COVID-19

As members of the cooperative community struggle with the social, economic, and health impact of COVID-19, CFNE staff are working to provide up-to-date information, financial know-how, and connections to other co-ops and service providers. We will be keeping the resources below updated, and we encourage you to reach out if your co-op need assistance.

Co-op Resilience Resources

Updated October 23, 2020

Many co-ops are working through their reponses to the short, medium, and long term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some resources to support you and your co-op. We will continue adding resources here, and please reach out to your loan officer or contact us at cfne [at] coopfund.coop if there is any way CFNE can support your co-op. This page will be updated on an ongoing basis.

As always, check the CDC for public health and safety information.

Jump to: Recursos en españolCo-op Housing - Co-op Food Businesses - Small Co-op Businesses - PPP Forgiveness - State Specific Resources - Individual Assistance - Webinars - Lift My Spirits!

Federal Small Business Relief

PPP Forgiveness There are several open questions about how PPP forgiveness will be calculated. Right now, most legal and accounting professionals are advising that businesses deposit their PPP loan proceeds into a dedicated account and keep good records of payroll and other allowable expenses. The SBA forgiveness portal opened August 10, but "Lenders will be able to access the necessary platform, borrowers cannot. Borrowers must provide completed loan forgiveness applications to their respective lenders. Within the notice, the SBA provides an outline of expectations for each lender." 

On October 8, 2020, the SBA issued a simplified form for forgiveness of PPP loans under $50,000. Borrowers under this amount will not have their forgiveness reduced based on reductions in number of employees or salaries, but will still need to submit documentation of fogivable expenses to their lender.

PPP Expense Tracker (Excel download)

PPP Loan Forgiveness FAQs (Wegner CPAs webpage)

PPP Loan Forgiveness Estimator (Paychex webpage)

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) EIDL Advance is no longer available, but EIDL loans are still available. Compare with other emergency loan products. The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments. On June 15, SBA resumed accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Sample "ownership" addenda for coops: Working capital loans up to $2 million, with interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses.

Employee Retention Tax Credit Refundable payroll tax credit for businesses and non-profits that retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible businesses have been fully or partially closed as a result of a government order, or experienced a 50 percent reduction in quarterly receipts as a result of the crisis. The tax credit is equal to 50% of wages and compensation, for the first $10,000 of wages per employee.  The credit is provided through December 31, 2020. Cannot be used in conjunction with Paycheck Protection Program. Also available in Spanish

SBA Automatic Debt Relief For existing borrowers, SBA is covering all loan payments (including principal, interest, and fees) on SBA 7(a), 504, and microloans for six months. This relief is also available to new borrowers who took out loans prior to September 27, 2020.

FAQ for Immigrant-Owned Worker Cooperative Businesses on Federal Coronavirus Funding Options (NY Law School Non-Profit & Small Business Clinic, with USFWC, DAWI, ICA Group and others) Bilingual resource EN/ES

Small Businesses

General Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources (Small Business Administration)

Federal COVID-19 Business Relief for Co-ops (ICA Group) Current and easy-to-understand info about the various forms of federal relief and how to apply for SBA disaster loans as a co-op. Also available in Spanish 

COVID-19 Adaptation, Relief Programs, and Resources for Small & Medium Businesses, Nonprofits, and Freelancers (Jason Wiener, P.C.) Summary of relief granted by the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, payroll tax relief, employee retention payroll tax credit, and tax credit for emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave.

MainStreet RISE Public-private partnership offering free & reduced-price finance, marketing, e-commerce, and advising services for small businesses (10 or fewer employees) in low-wealth communities.

Worker Co-op Resource Library (Democracy at Work Institute)

Legal & HR Resources

WorkShare plans - Offered by many states, including ConnecticutRhode Island, New HampshireMassachusetts and Maine, WorkShare is an unemployment option that helps businesses retain their workforce during a temporary slowdown in work. The program allows employers to voluntarily reduce the hours of all staff in lieu of layoffs. Employees collect a partial unemployment benefit to help them offset the loss of income. Unlike unemployment insurance, businesses must initiate the WorkShare process.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires employers with unde 500 employees to provide them with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law takes effect April 2, 2020, and provides a tax credit to cover employers' costs. Required Notification Poster

Lawyers for Civil Rights - Network of pro bono attorneys at more than 30 Massachusetts law firms, providing free legal support to small businesses during the crisis. LCR is releasing legal videos every weekday at 10 AM to their facebook page during the public health crisis. 5 minute video on loans.

Talking to Your Landlord About COVID-19 Impact on Your Business

Grants and State Assistance for Small Businesses

Covid-19 Grants for Massachusetts small businesses Deadline November 12, 2020 at 12pm EST. Grants of up to $75,000 (for businesses with 50 or less employees) and $25,000 (for those with less than 5 employees) are available from the Commonwealth of MA, with the fund administered by MA Growth Capital Corporation. Owner-employees count as employees, helping worker-owned cooperatives become eligible. Preference will be given to small businesses whose owners are women, minorities, veterans, members of other underrepresented groups, who are focused on serving the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts, and those most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preference will also be given to applicants that have not been able to receive aid from other federal programs related to COVID-19.

BeyGOOD Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund Monthly awards of $10,000 emergency COVID-19 grants to help Black-owned small businesses. Scroll down for a database of grants & funding for Black and Latinx businesses. See also Hello Alice's Hispanic Small Business Center (English/español)

Haymarket Urgent Response Grants Up to $1,000/year to help grassroots, social change organizations respond quickly to unforeseen crises or opportunities that critically affect your organization and constituency. Also includes a listing of other rapid response funds.

The Small Business Relief Initiative (QuickBooks & GoFundMe) The Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.

PPE Bulk Purchase through Community Purchasing Alliance co-op.

State Specific Guidance and Resources

Emergency Childcare for Essential Workers (3/27/20) Food workers are classified as essential by most New England states, and may be able to access emergency childcare in order to continue reporting to work. Childcare info for: Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island

Maine

Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) COVID-19 Relief Business Direct Loan Program - Up to $50,000 with special terms available to Maine-based businesses experiencing interruption or hardship due to COVID-19.

Maine Economic Recovery Grants- Grants awarded to directly alleviate the disruption of operations suffered by Maine’s small businesses and non-profits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) COVID-19 Relief Consumer Loan Program - No-to low-interest consumer loans up to $5,000 through a loan guarantee program involving Maine’s banks, credit unions, and FAME. Interested borrowers should contact their local bank or credit union (not FAME) to see if the lender is offering this program and to apply.

Massachusetts

Covid-19 Grants for Massachusetts small businesses Deadline November 12, 2020 at 12pm EST. Grants of up to $75,000 (for businesses with 50 or less employees) and $25,000 (for those with less than 5 employees) are available from the Commonwealth of MA, with the fund administered by MA Growth Capital Corporation. Owner-employees count as employees, helping worker-owned cooperatives become eligible. Preference will be given to small businesses whose owners are women, minorities, veterans, members of other underrepresented groups, who are focused on serving the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts, and those most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preference will also be given to applicants that have not been able to receive aid from other federal programs related to COVID-19.

Massachuestts Small Business Resources (Boston Business Journal) List includes a number of regional and sector-specific relief funds, grants, and micro-lending programs.

Grants & Assistance for Small Businesses in MA

Free business advising & PPP forgiveness support in MA

Vermont

Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grants - Grants of up to $50,000 for eligible Vermont businesses and nonprofits that have suffered severe financial harm from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Small Business Webinars

Comprehensive list of small business webinars from the WesternMass Business Technical Assistance Collaboration. Includes upcoming webinars as well as links to on-demand webinars, all of which are relevant for small businesses and co-ops trying to weather the pandemic.

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Covid 19 Toolkit. Includes upcoming and on-demand webinars designed to provide businesses with resources and tools as they respond to the many impacts of the Coronavirus. Hear from VBSR staff, fellow business leaders, legislators, and issue experts on the challenges of operating during a pandemic and learn more about how best to overcome them.

Reopening Webinars from the Beyond Six Feet Apart Accelerator & LISC Boston.

We Received Our PPP Funding, Now What? (Wegner CPAs, Recorded webinar) Best practices in using and tracking funds received as well as insight on available loan forgiveness details. Note: this webinar will be run again after final PPP forgiveness guidance is issued.

SCORE webinars on demand, including The 4 Key Things Owners Should Be Focused on Right Now, Business SWOT Analysis, Reopening and Staying Open, marketing, doing business digitally, and more.

International Solidarity Among Cooperatives In Response To COVID-19 / Solidaridad Internacional De Las Cooperativas De Trabajadores Para La Crisis Mundial De COVID (USFWC webinar recorded) Bilingual (EN/ES), international panel of cooperators from Latin America, Europe and the U.S. about how Covid-19 is affecting worker cooperatives in other countries, and how the worker cooperative movement could articulate emergent strategies to face this health and economic crisis. / Panel bilingüe (EN/ES) y internacional de cooperadores de América Latina, Europa y los EE. UU. Sobre cómo Covid-19 está afectando a las cooperativas de trabajadores en otros países, y cómo el movimiento cooperativo de trabajadores podría articular estrategias emergentes para enfrentar esta crisis económica y de salud.

Demystifying SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (NCBA & SBA webinar recorded)

Preparing a Small Business Recovery Plan (Institute for a Competitive Inner City webinar recorded 3/31/20; slides & pro forma workbook (.xls)) Step-by-step instructions on how to prepare revised business projections and a “Recovery Plan,” including negotiating consideration from your lenders, landlords or vendors for reduction/forgiveness of payments. Check out their Webinar Library for other useful trainings.

Managing Finances and Cash During Crisis (NCBA webinar recorded 3/25/20) Advice and resources to help small and mid-sized cooperatives navigate the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FB Live: EforAll Business Leaders Share Thoughts (Facebook Live recorded 3/26/20) “Virtual conversation” with four important leaders in the EforAll community sharing their experiences and ideas on managing your business during a challenging time.

How to Support your Employees with Child Care Needs during COVID-19 (VBSR webinar recorded 3/24/20)

Coronavirus Response Toolkit for Workplaces and Families (VBSR webinar recorded 3/27/20)

Food Businesses

FDA Coronavirus Food Safety FAQ

Food Industry Best Practices & Planning

Organizing in Upheaval (Food Coop Initiative webinar series) Each session will be led by a top startup food co-op expert on different aspects of how the current crisis might impact your startup and how to respond to it.

Emergency Childcare for Essential Workers (3/27/20) Food workers are classified as essential by most New England states, and may be able to access emergency childcare in order to continue reporting to work. Childcare info for: Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island

Running a Food Business in the Face of COVID-19 Commonwealth Kitchen guide for restaurants and food producers on changing business tactics, HR, and capital access.

Rally for Restaurants Rally for Restaurants is a grassroots initiative publicizing restaurants' order online & gift card sales during the current crisis. Toast.org will donate $1 per eligible social media post, up to a maximum of $250,000, to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation and World Central Kitchen.

Food Industry Recommended Protocols When Employee/Customer Tests Positive for COVID- 19 (United Fresh Produce Association) Consistent approach for food production facilities, distributors and wholesalers, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSHA.

Co-op Grocery Responses (Co-op News Network) Current practices aggregated from over 150 food coops' newsletters and self-reports; for best-practice sharing and tracking progress.

Housing Co-ops

COVID-19 coop house protocol (sample protocol from Madison Community Cooperative)

Kitchen & Common Area Recommendations from NASCO

Assistance for Individuals

Unemployment Insurance: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, part of the bill passed on March 27, adds $600 per week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from the state. That boosted payment will last for four months. Self-employed people, freelancers, gig workers and contractors who lose work as a direct result of the public health emergency are eligible for both the $600 payment and unemployment benefits through the end of this year. (3/12/20) Updated Department of Labor guidance allows states to pay benefits where: (1) An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19; (2) An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and (3) An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member. In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19. Step-by-Step Guide for MA, RI, CT; VT quick start form.

Foreclosure / Eviction Relief - The Housing and Urban Development moratorium on evictions and foreclosures expired on July 25, 2020. While there is some information that HUD may extend the moratorium through the end of the year, as of September 4 there had not been an official announcement. Check information in your state about foreclosure and eviction.

Mutual Aid Networks have been established to help certain industries, populations, and local communities, including artists, freelancers, and restaurant workers. These are crowd-sourced lists, and CFNE cannot vouch for or endorse any specific project. Here’s a guide to start your own.

Health Insurance Enrollment Reopened - Depending on where you live, you can now sign up for a health insurance plan via your state's exchange if you missed the open enrollment period in 2019. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont

Restaurant Strong Fund - The Greg Hill Foundation and Samuel Adams are providing $1,000 grants to full-time restaurant, bar, and cafe workers in 20 different states (including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) who are dependent on wages plus tips to cover basic living expenses and provide for their families.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley - Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents can dial 2-1-1 for help accessing social services. A COVID-19 Family Support Fund distributed $8 million through July 31 and has entered a new fundraising phase (no longer giving out funds for the moment). Check here for updates.

Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) COVID-19 Relief Consumer Loan Program - No-to low-interest consumer loans up to $5,000 through a loan guarantee program involving Maine’s banks, credit unions, and FAME. Interested borrowers should contact their local bank or credit union (not FAME) to see if the lender is offering this program and to apply.

Advice on avoiding credit problems related to COVID-19 (Consumer Data Industry Association) Information on major finance institutions currently offering forebearance, and how to reach out to creditors about deferred payment. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are offering free weekly online credit reports.

Lift My Spirits!

Virtual Community Resilience & Cultural Events (Boston Ujima Project) Music, dance, self-care, fitness, and other online happenings.

New England Aquarium - Animal visits, at-home activities, and more.

Boston Childrens' Museum Family activities to do at home, and a daily activity email option.

Recursos en español

Programa de Protección de Salarios (forumlario oficial en español) - Hay varias preguntas abiertas sobre cómo se calculará la condonación de PPP. En este momento, la mayoría de los profesionales legales y contables recomiendan que las empresas depositen los fondos de sus préstamos PPP en una cuenta dedicada y mantengan buenos registros de la nómina y otros gastos permitidos. El portal de condonación de la SBA se abrió el 10 de agosto, pero mientras "los prestamistas podrán acceder a la plataforma necesaria, los prestatarios no pueden. Los prestatarios deben proporcionar las solicitudes de condonación de préstamos completadas a sus respectivos prestamistas. En el aviso, la SBA proporciona un resumen de las expectativas de cada prestamista." El portal de aplicaciones solo está disponible en inglés.

Descarga del rastreador de gastos PPP (Excel)

Preguntas frecuentes sobre la condonación de préstamos PPP (Wegner CPAs)

Estimador de condonación de préstamos PPP (sitio de Paychex, en español)

Prestamos de emergencia por el coronavirus - Guía y lista de verificación para pequeñas empresas acerca de la Programa de Protección de Sueldos (PPP, por sus siglas en inglés) (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

Preguntas Frecuentes (FAQ) Para Empresas Cooperativas De Trabajadores Propietarios de Inmigrantes en las Opciones Federales de Financiación del Coronavirus (NY Law School Non-Profit & Small Business Clinic, con USFWC, DAWI, ICA Group y otros) Recurso bilingüe ES/EN

Créditos de emergencia para cooperativas (ICA Group) Informacion sobre las programas federales y como solicitar ayuda como una empresa cooperativa

Centro de Pequeñas Empresas Hispanas Las pequeñas empresas Hispanas y Latinx han sido las más afectadas por la pandemia COVID-19, y a la misma vez, son los grupos de empresarios con el crecimiento más rápido. Encuentre recursos para que su negocio lanze, sobreviva, o prospere, actualizado diariamente. (Hispanic Small Business Center is also available in English)

Talleres empresariales generales en español (cada lunes y miercoles de 4 de mayo adelante) La Organización Empresarial Latino Americana (LABO), ofrecerá una serie de talleres empresariales para los propietarios de pequeñas empresas, enfocando en el mercadeo y uso de redes sociales para su negocio. Estos talleres se transmitirán en Facebook Live todos los Lunes y Miércoles a las 7pm, y las grabaciones estan disponibles en su pagina Facebook tambien. (Business workshops with the Latin American Business Organization in Spanish every Mon & Wed on Facebook Live)

Reestructuración de finanzas a nivel personal y de negocio  (Seminario web grabado 29 abril 2020, por el Movimiento de Inmigrantes en Cooperativas) En esta sesión queremos analizar nuestra situación actual y cómo nos hemos visto afectades por esta emergencia, especialmente nuestras finanzas a nivel personal y de nuestros negocios. Revisaremos el estado actual y proyección para el nuevo escenario. Podremos analizar las situaciones en donde podremos tener el control y qué cambios podemos hacer, creando un nuevo presupuesto para poder enfrentar estos momentos de crisis estando mejor preparades. ("Managing your personal and business finances in times of emergency" recorded webinar in Spanish)

Solidaridad Internacional De Las Cooperativas De Trabajadores Para La Crisis Mundial De COVID (USFWC seminario grabado 13 abril 2020) Panel bilingüe (EN/ES) y internacional de cooperadores de América Latina, Europa y los EE. UU. Sobre cómo Covid-19 está afectando a las cooperativas de trabajadores en otros países, y cómo el movimiento cooperativo de trabajadores podría articular estrategias emergentes para enfrentar esta crisis económica y de salud.

Emergency Loan Program

Emergency Loans: The Cooperative Fund of New England is making available a $1M Emergency Cooperative Enterprise Relief Loan Fund for cooperatives in New England and parts of New York State who are seeing a dramatic loss of customers and revenue as a result of the pandemic.

Emergency Cooperative Enterprise Relief Loan Program:

  • Working Capital Loans up to $50,000
  • Term: Initial 6 months of P&I deferment and a total term of 36 months
  • Interest Rates: 0% for the first 6 months, then 3% fixed
  • Simplified Documentation and Rapid Response
  • Cooperative must demonstrate need due to COVID‐19
  • Cooperative eligibility to be determined

Stay tuned for further details.  Current borrowers, please reach out to your loan officer or new applicants contact us explaining what your needs are and to receive an application.

Co-op Financial Templates

We encourage co-ops to understand and take advantage of the federal relief provided by the CARES Act, but there are also common-sense steps that your co-op can be taking today to manage your financial well-being. Check out our Resilience Planning guide and the financial management resources below to get started:

Sample Financial Management Worksheets

Helpful Business Planning Resources

COVID-19 Co-op Resiliency Resources

 

Resilience Planning Guide