COVID-19 Business Resources
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Guidelines for Businesses
OzSBI is dedicated to providing business counseling as well as resources and guidelines available for businesses during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please know the OzSBI community and our resource partners are here to support you during this unprecedented time. We will be sharing news and resources as information becomes available for businesses below.
The wellness and safety of our community, clients and guests are of the utmost importance to OzSBI. We are implementing precautionary measures to help us protect our community while continuing to help businesses grow. OzSBI's lobby is currently closed to the public. Staff members are available by phone during our normal business hours of 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
We stand ready to serve your business needs. To schedule a consultation or if you have questions, please call us at 417-256-9724. We’re here to support you.
Funding available to businesses impacted by COVID-19*
*On June 15, 2020, the SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications from qualified small businesses, including U.S. agricultural businesses. Small business owners and qualified agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Agricultural businesses are eligible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.? For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is now offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Missouri small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Applicants will apply online and receive additional disaster assistance information here. After your application is successfully submitted through the streamlined, online application through the SBA's website, your screen will display an application number, similar to this image. Be aware of scams and groups posing as the SBA. The SBA will contact you via email in regard to your application, so be sure to check your spam and junk folders for their emails.
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
Additional resources are included below.
To help small business owners and entrepreneurs better understand the new programs that will soon be available to them, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship has created a comprehensive guide to many of the small business provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed by Congress. These programs and initiatives are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)*
*As of July 6, 2020, at 9 a.m. EDT, the SBA resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020. The SBA released updated information about PPP Round 2 lending activity through May 1, 2020. Overall, 70% of loans made during Round 2 are for amounts less than $50,000, with the average loan size of all loans made during Round 2 being $79,000. Loan forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. A borrower must request the forgiveness of his or her PPP loan by filing SBA Form 3508, Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application (linked below). The application has four components: (1) the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form; (2) PPP Schedule A; (3) the PPP Schedule A Worksheet; and (4) an (optional) PPP Borrower Demographic Information Form. Borrowers are required to submit items (1) and (2) to their lender.
*As of June 8, 2020, the SBA enacted the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, which extends the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement. Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use an eight-week covered period. The act also lowered the amount of loan proceeds that must be used for payroll costs from 75% to 60%.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through August 8, 2020?.
Howell County CARES Small Business Relief
The Howell County Commission recognizes the negative impact that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had on small businesses in the county. The Commissioners have established a grant relief program to provide funding to businesses during these difficult times in a transparent and accountable manner that adheres to the requirements imposed by the federal government and the State of Missouri. All funding reimbursements are intended to address the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic in Howell County. Program funds will be allocated to eligible and qualified small businesses based on availability. Applications and supporting documentation are required for review and approval by the Howell County Commission. All applications will be processed on a first-come, first-review basis to qualified applicants. Please note that applications for funds are considered public information. The Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) is helping the Howell County Commission collect completed applications. Please click the link below to apply.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
On April 4, 2020, Missouri received guidance for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program that provides an eligible individual with $600 per week in addition to the weekly benefit amount he or she receives from other unemployment compensation programs. The FPUC provides an additional $600 payment per week to those eligible for at least one dollar ($1 US) in regular unemployment benefits. The $600 federal supplement provided under the FPUC provision to those that are unemployed will be effective the week beginning March 29, 2020 for those eligible to receive a regular unemployment weekly payment. The Missouri Department of Labor expects the payments to begin going out to eligible recipients as early as the week of April 12, 2020. Payments will be made retroactively for claims filed on or after March 29, 2020. The last payable week under the FPUC will be the week ending July 25, 2020. During the FPUC program period, claimants who are eligible to receive regular unemployment weekly payments will receive the additional $600 FPUC payment. Guidance for this program is expected to be announced the week of April 6, 2020. Please check the following resources often, as updates become available.
*The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DOLIR’s) Division of Employment Security (DES) is now processing unemployment claims for the self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits and have been impacted by the coronavirus. Under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, those who qualify will be eligible for weekly benefit payments of between $133 and $320 per week plus a $600 federal supplement available under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. The federal guidelines provide the $600 federal supplement only applies to weeks that are payable from March 29, 2020, through July 25, 2020. These two programs are not regular unemployment insurance but are new, fully federally funded assistance programs. Both of these provisions have been enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To be eligible for a PUA claim, individuals must first file a regular unemployment claim and be found ineligible. Most self-employed individuals who file a claim will receive a notice that they are not an insured worker. This is because they are not covered under the regular unemployment insurance system. If an individual has been self-employed for the past 18 months, the individual would not be eligible for UI. Once the individual has been denied UI for not having insured wages, he or she can file for PUA. The DES anticipates it will also begin rolling out the provisions of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program beginning the week of April 26, 2020. This program will provide up to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment to those that have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits. Once the PEUC program is operational, the DES will notify all potentially eligible individuals. The DES encourages claimants who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, and still have an active benefit year, to continue to file weekly requests for payments.The DES continues to urge people to file for unemployment benefits at uinteract.labor.mo.gov. UInteract is available 24/7 and is mobile-friendly.
Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program
The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program is an alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a reduction in available work. It allows an employer to divide the available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff. These employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours up to 52 weeks. To participate, an employer must complete an application for the affected unit within the company, and submit it to the Division of Employment Security (DES) for approval.
Missouri On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program
The Missouri On-site Safety and Health Consultation Program is helping small businesses return to work. See if your business qualifies for a free COVID-19 mitigation or OSHA compliance consultation below.
Legal Guidance to Navigate the New Workplace Health Guidelines
Understanding wellness and health guidelines as a result of Covid-19 is a challenge for many business industries. See the following resources for guidance on workplace policies relating to health and safety.
Stay at Home Order Guidance
Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced the first phase of the “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan outlining how Missouri will gradually begin to reopen economic and social activity on Monday, May 4, 2020. Find information specific to businesses reopening below.
Additional COVID-19 Grants and Tools for Businesses
Check out some of these organizations who are contributing to ease the financial burdens many businesses are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak with funding opportunities and free or reduced pricing on products.
Additional COVID-19 Resources for Businesses
Many online platforms are offering guidelines and education on best practices for businesses amid COVID-19. See the online platforms below for more information.
COVID-19 Relief Legislation for Employees and Employers
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) 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.
MOSourceLink Portal for COVID-19 Business Updates
MOSourceLink, one of OzSBI's resource partners, is providing access to an online portal of information for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Use this portal to stay informed on updates regarding small business assistance, announcements and tips for disaster relief funding, workforce and HR concerns and more. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, please help assess the needs of the small business community by completing the survey below from MOSourceLink. This data will help guide policy and decision-makers as funds become available.
USDA Rural Development Measures for Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19
USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
MO AgConnection Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers
AgButler is a gig economy platform that serves as a solution to a rural labor shortage in America. They provide on-demand jobs giving farmers and ranchers access to a high-quality labor force while boosting rural economies. This Missouri startup has recently partnered with the Missouri Farm Bureau to create MO AgConnection, connecting students who are home during COVID-19 with farmers and ranchers who need assistance maintaining critical food supplies.
Business updates available through Missouri Department of Economic Development
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (MO DED) works to create an environment that encourages economic growth by supporting Missouri’s businesses and diverse industries, strengthening our communities, developing a talented and skilled workforce, and maintaining a high quality of life. Please see a guide of COVID-19 resources available to businesses from the MO DED below.
How can businesses prepare for the impacts of Coronavirus (COVID 19)?
How can business leaders and employees prevent spreading of the Coronavirus (COVID 19)?
What should businesses know about making the transition to working remote?
What practices should businesses use when communicating with customers?
How is our region responding?