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Updated: Apr 17, 2020

To help small business owners and entrepreneurs better understand the new programs that will soon be available to them, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released the below guides to help you and your business. These programs and initiatives are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. 

When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. These guide provide information about the major programs and initiatives that are available from the Small Business Administration.

NEW! Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief

If you are an independent contractor or self-employed, you may be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans/grants, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and/or Unemployment Compensation for losses of income related to the coronavirus pandemic.


  • In general, all of the following entities that have suffered substantial economic injury caused by a disaster provided they were in existence on January 31, 2020:

  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees

  • Cooperatives, ESOPs, and tribal small businesses with fewer than 500 employees

  • Sole proprietors

  • Independent contractors

  • Most private nonprofits


Private employers, including non-profits, carrying on a trade or business in 2020 that:

  • Have operations partially or fully suspended as a result of orders from a governmental authority due to COVID-19, or

  • Experience a decline in gross receipts by more than 50% in a quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019 (eligibility ends when gross receipts in a quarter exceed 80% compared to the same 2019 quarter)

With respect to tax-exempt organizations under 501(c) of the tax code, the requirement to be partially or fully suspended applies to all operations of the organization.

Employers who receive a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan are not eligible for a tax credit. To learn more about PPP loans, visit

The key numbers to remember with these paid leave programs are 500 and 50.
  • If you have fewer than 500 employees, your business is required to provide paid leave under both programs

  • If you have under 50 employees, though, you may be exempted from the requirement to provide leave under both programs (see below)

The Department of Labor has issued clarifying guidance (available at and will continue to publish more information.

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating.

While the program is open until June 30, 2020, the government is advising borrowers to apply as soon as possible given the loan cap on the program.

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