COVID-19 Emergency Consumer and Retailer Resources

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Please note we will continually be adding to this list of resources. Our goal is to do all we can to provide the knowledge and tools featuring relevant information to help our fellow retail brands and retail businesses during this time of crisis. Please continue to reference both your local government and federal government’s guidelines.

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with the needs they have right now resulting from COVID-19.

Struggling as to what you need to do first?
The following questions might help point you in the right direction.

Do you need:

• Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees?
Then the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) might be right for you.

• A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash ($10k forgivable) to cover you right now?
You might want to look into an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) also known as Emergency Economic Injury Grant

Tax Payments:

Federal: Tax Deferment due to COVID-19, Payments now due July 15 

In a federally-declared disaster area, you can get a faster refund by filing an amended return.  [Side note: You will need to claim the disaster-related losses on your tax return for the previous year.]

Get guidance from the IRS on amending a tax return or filing an extension after a disaster.


Unemployment Benefits:

(For gig workers and in some states the self-employed and freelance too!)
This is a challenging time for everyone in our industry. If you have lost work or income due to the virus, the rules for application have softened as a result of this crisis. Please visit this link for more information to apply by your state for benefits.


Loans & Grants:

Federal: Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

Facebook’s Grant Program: Facebook’s $100 Million Grant program for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

State of Massachusetts: Emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits.

State of Florida : Up to $50,000 per eligible small business. Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases. Interest-free for the first year and 12% per annum thereafter.

City of San Francisco: $10,000 for employee salaries and rent for businesses with less than 5 employees.

City of Sacramento: Zero-interest loans of up to $25,000.

City of New York: Zero-interest loans of up to $75,000 for businesses with less than 100 employees. 40% of payroll costs covered for businesses with less than 5 employees.


State by state information:

CALIFORNIA: The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development has compiled helpful information for employers, employees and all Californians as it relates to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Disaster Recovery Assistance Resources Directory lists programs and services for California residents and businesses impacted by disasters. 

NEW YORK: Empire State Development Resources for Businesses has up-to-date guidance for business including information on wavers, business questions for those impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Governor Cuomo spoke with business leaders and has announced a new cooperative effort with New York business leaders to voluntarily implement different work shifts and telecommuting in an effort to reduce density. 


Employers with less than 500 employees:

The House of Representatives voted 363-40 on March 14, 2020, to pass H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The bill will provide a tax credit for businesses and self-employed individuals to cover sick leave. Employers with less than 500 employees will be required to provide two weeks of paid sick leave for people who become infected with the coronavirus or need to care for someone who is.

What Employers need to know about H.R. 6201 from the National Law Review. Remember, this bill applies to you if your business has less than 500 employees.  


Internet Service Benefits:

Atlantic Broadband: The company will not terminate service for residential or small business customers due to nonpayment if they’ve faced “disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.” It is also waiving late fees that customers “might normally incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.”

AT&T: The cable, phone and media giant is suspending the termination of wireless, home phone or broadband service when customers can’t pay their bills because of coronavirus disruptions. The company is also waiving related late fees. AT&T is also providing free access to its public WiFi hot spots.

Charter Communications: The telecommunications company is providing free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi internet for the next 60 days to households with K-12 students or college students who don’t already have a subscription. Like Comcast and AT&T, it’s also offering its Wi-Fi hot spots for free to the public.

Comcast: The cable giant is offering free access to its Xfinity WiFi hot spots for everyone, including non-subscribers, for the 60 days. It’s also providing unlimited data to its customers for no extra charge and is not disconnecting internet service or charging late fees for customers who say they can’t pay their bills.

T-Mobile: The mobile phone service provider is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.

Verizon: Verizon said it is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers “negatively impacted by the global crisis.”


Utility Service Benefits:

Atlanta Gas Light: The utility has suspended shutoffs for seven days while it evaluates its options.

Consolidated Edison: The utility has suspended service shutoffs for customers having payment troubles.

Dominion Energy: The utility has suspended disconnections for nonpayment.

Duke Energy: The utility is suspending disconnections for non-payment. “Customers should pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later,” the company said.

Georgia Power: The utility is suspending residential shutoffs for 30 days, after which it will reevaluate its policy.

Green Mountain Power: The utility is suspending shutoffs and is deferring bill collection in recognition of financial hardships some customers may face due to the coronavirus outbreak.

National Grid: The company is suspending service disconnections and other “collections-related activities” through the end of April, after which the policy will be reevaluated.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company: NIPSCO is suspending shutoffs for nonpayment until further notice.

NV Energy: The utility is suspending disconnections “for our customers directly impacted by this crisis” and is waiving late fees and deposits “for customers who experience financial hardships related to COVID-19, or are unable to pay due to self-isolation.”

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.: PG&E has halted service disconnections for non-payment for both residential and commercial customers until further notice. PSE&G: The utility is suspending shutoffs to residential customers for non-payment through the end of April, “at which time PSE&G will evaluate the continued need,” according to an email sent to customers.

Southern California Edison: The utility is suspending disconnections for nonpayment and waiving late fees “for residential and business customers impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.”


Miscellaneous:

General Motors: the American vehicle manufacturer is offering  0% auto financing for 7 years

Enterprise: The rental car company is reducing the minimum age for renting a car to 18 through May 31 “to make it easier for students to get home to their families” due to the suspension of college courses.

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