By Gerri Detweiler
We live in strange times right now. Never have we seen businesses being forced to shutter and people encouraged to stay home to the levels we currently are seeing worldwide.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that more and more organizations are offering assistance, particularly to struggling businesses in the U.S. Here are a few you might turn to, should you need a little help.
The Small Business Administration is always a great resource for small businesses, and it’s even more so now that it’s making low-interest loans available to some impacted businesses. The SBA has a useful resource page that includes information on:
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- SBA Products and Resources
- Government Contracting
- Local Assistance
If you think your healthcare business needs financial assistance, you’ll find which options you might qualify for on this page.
Small Business Development Centers are another useful resource right now. Each local office is offering free counseling, which can include disaster preparation and recovery planning, as well as help with local financing or resource assistance. Most offices are offering remote help so you can stay at work or home and still get assistance.
While SCORE’s in-person events are canceled nationwide, it is offering live and recorded webinars, as well as remote mentoring. Connecting with a SCORE mentor can provide you valuable advice if you’re unsure how to move forward right now.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) offers credit counseling to both individuals and business owners. With the cash crunch that many businesses are experiencing, this service can help you understand your options to get out of debt.
Chamber of Commerce
Chambers of Commerce all over the U.S. are providing a variety of resources to help business owners navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Some offer webinars on how to get through it, while others offer tools for businesses that need assistance in developing staffing or financing.
Nav helps small businesses take control of their business credit and find the best financing solutions for their needs. You can check your business and personal credit scores for free, and find financing options available to you.
Right now, there are new business grants popping up specifically to combat the effect of coronavirus closures, like the $100 million in grants Facebook has proposed. But there are also other grants that are available year ‘round, like Nav’s quarterly $10,000 Small Business Grant that may be worth exploring.
These are just a sampling of the free resources available to help you deal with COVID-19 (and other tough times). Keep an eye out for new ones as they spring up.
About the Author:
Gerri’s been guiding individuals through the confusing world of finance and credit for 20+ years. She is the author or coauthor of five books, including her most recent, Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. Today, Gerri serves as the Education Director for Nav, an online platform that matches small business owners to their best financing options and gives free access to personal and business credit scores.