Business owners have some options for financial assistance available to apply to now, and others that will be available shortly.

There can be no duplication of use of funds among all of these federal and state programs. Keeping very detailed records of your actions (as noted below) is paramount. As these programs are defined and delivered, we will have an understanding of how the programs interrelate (work together in concert and impact each other). At this point, we do not have complete information on that.


1). Vermont Economic Recovery and Relief Package Phase One: Immediate Relief to Survive.

Important Note: The Relief Package is awaiting the Governor’s signature, after being passed by the VT legislature. It does, at this point, differ from what Governor Scott had proposed so we have removed the previous descriptions of the proposed programs.

Once signed by the Governor, the Agency of Commerce and the VT Department of Taxes have 10 days to determine exactly how the monies will be applied for and then distributed. Once the guidelines and instructions are issued we will provide updates.

In the meantime the PROCESS IS NOT OPEN.

  1. HOWEVER: For restaurants, retail operations and lodging ONLY:
    1. Though the State Relief package is NOT open we have been informed that there is a step that you should take now to make sure you can access the grant money more easily as soon as it is available.
    2. So in PREPARATION make sure that your on-line account with the Vermont Department of Taxes is set up.
    3. If you have an account there is no action you need to take now.
    4. If you DO NOT HAVE an on-line account you should take the time to set it up now. Here is the link:
    5. We have not been told that it will be a requirement to have your on-line account set up…only that it will make the process more streamlined.

Again this is a PREP STEP and NOT THE APPLICATION PROCESS for accessing the grant monies.

FEDERAL PROGRAMS, due to the passage of the CARES Act:


Current statement (6/15/20) from the SBA:

Apply for directly via the SBA portal (Follow the instructions below on how to complete and the information you will need to apply):

(Note there are now many scammers on line so only use this site)     


Urgent alert for our clients and contacts: If you are contacted by phone, fax, email or mail asking for additional financials to support your EIDL application, that person MUST have your application/confirmation number as evidence that they are from the SBA. Unfortunately, we are learning of entities and individuals posing as SBA affiliates and we want you to please be mindful.

Learn more at:

  • Economic Injury:

 The SBA INJURY Response has two components:

  1. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) available through December 31, 2020; this is a low interest, long-term loan.
    • Step One in this process is to complete the EIDL Streamlined Application on line which allows you access to the Advance portion, the EIDLEA (see above link if you have NOT already applied).
      • SBA has provided us with the information that the EIDLEA is figured on the calculation of $1,000 per employee up to 10 employees.
      • IMPORTANT: Please note: As a sole proprietor or LLC owner(s) that take an owners draw, you are allowed to count yourself as an employee for this streamlined application.
      • To be considered for an advance “up to $10,000” a business needs to complete the streamlined EIDL application and (toward the end of that application) should check the box “to be considered” for this advance. You must check this box.
      • The only financial info needed is:
        • A calculation of Gross Revenues for period 2/1/19 – 1/31/20
        • A calculation of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) for the same period
        • If you are a non-profit you will also need Operating Costs for the same period.
        • And if applicable, dollar amount of rents lost as a result of the disaster.
        • Note: there is a box at the top of the agent/owner page that asks if you are owned by an entity. If this box is not checked you cannot proceed past this page. Unless you are owned by another company/business then you check no.
        • You will also certify to some basic questions about your business and personal situation and that you have represented the information truthfully.
      • At this point you will be asked for your BANKING Info:
        • Bank Name
        • Account Number
        • Routing Number
      • Once you have completed the application you will have a chance to review.
      • Once you hit submit you will be given a confirmation page with an application number. Print this page and screen shot it. Do not lose this number.
        • And begin a file of all the material regarding this process, including any information you provided and the confirmation numbers you received from the SBA (put the confirmation number on the inside of the folder).
      • If you have already completed an EIDL application before 3/30 you will have to RE-APPLY for the advance option. This is regardless of whether you have received a denial.
        • You should have received notice of this.
        • You need to have all of the information above prepared.
      • According to SBA, the advance does not need to be paid back under any circumstances. If you proceed with the loan the advance will be deducted from the total amount available to you. And if you decide not to take the loan you may keep the advance UNLESS you also have done or are considering applying for the PPP. In that case the EIDLEA is an ADVANCE…see information below in the PPP section.
  2. If you have not received your EIDLEA please check your application number:
    • If it begins with a #3 you are in the queue and your advance is in process.
    • If it begins with a #2 that indicates there is a problem with the application and you should call the hotline @ 800-659-2955 to resolve any issues. The issues are most likely regarding entry errors in your application and can be easily resolved.
  • Once you have received your EIDLEA you will be contacted by the SBA with the next steps.

Please note: the application process for the EIDL has fundamentally changed to a sliding scale offered loan amount without any additional documentation required. This is completely different from the original process of an EIDL application.

  • Once the EIDLEA $ appears in your bank account (and you will not be notified that the EIDLEA $ has been disbursed so check your bank statement frequently), you should, within 7-10 days receive an email from the SBA that asks you to “Create your SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Portal Account”.
  • Do not lose the account information that you create. Add this new portal password to your EIDL folder. You will need it to track the progress of your application.
  • PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER frequently. Many businesses have reported that the email for creating the account has been landing in Spam folders instead of the main inbox.
  • Once the portal is created you will see the sliding scale range of loan that you have been offered.
    • Remember that this is a loan…not a grant. So consider carefully if you want to accept any amount on the sliding scale that has been offered.
      1. We suggest you use the COVID-19 Recovery Roadmap Debt Assessment which is a self-guided debt calculator to make sure you choose the correct amount for your business:

  1. Below the scale, as you move it, you can see the monthly payment amount. This is helpful in your assessment of what level of debt you are willing to acquire.
  2. VtSBDC advisors can also provide assistance on how to evaluate your offered loan amount and whether it is the right choice for your business.
  3. We suggest that you take a screen shot of each page during the process as you move through the application.
  • SBA may make an initial loan disbursement of an amount less than the approved loan amount due to current appropriations to the program.
  • Note that any loan over $25,000 will require collateral.
    • In order for SBA to take collateral, a Uniform Commercial Code lien must be filed.  SBA will deduct a $100 this filing fee from the loan amount for this purpose. This is done for borrower’s convenience and allows us to disburse the funds faster.
    • SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available.
    • SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but SBA will require the borrower to pledge collateral that is available.
  • This is the list of permitted and non-permitted uses of EIDL funds:
    • Permitted Uses:
      1. Working Capital Uses (and please note here that if you use a credit card to pay any inventory or operating expenses that is allowable as long as they are CURRENT and not past expenses):
  1. Accounts Payable
  2. Inventory
  3. Operating Expenses that would have been met prior to the crisis
  4. After PPP $ Spent or all the time if no PPP:
    1. Payroll Expenses
    2. Rent
  • Utilities
  1. Interest on Debt
  1. Non-Permitted Use of Funds:
    1. Payment of any dividends or bonuses;
    2. Disbursements to owners, partners, officers, directors, or stockholders, except when directly related to performance of services for the benefit of the applicant;
    3. Repayment of stockholder/principal loans, except when the funds were injected on an interim basis as a result of the disaster and non-repayment would cause undue hardship to the stockholder/principal;
    4. Expansion of facilities or acquisition of fixed assets;
    5. Repair or replacement of physical damages;
    6. Refinancing long term debt;
    7. Paying down (including regular installment payments) or paying off loans provided, or owned by another Federal agency (including SBA) or a Small Business Investment Company licensed under the Small Business Investment Act. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is not considered a Federal agency for this purpose;
    8. Payment of any part of a direct Federal debt, (including SBA loans) except IRS obligations.
      1. If a direct Federal debt is delinquent, your recommendation must be based on independent documentation from the appropriate Federal agency explaining how the delinquency will be cured.
      2. If a direct Federal debt is delinquent because of the disaster, we should make arrangements with that Federal creditor to have payments deferred on a similar action taken to bring the delinquency current prior to the approval of an EIDL. If the Federal creditor cannot or will not cooperate, the likely result will be a decline of the EIDL request. However, if the applicant has other resources or recoveries, we should generally allow (and perhaps require) those resources to be applied first to ineligible needs, such as payment of direct Federal debt.
  • When processing during the injury period, it is generally appropriate for you to negotiate with Federal creditors to defer payments (or take similar action) until the end of the injury period. You must document why this was or was not imposed.
  1. Pay any penalty resulting from noncompliance with a law, regulation or order of a Federal, state, regional, or local agency.
  2. Contractor malfeasance
  3. Relocation
  • For a copy of that list contact the VT SBA:
  • You have 10 DAYS to complete the steps required to submit your loan application request (all of the steps required by the portal) according to robo-calls coming from the SBA.
    • Once you have submitted the loan amount for processing you will be told that the loan is being processed.
    • Next you will be notified that the loan has been approved – note you need to recheck the portal for this notification. You will get no other notification.
    • Once the loan is approved you will be provided with closing documents to sign.
  • If you have received a denial rather than an offered amount you can contact the VT SBA for details on the process of how to have the loan denial reviewed.

Available to apply for now through your local approved SBA lender: 

  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) available through June 30, 2020; which re-opened on 4/27 @ 10:30 am with additional funding of $310 Billion and loans that were in the pipeline when the fund shut down will be funded first. The PPP is a loan specifically designed to cover payroll and payroll expenses for employers who maintained their workforce during the COVID-19 emergency or can bring them back immediately. This loan is only available thru SBA approved lenders.

On June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (PPPFA) was signed into law to provide relief to borrowers under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPPFA amends the original Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE THAT THE APPLICATION DEADLINE for a PPP under the new PPFA guidance has not changed. It is still JUNE 30, 2020.

The following information regarding the PPPFA should be reviewed if you are in one of these categories:

  • If you have already applied for a PPP prior to the PPPFA on 6/5/20
  • If you are considering applying before 6/30/2020.
  • If you have previously applied before 6/5/20 but returned the funds and are considering re-applying.

The PPPFA first Interim Final Report (IFR) was issued 6/11/20. As a result, we have made changes and additions to the material that follows.

Here is the link to that IFR:

Please note: Although an Application for Forgiveness has been issued by the SBA both the above IFR and a joint Press Release from the SBA and Treasury Department (6/8/20) note that a MODIFIED Loan Forgiveness Application and further guidance on the modified forgiveness process will be forthcoming.

We are thus suggesting that businesses who have reached the end of their 8 week PPP use of funds wait until the MODIFIED forgiveness process has been released and explained, before applying for forgiveness.

The PPFA is as follows (and we will note where we have asked for/or expect further clarification. The IFR dated 6/11 notes that such guidance will be coming):           

  1. Extended Term from 2 years to 5 years: This is NOT retroactive. For any new loans applied for on or after 6/5 the term for repaying the non-forgiven amount is now 5 years.
    1. For those loans applied for before 6/5 the term remains 2 years with the following language in the IFR: “For loans made before June 5, 2020, the maturity is two years; however, borrowers and lenders may mutually agree to extend the maturity of such loans to five years.”
  2. Extended forgiveness period (use of funds) from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.
    1. Note that the period for use of funds STILL begins when the loan money is deposited in your bank.
    2. And the IFR allows businesses that are close to the end of their fund disbursement to still choose the 8 week period for their forgiveness calculations.
  3. Extended Coverage period from 2/15/20 to 12/31/20:
    1. This specifically applies to the two Safe Harbors that were described in the previous loan forgiveness process:
      • Safe Harbor # 1: Maintains forgiveness amounts for companies that document their ability to rehire workers (or find suitable replacements) by the end of the year.
      • Safe Harbor # 2: And companies would be covered under separately if they can show they couldn’t resume business levels from before 2/15 because they were following federal requirements for sanitization or social distancing.
    2. Please note that we are currently asking for clarification if this extension of the covered period is retroactive.
  4. Application for forgiveness must be done within 10 months of a business’s loan forgiveness period (therefore 10 months from the date the money was deposited into your account which began your period).
    1. No payments are required until the loan forgiveness process is completed and the bank has been reimbursed by the SBA for the forgiven portion. At that point the bank will notify you of your unforgiven balance and the date of your first payment.
      • Note this extends the original deferment of 6 months.
      • Please note that we are currently asking for clarification if this deferral extension is retroactive.
    2. IMPORTANT NOTE: if you have received an EIDLEA amount (up to $10,000) and if it has not already been subtracted from the PPP loan amount it WILL BE ADDED to the UNFORGIVEN portion of your PPP loan.
      • We are suggesting saving the EIDLEA monies so that you can pre-pay at the point the bank notifies you of the unforgiven portion so you do not have to pay the money back with interest.
    3. The SPLIT of use of funds to 60%/40%:
      1. Payroll can now account for 60% of funds (versus 75% previously) and 40% for allowable expenses for the same coverage period.
        • The definition of allowable expenses has not changed.
        • Note that the 60% is NOT a threshold for use of the funds but if a company spends less than 60% on payroll it will reduce forgiveness (though by what calculation will not be known until the MODIFIED forgiveness application and guidance are published).
        • Please note that we are currently asking for clarification if the new split is retroactive.
        • The IFR dated 6/11 contains the following language about misuse of funds:

“The funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make

mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments; I

understand that if the funds are knowingly used for unauthorized purposes,

the Federal Government may hold me legally liable such as for charges of

fraud. As explained above, not more than 40 percent of loan proceeds may

be used for nonpayroll costs.”

  1. If you had previously applied for a PPP and returned the funds you can re-apply as long as your first application has been REMOVED from the SBA loan system. You need to check with the bank to make sure this has been done. Otherwise the system will not accept your application since a business is not allowed to apply for two PPP’s.

And If YOU ARE CONSIDERING APPLYING (please continue to read): There are still funds remaining in the PPP program. Contact your bank if you are interested in applying. And make sure you review the forgiveness application with the bank as you evaluate whether this is the right vehicle for your business.   

  1. Use this website to locate an SBA lender in your area. Note that some banks are choosing to work with only their existing customers.

  1. The SBA released its PPP Compliance Requirements on 4.21. Please read these before you consider applying for the PPP. And note that these should now be reviewed with your banker in relationship to the forgiveness application. As an example the REFERENCE period you use to create your base application numbers of FTE’s and monthly compensation are used in relationship to the newly defined COVERED period used to compute forgiveness.
  2. The Treasury Department released on 4.24.20 a document entitled PPP: How to Calculate Maximum Loan Amounts – By Business Type. We have linked here. This is a very important document for you to read:

  1. NOTE there has been a change in the time frame used by a seasonal business to calculate the PPP loan amount. This information was released in the Interim Final Report release by the Department of the Treasury on 4/29/20.
    1. The report reads: “…a seasonal employer may determine its maximum loan amount for purposes of the PPP by reference to the employer’ average total monthly payments for payroll “the 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or at the election of the eligible [borrower], March 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2019.”
      • The 12-week period is used only for determining the loan amount. The funds still need to be used in the 8 (now 24) weeks following disbursement.

  1. Borrowers whose previously submitted loan applications have not yet been processes may revise their applications based on clarifications reflected in the FAQs.
    • Check with your bank to see if they are allowing changes to applications that are in the queue.
  2. The best way to proceed on the PPP application process is to contact your bank and get the SBA Application and the additional list of requirements. Requirements vary slightly bank to bank, but items on the list below are consistent across the banks who have shared their requirements with us to date (but note this is a partial list, so talk with your bank and prepare accordingly):
    1. Certificate of Good Standing for your business.
    2. Articles of Incorporation (and some banks are also requesting Operating Agreements and Bylaws.
  • The Drivers Licenses or Passports of all owners of 20% or more of the business.
  1. All tax documentation on Employee Costs for 2019. See your bank for the exact documents they need. Note: this is for paid employees and 1099 personnel only and not independent contractors (who will be allowed to apply themselves).
  2. Sole Proprietors and LLC Owners will need to provide proof of compensation. Again see each bank for how and what they require for documentation.
  3. Verification of number of employees on 2/15/20.
    • And verification that these employees live in the US.
  1. The loan terms are:
    1. 60 months at 1%.
    2. Loan proceeds covers payroll expenses for 24 weeks for employees maintained at the level of employment pre-COVID or returned to work immediately after the loan is made.
      • This includes payroll, state and local taxes, and benefits. But again, make sure you are giving the bank all the payroll verification they require and they will tell you the amount they can use as the basis for the calculation.
      • The loan also covers mortgage interest (not principal), rent and utilities for the 24 weeks of the loan.
    3. Loan forgiveness is part of the language of this program. Please note that the process is NOT Once you have taken the loan and paid your employees and the expenses allowed, then you request forgiveness from the bank.
      1. Again, we are expecting a MODIFIED Forgiveness Loan application and rules and guidance to be issued shortly.
      2. We do know that 100% pristine and accurate reporting for the 24 weeks of how you spent the loan money will be a large part of that process.
        • According to the US Department of the Treasury the 24 weeks that will be considered for forgiveness begins on the date the lender makes the first disbursement of the PPP loan to the borrower (and the lender must make the first disbursement of the loan no later than 10 calendar days from the date of loan approval).
        • For clarification on the question about bringing employees back and its impact on forgiveness here is Question 20 from the FAQ from the Treasury Department:

Question 20: The amount of forgiveness of a PPP loan depends on the borrower’s payroll costs over an eight-week period (now 24 week); when does that eight-week period (now 24 week) begin?

Answer: The eight-week (now 24 week) period begins on the date the lender makes the first disbursement of the PPP loan to the borrower. The lender must make the first disbursement of the loan no later than ten calendar days from the date of loan approval.

Here is the link to the FAQ on the PPP from the Treasury (this link is to the most recent version dated 5.19.20):

  • There is a new set of loan repayment terms under the PPPFA…see above.
  1. For those who receive an EIDLEA (advance) the amount of the EIDLEA will be subtracted from the amount forgiven thereby adding it to the unforgiven portion. It will need to be paid back.
  2. A frequently asked question is: what happens if my business receives the PPP and an employee does not want to return to work for reasons not related to COVID-19 (having or caring for someone with the virus). The VT DOL has now provided very specific instructions on handling this situation. These guidelines (including the exchange between employer and employee being fully documented and the employer filing a report with the VTDOL) become crucial in the loan forgiveness process and specifically address one of the safe harbors.

  1. Our current advice on the PPP is to speak with your banks. Determine the amount that you could be eligible for and then compute the dollar amount of the payments you will be required to make on the debt. Assess if you could afford that debt if it were not forgiven. To us, at this point, we feel this is the most responsible calculation to make.
    1. This calculation should include both the term of the loan repayment plus some determination of where you think your business will be in terms of revenue as you open post-COVID. We know the PPP as a recovery vehicle will vary industry to industry.
  2. Once approved, and before accepting the funds, VtSBDC advisors can provide assistance on how to evaluate whether or not to accept the money.

Also the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is now open for small business owners (including self-employed contractors) who are not eligible for unemployment thru the State of VT unemployment system. For information, eligibility requirements and instructions:

Also related to your payroll considerations, two new refundable Payroll tax credits have been announced that reimburse small businesses dollar for dollar for the cost of providing COVID-19 related leave:

  • Deferral of Employer-side FICA Payroll Taxes – Can defer the employer portion of FICA taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.
  • Retention Tax Credit – Adds a tax credit for employers to encourage businesses to keep workers on payroll during the crisis. The IRS now has a one page explanation (link below). Please see your accountant to discuss if this is applicable to your business.

We expect more details from VT banks and the SBA on these loans:

  • Debt Relief Programs

This is a group of SBA loan vehicles that will be accessed through SBA approved lenders in Vermont. These will work in concert with the EIDL and any funds lent through these programs will be considered as mitigation of the final amount lent via the EIDL. These include:

  1. The Small Business Debt Relief Program covers the SBA 7a, 504 and Microloan Program. These loans can be used for short and long-term working capital. We have the following additional information on these programs:
    1. The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloansfor a period of six months.
    2. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloansissued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020. Note these refer to other EIDL programs that have been accessible post previous disasters (Tropical Storm Irene being one).
  1. The SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program allows small businesses that currently have a relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000. These loans can help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying and waiting for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
    1. Given the high volume of PPP applications that banks are processing we have not been made aware of any banks that are processing this loan at the moment. But you can certainly request information from your lender.
    2. A couple of things to note about this loan:
      • You must be able to prove that you cannot borrow this money elsewhere.
      • It is a fundamental of the EBL program that you must have an existing relationship with the bank in order to access this loan.
      • And if you do get an EIDL the proceeds must be used to pay this back in full or part.

Some local lending is now coming on line and more will be coming in the next couple of weeks as RDC’s and Towns work to re-orient their current lending programs to address the disaster. These will be smaller amounts that should be seen primarily as bridge loans while applications for the above are in process. And any loan/grant you receive for COVID-19 will, if you proceed with the full EIDL application, be subtracted (mitigated) from the final amount.

Here is a link to the RDC’s if you would like to contact them regarding their loan options:

As part of your preparation to apply for any loan/financing option, you should make sure you take two steps:

1) You should first determine what your business recovery looks like. Including an assessment of when or if to re-open. We have provided a self-guided COVID-19 Recovery  Roadmap (it is a third of the way down on this page:

2) Gathering the financial documents required to complete the Roadmap will bring you closer to being prepared to complete any and all applications for funding. As the State of Vermont completes it process for accessing loans and grants we will update this list accordingly. In the meantime it is always important to have:

  1. A list (diary or narrative) of actions that you have taken in response to COVID-19, and direct impact you have seen. For example: 3/17/20 “laid off 2 employees” {names, # of hours typically worked and pay rate} and directed them to unemployment. Return to work date given with the date). This list will help identify economic impact.
  2. Have the following financial records up to date:
    1. Profit and Loss
    2. Balance Statement
    3. Sales records for 2019 and 2020 to date (this should come from QuickBooks or your POS or whatever system you use to capture daily income). Showing the actual impact on revenues is the basis of economic impact lending.
    4. Three years of completed tax returns (personal and business). If 2019 is not complete, then a 2019 Profit & Loss Statement.
    5. Up to date Accounts Payable.
    6. Up to date Accounts Receivable.
    7. An up to date list of your collateral (including your personal real estate) with item description and current replacement value.

Business assistance will continue to be provided by and available from VtSBDC ( our Regional Advisor is Debra Boudrieau or SRDC, Bob Flint, 802-885-3061.