Business Help and Resources
US Small Business Administration
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package that includes significant relief money for small businesses.
The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.
If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable.
Businesses – including eligible non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors described in the Small Business Act – with 500 or fewer employees may apply.
Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.
For more information, go to https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance Program: In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
For more information, go to https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources#section-header-2
To apply go to https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Enhanced Debt Relief is also available in SBA’s other business loan programs to help small businesses overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.
For information on additional Lending options, please click here.
SBA provides local assistance via 68 district offices and a nationwide network of resource partners. To find resources near you, please click here.
Businesses who do not meet the requirements for the CARES grant or forgivable loan relief may still apply for a loan via the SBA Express Bridge Loan Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. These loans will need to be repaid but could help to fill the financial gap until the coronavirus crisis is over.
Resources For Michigan Businesses During COVID-19
The Michigan Small Business Relief Program grants are administered by 15 local and nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs). To apply and for more information go to the link below to find the EDO that represents the county in which your business is located.
Oakland County Stabilization Fund Oakland County was awarded a $1.15 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and its Michigan Small Business Relief Program. The state grant will assist qualifying small businesses with up to $10,000 to help offset losses or expenses resulting from the coronavirus emergency.
For more information, go to https://www.oakgov.com/advantageoakland/business/OneStopShop/Pages/OSSBC-Coronavirus-Resources.aspx
Beginning the first week of April, applications and more information will be available at: Oakgov.com/COVID
Small Business Relief Fund Macomb County On Thursday, March 19, the MEDC announced $20 million in support for small businesses, $10 million of which would go to economic development organizations (EDO) to distribute as grants to their communities. The other $10 million will support small business loans, which MEDC will administer. MCPED received $800,000 from that allocation, with an additional cash match of up to $100,000 from First State Bank and $30,000 from MCPED to assist businesses through these tough economic times.
Application is now open. All applications are due Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m.
Go here for more information: https://business.macombgov.org/Business-macomb-small-business-relief
Qualification form for eligible businesses
MEDC/DEGC TO PROVIDE COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS TO WAYNE COUNTY SMALL BUSINESSES The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is working with the City and MEDC to help small businesses survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Beginning next week, eligible Wayne County small businesses can apply here for grants up to $10,000.
For those businesses not eligible for grant funds, MEDC has also established a loan fund.
For more information, go here http://www.degc.org/local-business-support-for-covid-19/
US Chamber Of Commerce Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is compiling a list of programs providing financial assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. For nonprofit assistance, see Candid’s list of funds for coronavirus relief.
Please note: This list is not comprehensive and is intended as an informational resource only. If you oversee a fund granting money to small businesses not on this list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your program added
For more information, go to https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/article/help-small-business
SCORE is offering advice and assistance from its business mentors including help navigating financial challenges and assistance in applying for SBA disaster assistance loans. SCORE has centralized all of its assistance options here.
Small Business Development Centers are local offices sponsored by the SBA to help small businesses. While the SBA has provided its own resources, SBDCs are also offering extensive help to small businesses throughout America.
This includes OSHA resources and information, like preparing workplaces for COVID-19, preventing worker exposure to COVID-19 and additional OSHA resources. You can also find links to the National Cyber Security Alliance for information on how to stay safe online during the pandemic and avoid typical scams associated with the disaster.
The Risks of Using Private Devices
The biggest challenge of working remotely on a VPN (Virtual Personal Network), by far, is IT security. This is because security for personal use is much less stringent than that needed for businesses and their infrastructure. Typically, personal devices (PCs, cell phones, laptops, and tablets) are not maintained at the same security level as workplace desktops and servers, therefore, they are more vulnerable to hacking. This makes them ideal targets for malicious cyber actors because most or all organizational and customer traffic must pass through these devices.
Keeping the Network Infrastructure Secure
Despite the vulnerability of personal devices being used for business purposes, there are ways to keep your information and your business secure. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert on 3/13 to encourage organizations to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity. Below are their suggested guidelines:
Update VPNs (Virtual Personal Network) and all devices being used to remote into work environments with the latest software patches and security configurations.
See CISA Tips Understanding Patches and Securing Network Infrastructure Devices.
Alert employees to an expected increase in phishing attempts.
See CISA Tip Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks.
Ensure IT security personnel are prepared to ramp up remote access cybersecurity tasks: log review, attack detection, and incident response and recovery.
Implement MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) on all VPN connections to increase security. If MFA is not implemented, require remote workers to use strong passwords.
See CISA Tips Choosing and Protecting Passwords and Supplementing Passwords for more information.
Contact CISA to report incidents, phishing, malware, and other cybersecurity concerns. https://www.us-cert.gov/forms/report
Best Security Practices for working from home using personal devices
In addition to the CISA recommendations, IT providers recommend the following as best practices guidelines.
If possible, use only company provided devices.
Secure Your Home Workstation if using a personal device: Ensure you have fully patched and updated anti-virus and anti-malware software. It’s important to follow the same best practices you would as if you were in the office, and report any suspicious activity or concerns to internal IT or your MSP (Managed Services Provider).
Have a secure WiFi access point. Without a secure WiFi access point, you’re essentially leaving a back door open to hackers. That’s because WiFi signals are often broadcast far beyond your home and out into streets. Yes, drive-by hacking is popular among cybercriminals today. A few tips for securing your WiFi access points:
• Use stronger encryption and a more complex password
• Hide your network name
• Use a firewall
Use a two-factor authentication VPN. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s essentially a private, encrypted tunnel that goes direct to the IT network in your office. Ideally, you’ll want your VPN to support two-factor authentication. This means it’s doubly secure because you will need to call in to access the network. If you don’t have a VPN, you can consider other services, such as GoToMyPC or Zoho. While these products are not as secure, at least they keep your home network from being exposed.
Establish an official communication channel early and ensure that all users know the email address and format of the communications. This is a procedure that will allow you to recognize spam and phishing attempts.
These security measures are not difficult to set up. But if you have any questions or need assistance, we will be happy to help get your employees set up remotely.
Contact Oakland Solutions LLC at 248-689-1439 or info@OaklandSolutionsLLC.com