Financial Assistance for the Current Pandemic: Sources & Resources

Leslee Hill, Director, WEOC at The NIIC

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of life as we know it. For business owners and entrepreneurs, it can be an especially difficult time to make ends meet — even more so if your field is not considered a government designated “essential” industry.

Although the stimulus funds for small business relief programs has run out, there are still opportunities for funding.

Ongoing opportunities:

  • Save Small Business Fund — From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, small businesses employing between 3 and 20 people may be eligible to receive a $5,000 grant. Applications go live at 12 pm PT on April 20th.
  • Indiana SBDC Financial Resources — Currently a list of six programs/funds with descriptions, key takeaways, and links for more information. The list will be updated as more become available.
  • Bankable QuickBridge & Reboot Loans — Indiana businesses that are still open, or temporarily closed and looking to reopen can apply. Limited documentation needed and no closing fees.
  • Kiva 0% Interest Loans — Up to $15,000 at 0% interest, includes the opportunity for free marketing and new customers through Kiva’s community of 1.6 million supportive lenders.
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne #GivingTuesdayNow — Nonprofits can submit one request of up to $20,000 for help with COVID-19 related issues and effects. The requests will be displayed on the CFGFW website on Tuesday, May 5th.
  • KEDCo Revolving Loan Fund — If you are located in Kosciusko County or expanding into the county, have 25 or fewer employees, and an annual gross revenue of $2 million or less, you are eligible. Loans range from $40,000 up to $100,000.
  • BDF COVID-19 Express Loan — No upfront cost, limited documentation required, and a streamlined review process for loans up to $20,000.
  • Unemployment Assistance for Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, & Gig-Economy Workers  Although you may get denied for state UI benefits, you could still be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) under the federal CARES Act. More information can be found at Q & A Numbers 16 and 17, right here.

Worth reviewing/checking:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is intended to help you cover the payroll for your employees. It provides 2.5% of the salary they would be getting for about an 8 week time period.*Funds have currently been exhausted for this specific program, HOWEVER, some banks like Chase and Wells Fargo & Co. are still taking applications in case new funds are approved. Go to the bank you already do business with (current clients are prioritized) and see if you can submit an application, to speed up the process if/when it becomes available again. Kabbage is also still accepting and reviewing PPP applications.

Things to Consider

Are you are minority or women owned business? The City of Fort Wayne has an Emerging Business Enterprise Program geared to help economically disadvantaged businesses, but your business must be certified to be included.

If you did receive a disaster relief loan, put the money in a separate bank account to more easily track where the money is spent. (Tip via Kirkman CPA Group, Inc.) Tips to make sure your PPP loan is forgiven.

All this may seem daunting, but The NIIC and WEOC are both available to provide free assistance and guide you through the proper channels for securing loans, applying for grants, as well as finding seed capital and different forms of finance.

Are you a STEM-focused small business? See if you qualify for funding from the FAST-IN Program.

Are you a micro-entrepreneur? The OPENS Program may be for you.

Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.


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