Resources for N.C. Businesses | COVID-19

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Answers, Resources to Assist You, and Other Information For Managing Your Business Now

Financial Support

Financial Support

Financial Support | Sources

  • The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) can provide a small business with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. Qualifying businesses will not need to repay the funds.
    DETAILS: Money from this program is provided in the form of a loan, but one that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. (Due to anticipated demand for the PPP , at least 75% of the forgiven amount must be used for payroll). No collateral nor personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees. Loan 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. As of April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. Business 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.
    | NEXT STEPS > Following a suspension, as of April 27, 2020, the SBA is again accepting new applications for this program, based on available appropriations funding.  Read more about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) website.
  • Your small business could receive up to a $2 million loan, to provide vital economic support to overcome the temporary loss of revenue you may be experiencing.
    DETAILS: An Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
    | NEXT STEPS >Following a suspension, SBA is again accepting new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program, based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit covid19relief.sba.gov or call the SBA at 1‐800‐659‐2955 for more information. The SBA is also publishing a helpful overview of all their COVID-19 relief programs.
  • As a small business, an advance of up to $10,000 from an Economic Injury Disaster Loan can be paid to you, and this advance does not need to be repaid.
    DETAILS: The loan advance can provide economic relief to businesses that are currently seeing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds can be made available within three days of a successful application.
    | NEXT STEPS > Following a suspension, the SBA is again accepting new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program, based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit covid19relief.sba.gov or call the SBA at 1‐800‐659‐2955 for more information.
  • If you're waiting for a decision on a pending SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and have an urgent need for financial support, an SBA Express Bridge Loan up to $25,000 might be available.
    DETAILS: If you currently have an existing business relationship with an SBA Express Lender, this pilot program allows small businesses to access funds while applying for an EIDL. This loan will be repaid in full or in part by the proceeds from the SBA.
    | NEXT STEPS > To get started, see this list of North Carolina SBA District Offices and contact the office nearest you.
  • North Carolina small businesses and family farms can receive a rapid recovery loan from state sources, to bridge the gap between the start of the crisis and the time when other sources of relief are available.
    DETAILS: The North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program helps small businesses bridge the gap between when a crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover. NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery loans are not designed to be a singular source of assistance for small businesses. Repayment of the loan is expected, either from more permanent funding sources that later come online or from the future cash flow from your business.
    | NEXT STEPS > As of April 16, 2020, applications received for this program are in excess of the current funding available. Applications already submitted are being processed in the order they were received. Businesses are welcome to continue with an application, and it will be reviewed as additional funding becomes available.  Visit ncrapidrecovery.org for more information.
  • A Debt Relief Program from the SBA might be able to provide your business a reprieve, as you overcome challenges created by the COVID-19 situation.
    DETAILS: The 7(a) Loan is the SBA’s largest financing program. Under this debt relief program, the SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months. The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
    | NEXT STEPS > Find the list of SBA-approved lenders to work with in this SBA Resource Guide for North Carolina.
Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance | Employer Tax Issues, Guiding Employees

  • As an employer, your unemployment insurance tax account will not be charged, for those individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19.
    DETAILS: Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 118 established an approach to minimize the potential impact on your standard unemployment insurance tax obligation. Unemployment insurance tax is a tax on employer payrolls paid by employers, from which unemployment benefits are then paid to qualified unemployed workers.
    | NEXT STEPS > Find answers to common questions employers like you are asking, with this helpful list of questions available of the website of the Division of Employment Security.
  • As guidance for your affected employees seeking unemployment insurance benefits due to the COVID-19 situation: several Standard requirements of the system are waived, including the one-week waiting period; the 'able to work' and 'available to work' requirements; the work search requirement; and the actively seeking work requirements.
    DETAILS: The unemployment insurance system pays temporary assistance to eligible individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. Not everyone who applies for unemployment benefits will qualify.
    | NEXT STEPS > Affected workers can find answers to common questions, with this helpful list of questions available of the website of the Division of Employment Security.  People can apply for benefits online at the Division of Employment Security's (DES) website, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or via their Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.
  • As an employer, when your company announces plans to either close a facility or conduct a mass personnel layoff, you may be required to file a report with the state, under certain circumstances, known as a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification – commonly called a WARN notice.
    DETAILS: WARN notices, among other actions, trigger the state's Rapid Response team into action, which provides transition support for the people impacted by the action.
    | NEXT STEPS > Read more about the process of filing a WARN report, elsewhere on our website.
Sell Critical Supplies to the State

Sell Critical Supplies to the State

  • North Carolina seeks companies and manufacturers that can produce critical supplies to help our state meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    DETAILS: North Carolina Emergency Management has assembled a vetting team to review vendors wishing to supply critical products to the State of North Carolina. Supplies urgently needed include: NIOSH-Approved Respirators (N95s, etc), Other Respirators (KN95s, etc), Procedural or Surgical Masks, Powered Air-Purifying Respirators, Goggles, Safety Glasses, Face Shields, Nitrile Examination/Medical Gloves, Nitrile Non-medical Gloves, Coveralls, Gowns (Isolation or Surgical), Hand Sanitizer, Disinfectant (Spray or Wipe), and Invasive Ventilators.
    | NEXT STEPS > If you or your company can sell Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or other critical supplies to N.C., please complete this online form.
Business Tax Issues

Business Tax Issues

  • As a business, your federal income tax filing due date has been automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest.
    DETAILS:  All federal taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax can take advantage of this date change.  The payment deferment applies regardless of the tax amount owed. These changes were announced by the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service on March 21, 2020.
    | NEXT STEPS > Read more at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.
  • As a business, your state income tax filing due date has also been automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, mirroring the federal change.
    DETAILS: The North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) announced this change on March 21, 2020.  The new deadline applies to individual, corporate, and franchise taxes adnd mirror the announced deadline change from the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to the filing extension, the NCDOR will not charge penalties for those filing and paying their taxes after April 15, as long as they file and pay their tax before the updated July 15 deadline. However, the Department of Revenue cannot offer relief from interest charged to filings after April 15, which requires a change in state law.  Unless state law is changed, do be aware that tax payments received after April 15 will be charged accruing interest over the period from April 15 until the date of payment. These changes do not apply to trust taxes, such as sales and use or withholding taxes.
    | NEXT STEPS > Read more details in the press release from the N.C. Department of Revenue.
  • Expanded state tax relief due to the COVID-19 situation now includes no penalties for late filing or payments of many tax types, including sales and use and withholding taxes, through July 15.
    DETAILS: The North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) announced this change on March 31, 2020.  Please note that NCDOR cannot waive interest payments for taxes paid after April 15, due to current state law. This interest rate is currently five percent per year, the minimum rate allowed by statute. Additionally, sales and use and withholding taxes are trust taxes and the money collected must be remitted to the state and cannot be used for other purposes.
    | NEXT STEPS > Read more details in this document published by the N.C. Department of Revenue.
  • Physical access to all North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) service centers in the state has been suspended to the public through at least April 1, 2020.
    | NEXT STEPS > Department of Revenue agents are available to answer your questions via the telephone numbers listed on this page on their website.
Counseling and Advice

Counseling and Advice

Counseling and Advice | Sources

North Carolina’s small business service providers are here to help you navigate the COVID-19 situation in our state. This experienced group of organizations has a long history of helping businesses prepare for and then recover from disasters. Find the advice and guidance you need to manage your business through this new crisis. More information is posted regularly at this COVID-19 online help site.

  • Receive one-on-one counseling and professional advice and programming from the experts at the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC).
    DETAILS: SBTDC has supported small businesses in North Carolina for over 35 years. In the current environment, SBTDC is being flexible and innovative in its delivery of services. With physical access to most of its host campuses limited, SBTDC's professional counselors are meeting with clients by virtual technology or phone.
    | NEXT STEPS > Existing SBTDC clients will continue to have full access to their counselor remotely. New clients seeking assistance should click here for information on connecting with a counselor.
  • Receive advice and access webinars, on-demand content, and articles from the N.C. Community Colleges’ Small Business Center Network (SBCN).
    DETAILS: SBCN can assist you with SBA disaster loan applications and other sources of funding.  Center personnel can also review your financial obligations and your status with creditors, offer strategies for scaling operations and generating revenue, and provide referrals to additional sources of assistance. In addition, a host of COVID-19 resources are available online to help your business cope with the current situation.
    | NEXT STEPS > Access helpful information online here.
  • If your business is at risk of laying off significant numbers of workers, consider participating in a consultation and assistance program designed to help minimize job losses.
    DETAILS: “Business Edge” is a program that works with 'at risk' firms.  Offered by the Workforce Solutions division within the N.C. Department of Commerce, in partnership with local workforce boards and other agencies, the program connects you with experts who can help assess your current needs and available options, including helping you access potential services that address your needs.
    | NEXT STEPS > To get started, send an email to DWS_BusinessServices@nccommerce.com or read more about the service elsewhere on our site.
  • Public health guidance for businesses and restaurants is available.
    DETAILS: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services publishes guidance for dealing with the current COVID-19 situation, including specialized advice for businesses and restaurant operators.
    | NEXT STEPS > Visit the DHHS COVID-19 web portal for more information.
Supply Chain Issues

Supply Chain Issues

  • Find a manufacturer or supplier for your supply chain needs by searching the 'Manufactured in NC' statewide database.
    DETAILS: This database of suppliers for most every kind of thing produced in North Carolina is a great resource for your business. Whether you’re a manufacturer who wants to better localize your supply chain, or you're a business searching for suppliers, you’ll discover new options when you use this database.
    | NEXT STEPS > Visit and search the 'Manufactured in NC' website.
  • Biomanufacturers, life science companies, and others can connect with resources using the new Coronavirus HUB from BIO.
    DETAILS: BIO, the industry trade association also known as the Biotechnology Innovation Organization has launched a website to connect companies offering relevant supplies, capacities and resources to companies, researchers and healthcare providers that need them. This new hub enables users to post requests for urgently needed items, as well as to post the availability of supplies and capacity. The portal connects in real time through customized announcements and is searchable by keywords. Please note that connection requests for medical supplies will be facilitated in partnership with Healthcare Ready, and to ensure an organized and optimized allocation of these particular items of need, BIO will not publish nor make searchable this category of resources.
    | NEXT STEPS > Visit the BIO Coronavirus HUB.
Government Action

Government Action

Relevant Legislation or Executive Orders | Information

The federal government and the State of North Carolina are taking action to meet the COVID-19 situation.  While the following listing may not be comprehensive, you may find these items particularly relevant to your business.

State

  • Here's a complete roster of Governor Cooper's Executive Orders (EO) related to COVID-19. EO 121 is the Executive Order, issued Friday, March 17, 2020, that outlines the state's 'Stay at Home' orderEO 116, issued March 10, 2020, contains the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency in North Carolina, based on the public health emergency posed by COVID-19.

Federal

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. More details are available here, including FAQs.
Subscribe For Future Info

Subscribe For Future Info

Subscribe | Receive Information on Future Programs and Services

  • Do you want to receive information about any future programs or services for small businesses related to the COVID-19 situation, as they become available?
    | NEXT STEP > Call Business Link North Carolina (BLNC) to register at 800.228.8443.  BLNC staff are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Se Habla Español... BLNC offers Spanish-speaking counselors. Please note, however, that BLNC may be experiencing a higher-than-normal call volume, and you may be asked to leave a message.
  • Do you want to receive information from the North Carolina Department of Commerce?
    | NEXT STEP > Subscribe to SYNC, the department's regular email newsletter.