Updated May 20, 2021
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.
"Pandexit" and Reopening
Current Reopening Guidelines (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) Guidance and current rules for reopening, including state-by-state regulations on masks, travel, and gatherings; sector-specific guidance; and a Ready to Reopen playbook for businesses.
Keeping Workers, Members, and Customers Safe
Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People (CDC)
General Business Frequently Asked Questions (CDC)
COVID-19 Vaccination Digital Resources- Promoting vaccinations in your community, messaging about vaccination, and developing a safety strategy.
Best Ways for Employers to Promote COVID-19 Vaccines (U.S. Chamber factsheet)
Customizable Workplace Safety Flyer
Requiring Vaccinations - Generally, employers are allowed to require employees to be vaccinated. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance in December stating that vaccine mandates are legal, but state laws may vary.
PPP Forgiveness Contact your PPP lender to apply for forgiveness. A borrower can apply for forgiveness once all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness have been used. Borrowers can apply for forgiveness any time up to the maturity date of the loan. If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, then PPP loan payments are no longer deferred, and borrowers will begin making loan payments to their PPP lender.
Simplified Forgiveness for PPP Loans under $150,000 - Borrowers who received a first or second draw PPP loan under $150,000 can use the simplified form 3508S. You must submit a separate form for first or second draw forgiveness. Borrowers under $50,000 will not have their forgiveness reduced based on reductions in number of employees or salaries, but will still need to submit documentation of forgivable expenses to their lender.
PPP Loans - SBA is currently offering PPP loans originated only by participating community financial institutions including Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA Microlenders, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) until May 31, 2021 or until remaining funds are exhausted. Please note that not all community financial institutions are participating in PPP.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) EIDL loans are still available. Working capital loans up to $2 million, with interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses. 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.
Targeted EIDL Advances are available for existing EIDL borrowers in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of available program funding. The SBA is reaching out to eligible borrowers. There is no additional application process.
Sample "ownership" addenda for coops: (ICA Group) Include with EIDL application to explain cooperative ownership structure.
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.
FFCRA Paid Family & Sick Leave Tax Credits - FFCRA tax credits were extended through September 30, 2021 for employers offering qualifying paid leave. This program is voluntary as of January 1, 2021, and has been expanded to cover time off for vaccinations and post-vaccination illness. Coverage was expanded from 12 to 14 weeks.
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.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) provides funding to help restaurants and other eligible food and beverage businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources (Small Business Administration)
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.
Legal & HR Resources
WorkShare plans - Offered by many states, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts 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.
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.
Grants and State Assistance for Small Businesses
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.
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.
Grants & Assistance for Small Businesses in MA - Check to see if local grant funding is available in your area.
Free business advising & PPP forgiveness support in MA - Also links to current state and local funding resources.
Archived small business pandemic recovery webinars from the WesternMass Business Technical Assistance Collaboration.
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Covid 19 Toolkit. On-demand webinars
Reopening Webinars from the Beyond Six Feet Apart Accelerator & LISC Boston.
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.
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.
How to Support your Employees with Child Care Needs during COVID-19 (VBSR webinar recorded 3/24/20)
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.
COVID-19 coop house protocol (sample protocol from Madison Community Cooperative)
COVID-19 Housing Co-opUpdates & Resources from NASCO - regularly updated content on Cooperative Living; Co-op Economic Resources & Funding; Mutual Aid, Advocacy & Social Justice Wisdom; Students; and Remote Work.
Unemployment Insurance - The American Rescue Plan extended Pandemic Unemployment Assistance from 50 weeks to up to 73 weeks through September 6, 2121, and extended Emergency Unemployment Compensation from 24 to 53 weeks.
Federal Health Insurance Assistance - Workers who lost their jobs or had their hours reduced during the pandemic may be eligible for subsidized COBRA premiums from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. You may be able to elect COBRA coverage and take advantage of the premium assistance under the American Rescue Plan even if you didn’t sign up for coverage when it was first offered, or if you had COBRA coverage and then dropped it.
Federal Foreclosure Protection - The foreclosure moratorium for homeowners and the window to enroll in mortgage forbearance extends through June 30, 2021. Borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020 can also request up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance.
Federal Eviction Relief - The CDC’s current eviction moratorium protects tenants from eviction until at least June 30, 2021. Tenants must complete a declaration under penalty of perjury that they meet the criteria listed in the Order. Check information in your state about foreclosure and eviction.
Health Insurance Open Enrollment -You can enroll in or change Marketplace health insurance plans during the Special Enrollment Period for COVID-19 through August 15, 2021.
United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley - Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents can dial 2-1-1 for help accessing social services.
Advice on avoiding credit problems related to COVID-19 (Consumer Data Industry Association, Updated April 2021).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.
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.
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.