50+ Financial Relief Resources for Startup Founders and Small Business Owners

Last Updated on August 19, 2020.

The past few weeks have flipped the business world upside-down, especially for those who have businesses that require in-person interactions. Governments, corporations, and other organizations have started to wonderfully respond by offering massive amounts of relief resources for startups and small businesses. 

Businesses can be made in the upswing after a recession, but they often need to make sacrifices and take advantage of as many resources as possible to make it through the trough. 

My simple advice:

  • If your revenue has dropped, you should cut your expenses. Stay cash-flow positive if possible.
  • If you think you can weather the storm, take advantage of as many relief resources as possible to soften the blow and increase your chances of survival. 
  • If your business has a high chance of becoming insolvent assuming the economic situation doesn’t improve in the next couple of months, you might want to consider cutting your losses now and restarting after the world starts to get back to normal. Alternatively, consider applying for the SBA loan that can be turned into a grant depending on how you spend the money. 

Now, onto the relief resources that you came here for. They are organized in the following sections: U.S. Federal, U.S. Local, Private Initiatives, and International Initiatives. If you find any resources outside of this collection, please email them to me at jacob@useshiny.com and I’ll add them promptly. 

U.S. Federal

Resources and initiatives from the United States Federal government that you can take advantage of.

Financial Resources

  • SBA loans — Disaster Loan Assistance program offering small business loans at an interest rate of 3.75% (2.75% for non-profits). There are now guidelines around part of these loans being forgiven under certain circumstances and each successful applicant may get a $10k advance that won’t have to be repaid. — UPDATE 4/23: The $10k advance is now just $1k per employee, up to $10k, and the PPP loans have maxed out the initial CARES Act funding with more on the way. It is still important to apply as soon as you can for the PPP and EIDL loans if you haven’t already. 
  • Payroll tax credit — receive 100% tax credit against payroll tax liability up to the capped amount of benefits you must pay.
  • Tax filing extension — Federal income tax deadline is now July 15th, with no penalties or interest accruing for the extended three months.

Other Resources

U.S. Local

Resources and initiatives from various state and local governments that you can take advantage of.

Financial Resources

Chicago — $100m Relief Package for small businesses.

Denver — Economic relief package providing up to $7,500 grants to qualifying small businesses.

District of Columbia — $25m fund for Small Business Microgrants.

Los Angeles — Small Business Emergency Microloan Program offering $5k to $20k per company for job retention purposes.

New York — Various grant and loan programs for small businesses, targeting employee retention and general business continuity.

Philadelphia — Small Business Relief Fund offering grants and zero-interest loans.

San FranciscoSmall Business Resiliency Fund offering up to $10k per company for salaries and rent. 

CaliforniaFinancial and Technical Assistance for small businesses offering a loan loss reserve program and disaster relief loan guarantee program Jump Start loan program. Also, the California EDD has a Work Sharing Program to help employers minimize layoffs.

Florida — Emergency Bridge Loan program offers up to $50k, zero-interest for the first year. 

Iowa  Small Business Relief Fund and Sole Operator Fund provide financial assistance and tax deferrals. 

Maryland — $175 million in grants, loans, and other relief to be provided

MassachusettsSmall Business Recovery Loan Fund provides small businesses with up to $75k. 

Michigan — Small Business Relief Program offering grants to small businesses. 

Minnesota — Small Business Emergency Loans up to $35k, interest-free for five years with the first payment deferred six months. Partial forgiveness may be available. 

New Jersey — Emergency Assistance programs providing up to $5k grants and up to $100k loans. 

New Mexico — Business Loan Guarantee Program will guarantee up to 80% or $50k of a loan or line of credit. 

WisconsinSmall Business 20/20 Program provides grants of up to $20k to existing CDFI loan clients.  

Sales Tax Relief — many states are delaying or suspending sales tax filings and payments. Check your state’s changes in this open document organized by a Boston-based tax accountant.

More local resources in the U.S. can be found in Fundera’s extensive list of grants and loans available to small businesses by local governments and organizations. 

Private Initiatives

Resources and initiatives from private corporations and organizations that you can take advantage of. 

Financial Resources

Other Resources

International Initiatives (non-U.S.)

Resources and initiatives for those of you who run a business outside of the United States. 

Financial Resources

On top of all of these options, I’ve compiled a list of non-pandemic-related debt financing options for startups and small businesses, including loans, credit lines, credit cards, grants, and more.

I would like to give a shout-out to the CFOs in my network who helped me compile this list of relief resources. I hope this collection of resources helped you find some options you otherwise didn’t know you had.