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 5/14/2020

Scam Alert (4/21/20): When applying for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan or Paycheck Protection Program:

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 ForgivenessIndividual Assistance - Webinars - Lift My Spirits!

Federal Small Business Relief

Updated 5/14/20: The Paycheck Protection Program still has funds available. If you are a co-op having touble finding a PPP lender, contact us for a referral. 

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (Updated 5/6/20) Forgivable loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. 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. (See application and SBA FAQ 5/13/20 for limitations and allowable uses. Instructions to calculate loan amount). No collateral or personal guarantee is required for the covered loan. Apply through qualified SBA lenders (see map from NextCity or SBA zipcode search), which may include your local credit union, bank, or CDFI. National Cooperative Bank has been providing PPP loans to new cooperative business customers nationally. Mass. Growth Capital Corp. has had PPP applications & instructions translated into 19 languages (reference only -- applications must be submitted in English)

PPP Forgiveness (Updated 5/14/20) 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. PPP Expense Tracker (Excel download)

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) (Updated 5/6/20) EIDL applications already in queue are being processed. New applications are only being accepted from agricultural businesses. Any applicants who did not apply in the new portal with an application number starting with a "2" are being asked to reapply NOW in the new portal currently live for agricultural businesses only in order to update their application and to obtain an application number that starts with a “3”. (Sample application: Page 1, 2, 3, 4; Sample "ownership" addenda for coops) Working capital loans up to $2 million, with interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses. Applicants for an EIDL will receive an advance of $1,000 per employee, up to a maximum of $10,000 soon after submitting an application. This advance does not have to be repaid, even if your application is denied.

Employee Retention Tax Credit (4/16/20) 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 (4/1/20) 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 will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the enactment of the CARES Act.

FAQ for Immigrant-Owned Worker Cooperative Businesses on Federal Coronavirus Funding Options (4/10/20 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)

Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Guide and Checklist (US Chamber of Commerce 4/1/20) At-a-glance info on SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program. Also available in Spanish

Federal COVID-19 Business Relief for Co-ops (ICA Group 4/1/20) 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. 4/7/20) 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 (5/11/20) 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.

Covid-19 Planning Checklist and Resource List (Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility)

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

Legal & HR Resources

Business Interruption Insurance - Check with your insurance broker to see whether you have coverage for an interruption to your business and projects due to coronavirus

WorkShare plans - Offered by many states, including ConnecticutRhode Island, NewHampshireMassachusetts 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 (3/25/20) 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 (3/23/20) - 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 & State Assistance for Small Businesses

CDF Disaster Recovery Fund - helps cooperatives and cooperators get back on their feet after disasters or other emergency hardship situations.

Facebook Small Business Grants (4/24/20) $2,500 cash grants and $1,500 in ad credits for eligible small businesses in cities where Facebook operates. Geater New York City and Boston area businesses can apply now.

Business for All Grants (4/8/20) Rolling deadline for $10,000 emergency COVID-19 grants to help small businesses in crisis. Sept. 2020 decision on grants up to $50,000 to support future business growth. See also Hello Alice's Hispanic Small Business Center (English/español)

LISC Small Business Recovery Grant Program for Massachusetts (4/14/20) Providing grants up to $10,000 to hard-hit small businesses in Massachusetts to address immediate financial peril, limit layoffs, avoid gaps in employee benefits or insurance, mitigate economic instability and increase the likelihood of business survival. Applications will be accepted online from Monday, April 20 to Friday, April 24, and will be available in English, Spanish and several other languages through LISC Boston’s website. Sign up for updates here.

Massachuestts Small Business Resources (Boston Business Journal 3/20/20) List includes a number of regional and sector-specific relief funds, grants, and micro-lending programs.

Finance Authority of Maine COVID-19 Relief Business Direct Loan Program (3/23/20) - Up to $50,000 with special terms available to Maine-based businesses experiencing interruption or hardship due to COVID-19.

Haymarket Urgent Response Grants (3/24/20) 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 3/25/20) The Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.

Small Business Webinars

We Received Our PPP Funding, Now What? (Wegner CPAs, Recorded webinar 5/2/20) 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 forginveness guidance is issued.

Navigating Long-Term Uncertainty and the Aftermath of Disruption (SCORE webinar 5/7/20) Get on-the-spot coaching, practical steps and 'navigational tools' for working with uncertainty and planning for the aftermath of disruption.

The 4 Key Things Business Owners Should Be Focused on Right Now (SCORE webinar 5/12/20) The goal right now should be all about how we come out the other side of this crisis a smarter, stronger and more prepared businesses than we were before. The key is to keep things simple.

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 4/13/20) 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.

Stress Tolerance (Center for Women and Enterprise webinar recorded 4/9/20) This online workshop will cover simple strategies you can implement to tolerate stress in the most effective way possible, and prepare yourself to jump back into your priorities full-force, once the stressor passes.

Demystifying SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (NCBA & SBA webinar recorded 4/1/2020)

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. 

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 (3/18/20)

Food Industry Best Practices & Planning (3/17/20)

Organizing in Upheaval (Food Coop Initiative webinar series 4/1-30/20) 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.

Maine Farm Emergency Grant Application (4/22/20) MOFGA & MFT are offering emergency grants of up to $2,000 to assist farmers impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis, including those experiencing a loss in sales or outlets, delayed production or hiring due to market disruptions, additional costs related to acquiring supplies or PPE for safe product handling, or having a need to ramp up production with additional labor or supplies. Additional grants outside of this initial review period may be considered if additional funds are available.

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 (3/25/20) 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 3/22/20) 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 3/23/20) 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 (3/16/20)

Assistance for Individuals

Unemployment Insurance (3/30/20) 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; 3/24/20 Mass Legal Service Printable Fact Sheet: EnglishTiếng Việt, Español

Foreclosure / Eviction Relief (3/18/20) - HUD has suspended evictions and foreclosures through April; New Hampshire has also prohibited all evictions and foreclosures during the current state of emergency.

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.

Federal Tax Deadlines Deferred from April 15 to July 15, 2020 (3/18/20) - including income and self-employment tax filings. Here are current extended state deadlines.

Health Insurance Enrollment Reopened (3/25/20) 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 (3/23/20) The Greg Hill Foundation and Samuel Adams are providing $1,000 grants to full-time restaurant, bar, and cafe workers in Massachusetts who are dependent on wages plus tips to cover basic living expenses and provide for their families.

United Way of Massahusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley (3/23/20) - Massachusetts & New Hampshire residents can dial 2-1-1 for help accessing social services. A COVID-19 Family Support Fund is being established (no application info yet).

Finance Authority of Maine COVID-19 Relief Consumer Loan Program (3/23/20) No-to low-interest consumer loans 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 through April 2021.

Lift My Spirits!

Virtual Community Resilience & Cultural Events (Boston Ujima Project 3/23/20) Music, dance, self-care, fitness, and other online happenings.

Virtual Visits: New England Aquarium (4/7/2020) Animal visits, at-home activities, and more. Daily presentations are posted every day at 11 am.

Boston Childrens' Museum (4/7/2020) Family activities to do at home, and a daily activity email option.

Recursos en español

Programa de Protección de Salarios (forumlario oficial en español 14 de mayo 2020) - proporciona fondos a las pequeñas empresas para pagar hasta 8 semanas de costos de nómina, incluidos los beneficios. Los fondos también se pueden utilizar para pagar intereses hipotecarios, alquileres y servicios públicos. Los fondos se proporcionan en forma de préstamos que se perdonarán por completo si se utilizan para costos de nómina, intereses hipotecarios, alquileres y servicios públicos.Los pagos de los préstamos también se diferirán por seis meses. No se exigen bienes en garantía ni garantías personales. Se debe completar el forumulario en ingles para aplicar.

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 23 de abril 2020)

Preguntas Frecuentes (FAQ) Para Empresas Cooperativas De Trabajadores Propietarios de Inmigrantes en las Opciones Federales de Financiación del Coronavirus (4/10/20 NY Law School Non-Profit & Small Business Clinic, with USFWC, DAWI, ICA Group and others) 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)

Plan de Negocios en un Escenario Emergente (Seminario web 13 mayo 2020 del Movimiento de Inmigrantes en Cooperativas) En esta sesión nos enfocaremos en crear estrategias de comunicación internas y externas para poder visualizar la nueva realidad de nuestro negocio. Nos enfocaremos en la comunicación hacia proveedores y clientes internamente para mantener buenas relaciones con nuestro círculo cercano. Por otro lado, hablaremos de las herramientas de comunicación que podemos utilizar para dar visibilidad sobre la nueva realidad de nuestro negocio. ("Business Planning in an Emerging Situation" will be presented 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