UPDATE: And, just like that, the funding for grants (not the loans) has reportedly run out. Our apologies. We’ll have to wait and see if Congress approves more funding, although they are currently on vacation, and will again go on recess in August.
A new grant is available that you may not have heard of, as part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The grant is bundled in with the loan program. You can accept the grant, which is direct-deposited into your bank account, while safely ignoring and NOT accepting the loan.
The grant is not repaid. You do not need to prove, or even explain, any financial losses due to the COVID-19 Crisis to qualify.
The EIDL grant is intended for small businesses, such as farms and agricultural businesses. Yet it specifically includes sole proprietorships, including freelancers, gig workers, and other self-employed people.
The amount of the grants is $1,000 per worker. So, for sole proprietorships, that’d be a $1,000 grant — total. For “larger” small businesses, the grants are limited at $10,000, for ten employees (businesses can be larger, that’s just the limit on the grant funding available to you).
So, here’s how it works: The application form is VERY brief. Contact info, when your business started, your Social Security number, and the type of business you have (selected via two pull-down menus). The hardest part is listing your business’ gross revenue from last year, along with your expenses on that revenue. If you received any other COVID-19-related business grants already, you’ll need to include those amounts, too.
That’s it. The form takes about 2 minutes to fill out.
Approval seems more-or-less automatic. The grant arrives in your bank, direct deposit, within a few days.
An email — which arrives a few minutes after submitting your application — asks you to create an SBA account and “accept” the loan amount, which you do NOT have to do — because you would have to pay that back. The loan amounts, which are based on your previous years’ income, appear to kinda-sorta relate to about half of your previous years’ income. Of course, “your mileage may vary.”
You may read more info about this overlooked grant program here at CNBC: www.cnbc.com/2020/07/06/gig-workers-are-eligible-for-this-1000-government-grant.html
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides it’s own, official info about the loan/grant here: www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan
The actual application may be filled out here: covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Please note that the CNBC article notes that they saw a box for you to check to include the grant. It now appears that checkbox has been removed. Please read the instructions carefully. Note also we can’t guarantee anything — and that these programs seem to run out of funding quickly. YMMV!