COVID-19 bUSINESS RESOURCES

financial resources

New Loan Deferment Program for Montana Businesses

 

Governor Steve Bullock announced the creation of a loan deferment program to assist Montana businesses impacted by COVID-19.

 

The Montana Loan Deferment Program will allow businesses and other entities to defer payments on existing loans for six to 12 months and free up a significant amount of otherwise dedicated capital for the borrower to leverage on a monthly basis. If a borrower is approved for the program, Coronavirus relief funds will be used to provide payments to participating lenders to cover interest payments for six-to-twelve months, up to 6 percent or $150,000.

 

To be eligible, borrowers must have experienced a 25 percent reduction in gross revenue due to COVID-19. The borrower must also not have access to 12 months of working capital from any other source and be actively registered with the Secretary of State to do business in Montana. The full eligibility criteria are available at COVIDRELIEF.MT.GOV.

 

The program will be jointly administered by the Board of Investments and the Department of Revenue. Borrowers will apply through their existing lender, which will submit the application to the Board of Investments and Revenue for review and payment if approved. Recipients will be listed on the transparency website that is updated weekly.

 

To find the transparency webpage and learn more about where the funds are going, go to COVIDRELIEF.MT.GOV.

To view pdf of all resources, click here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov(link sends e-mail) for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 17, 2020.

For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: Coronavirus.gov.

For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.

assistance FOR SMALL BUSINESSES cARES aCT 

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

 

Fully Forgiven Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

 

Must Keep Employees on the Payroll—or Rehire Quickly

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

 

All Small Businesses Eligible

Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors— are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.

 

When to Apply

Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.

 

How to Apply

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at www.sba.gov.

 

The Paycheck Protection Program is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. Lenders should also visit www.sba.gov or www.coronavirus.gov for more information.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

  1. Employee Retention Tax Credit

One of the most important new tax credits is the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which has been designed to encourage businesses to keep on employees. Businesses are eligible for an employee retention tax credit if business operations were fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19 shut-down order or if gross receipts declined by more than 50% compared to the same quarter in the prior year.

 

Eligible businesses can get a refundable 50% tax credit on wages up to $10,000 per employee. The credit can be obtained on wages paid or incurred from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

 

In order to claim the ERTC, eligible employers will report total qualified wages and related health insurance costs on their quarterly tax returns (via Form 941) beginning in the second quarter of 2020. The ERTC credits can be taken against the employer's share of Social Security tax but the excess is refundable. To speed things up, employers may choose to hold on to employment taxes that would have otherwise been deposited.

 

  1. Tax credit for sick and family leave

The FFCRA made big changes to sick and family leave for small businesses that have less than 500 employees. Those businesses will be required to provide paid sick leave and paid family leave to employees for specific reasons related to the Coronavirus. To reimburse employers for those expenses, the CARES Act provides a refundable tax credit equal to 100% of the amount paid out for paid sick leave and paid family leave. This tax credit is paid every quarter. However, to help small businesses with cash flow, Treasury has said that businesses can hold onto the employer portion of payroll taxes that they would normally deposit and use that to pay for leave. At the end of the quarter, if the Treasury owes an employer additional reimbursements it will be paid at that time. An employer will not be penalized for failure to deposit payroll taxes if that was done in anticipation of a tax credit.

 

  1. Delayed payroll tax payments

Businesses and self-employed individuals can also delay payroll tax payments due to the CARES Act. These payments, which are Social Security tax and deposits owed for 2020, can instead be deferred and paid over the next two years. Fifty percent must be paid by the end of 2021 and 50% must be paid by the end of 2022. (Important note: The ability to defer these taxes generally does not apply to a business that receives a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. However, businesses can participate in the new PPP and also take advantage of new provisions allowing them to defer payroll taxes, under certain conditions. The IRS has provided that businesses can take advantage of both programs up until the point at which they have any loans forgiven – then the deferral ends.)

 

  1. Charitable gift deduction expansion

The CARES Act has expanded deductible charitable cash gifts by corporations. Before the Act, charitable contributions made by a corporation could not exceed 10% of taxable income, but this has now been increased to 25%. This change is not automatic and must be elected.

 

  1. Net operating loss changes

Businesses that have net operating losses (NOLs) have some limitations relaxed because of the CARES Act. If your business had an NOL in the tax years 2018, 2019, or 2020, 100% of that NOL can be now be carried back up to five years. NOLs from 2018, 2019, and 2020 may be carried forward up to 20 years, but will be subject to the 80% limitation. This may improve cash flow and liquidity for some businesses, including pass-through businesses and sole proprietors.

labor & employment

UNEMPLOYMENT Resource Guide for Employers and Employees

Montana manufacturing extension center

If you are a Montana manufacturer and have the ability to assist with items of critical need, or if you are looking for resources for your company to sustain operations, please click here.  MMEC will provide assistance to your company at no charge for services to assist in making critical items and/or to help keep your company afloat during this difficult time.  Please contact us for more information.

If you are a health provider, emergency responder, or other organization on the front line of the fight against the spread of Corona virus and are in need of manufactured products to safeguard your employees and/or the public, please contact us and we will help connect you with manufacturers in the state.

additional resources

Family Connections Child Care Services

Contact via email here or call us in Great Falls at 406.761.6010 or in Havre at 406.265.6743. 

Family Connections Child Care Services and Emergency Related Services Available: 

• Refer Emergency workers who need access to child care with referrals to child cares with openings. 

• Refer families whose child care closed or need to find child care to child cares with openings. 

• Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarships to help eligible families pay for child care. 

• Child Care Professional Development courses available online for child care providers. 

• Help businesses create solutions for child care for their employees. 

• Assist child care programs and families with child care policies and rules from state entities. 

• Connect child care workers whose child care has closed with open child cares or emergency child care needing additional staff. 

• Help child care programs that have changes in enrollment or experienced emergency expenses access emergency funding. 

Family Connections is a private nonprofit entity and is the Child Care Resource and Referral agency proudly serving twenty-three counties in north central and north eastern Montana.

CHAMBER EVENT UPDATES & ALERTS

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