
If the employer maintains payroll, the portion of the loans used to cover payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities would be forgiven.
The Small Business Debt Relief Program will also provide immediate relief to small businesses. Through the Small Business Administration, non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504 and microloans, will be provided. The SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest and fees, for a period of six months.
This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of March 27.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants will 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). To access the advance, employers must first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance.
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.
For any small business owner in need of a business counselor for guidance, several resource partners are available. These include a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center (WBC) or SCORE mentorship chapter.
These resource partners, and the associations that represent them, will receive additional funds to expand their reach and better support small business owners with counseling and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.
To find a local resource partner, click here.
Click here to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.
Click here to see the complete text of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
For the latest news, case counts, and lab testing results, visit the state’s COVID-19 website at www.mass.gov/covid19.
Residents can also call 2-1-1 with questions, or text the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777 to receive notifications via their smartphone.
Wrentham residents can stay up-to-date on COVID-19 news as it relates to the Town by visiting wrentham.ma.us.