Small Business Development Center

Information and Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Loudoun SBDC will strive to provide the most current and helpful information for small businesses to help you make decisions during the Coronavirus outbreak. If you need additional information or have questions please feel free to contact us at mec20175@gmu.edu or (703)466-0466.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Get Financial Assistance for My Business?

Small businesses in Loudoun County are now eligible to apply for Federal Disaster Loans for economic damage. To begin the application process please use the link below:

https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

A few things to keep in mind about these emergency loans:

  • This is a business loan, not a grant, for businesses that are directly impacted by COVID-19.
  • The loan is from the SBA directly, it does not need to go through a bank.
  • You do NOT need to be rejected by a commercial bank before applying for an SBA EID Loan.
  • Please be patient as the SBA will be fielding many calls.
  • Review the entire application before submitting to make sure you’re not missing any information that might slow down the approval process.
  • If you are not able to process a loan online for some reason there is an option to file a paper application. Contact the Loudoun SBDC at mec20175@mec or (703) 466-0466 if that is your situation for assistance.

In order to be prepared for the application process you will want to gather documentation in advance. You will also need to have access to a scanner so you can download, sign and upload documents needed for the application.

Please also note the following as you navigate the loan application process online:

  • The SBA site is experiencing high volumes of traffic and the site might be slow. Try accessing during non-peak hours, 7pm-7am EDT.
  • Some users are experiencing issues using Chrome. Please use an alternate browser – like Edge or Internet Explorer.
  • As you go through the application process, SAVE early and often to ensure you don’t lose work.

 

The following is a list of some important documents you will need to have access to for the application process:

  • Contact information and social security numbers for all applicants.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) for business applicants.
  • Financial information (e.g. income, account balances and monthly expenses for the business).
  • Owner financial information (personal financial statements for owners of 20% or more).
  • Past 3 years of Federal Business Tax Returns (1 year minimum for newer businesses).
  • Past 3 years of Federal Personal Tax Returns for owners of 20% or more (1 year minimum).
  • Deed or lease information for any property (business and personal).
  • Business Insurance information.
  • Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Good Standing, etc.

 

The following list of Federal forms will be required to apply:

  • Loan application (SBA Form 5), completed and signed (this is electronic/online in the portal). To see what the form looks like, an example can be found here.
  • Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506-T), completed and signed by each applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member; and, for any owner who has more than 50 percent ownership in an affiliate business. Affiliates include, but are not limited to, business parents, subsidiaries, and/or other businesses with common ownership or management.
  • Complete copies, including all schedules, of the most recently filed Federal income tax returns for the applicant business; an explanation if not available
  • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) completed, signed, and dated by the applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, and each general partner or managing member
  • Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202may be used)

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

If you have questions or need help preparing your application contact the Loudoun SBDC for assistance.

Yes! The Loudoun SBDC has coaches that can help you with loan package preparation. If you have questions about the process or need assistance in gathering information or filling out application forms contact us and we will get you connected with a coach as soon as possible. NOTE: All coaching through the SBDC Loudoun is free of charge.

Email us at mec20175@gmu.edu or call us at (703)466-0466 to learn more.

*we are experiencing a large number of requests due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will get to your email or call as quickly as we can. We ask for you patience as we work to help everyone who needs assistance.

This video can also serve as a guide to walk you through the application process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rws1QtuyW_g

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.  A Spanish-language version of the SBA website is also available at: https://www.sba.gov/espanol/. The Service Center is open 7 days a week from 7:00am to 9:00pm.

 

Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call SBA’s Customer Service Center via the Federal Relay Line by calling (800) 877-8339. You may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.  The Service Center is open 7 days a week from 7:00am to 9:00pm.

What Other Financial Resources are Available for My Business?

Governor Northam has released WIOA Rapid Response funding to local workforce areas to work directly with employers on layoff aversion strategies for their employees. The Rapid Response funds were distributed by population, so the Virginia Career Works Northern Region received $396,208 of the $1.5 million total. Funds are active through August 31, 2020.

Please go to the following link on the Virginia Career Works Northern Region website to review this employer support grant opportunity; click here:

https://vcwnorthern.com/covid19-rapid-response/

Questions can be directed to Seema Jain of the SkillSource Group at seema.jain@vcwnorthern.com or David Hunn at david.hunn@vcwnorthern.com

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

Terms

  • Up to $25,000
  • Fast turnaround
  • Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via SBA’s Lender Match Tool or by connecting with your local SBA District Office.

The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s business and economic development financing arm.  Aligned within Virginia’s Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the VSBFA offers programs to provide businesses, not-for-profits, and economic development authorities with the financing needed for economic growth and expansion throughout the Commonwealth.  To accomplish this goal, we offer loans directly to businesses & non-profits, credit enhancements to banks that are lending to businesses & non-profits, as well as bond financings to benefit for-profit businesses, 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit entities, and to support clean energy and P3 transportation projects.  We also help small businesses seeking to attract equity investments by providing an equity incentive grant program.

Throughout our 30 plus-year history we have helped many Virginia businesses gain the access to the capital they needed to grow and create jobs in the Commonwealth.  Whether you own a business that is seeking a loan or you are a commercial lender needing help in offering a loan to a small business the VSBFA is happy to talk with you about your needs.  Send us an e-mail or give us a call today.

You may contact us through our VSBFA main number at:  804-371-8254.

Click to visit the VSBFA Website

What Should I Be Communicating During the Crisis?

How do I communicate with my employees? My customers? My vendors?

  • During a crisis, it is important to keep messages concise and brief as possible while still sharing important info. Here are four steps to effectively communicate during a crisis:
    1. Gather the Facts. Understand the situation, its components, results and future implications as much as possible.
    2. Tell the Truth.
    3. Plan Your Communications.
    4. Build Communication Skill.

We at the Loudoun SBDC have put together a quick sheet you can use to prepare your communications. It covers the What (what do I need to communicate), Who (who do I need to communicate with – customers, employees, vendors, etc.) and How (how do I need to communicate – email, social media, website post, etc.). You can use this sheet to plan your communication and also keep track of what you are communicating and to which audience.


Download a Crisis Communications Planning Form

When you communicate, make sure you convey the following:

  1. We’re Aware – share that you are aware of what is going on and are continuing to monitor the situation as you make decisions for your business.
  2. We Care – show that you are thinking about the greater good of your employees, partners, and customers through all your decisions.
  3. We’re Here – communicate how your business is still running and how individuals can continue to work with you whether they are employees, partners, or customers.

Everyone is receiving numerous communications through email, social media, etc. so make sure to only communicate when you truly have something new to share.

Is There Other Information I Should Know?

Q&A on Claims Related to Coronavirus from the following site:

http://www.vec.virginia.gov/qa-coronavirus

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROCEDURES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Q: When should I file a claim for unemployment compensation benefits?

A: You should file your claim on-line (**preferred method) through our Website at www.vec.virginia.gov> after you have been out of work at least 1 full day. If you do not have access to a computer, you can file your claim through our Customer Contact Center by calling 866-832-2363 Monday through Friday 8:15am – 4:30pm.  Your claim will be effective Sunday of the week in which you submit your on-line application or file through our Customer Contact Center.

 

Q: My hours have been reduced. Can I apply for unemployment compensation benefits?

A: You can file due to a reduction in hours. If your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount. Currently, the maximum weekly benefit amount in Virginia is $378.

 

Q: What happens after I complete my unemployment insurance application?

A: Once your claim is processed by the VEC, you will receive three important documents. The Benefit Rights document explains eligibility requirements and what you need to do each week to claim your benefits. The Monetary Determination document shows how much money you may be eligible to receive. You will also receive a PIN. You need the PIN to claim weekly benefits and to make inquiries about your claim.

 

Q: How much money will I qualify to receive?

A: Depending on your earnings, your benefit amount may range from a minimum of $60 per week for 12 weeks to a maximum of $378 a week for 26 weeks. (Refer to your Monetary Determination)

 

Q: How soon before I can expect a benefit payment?

A: Beginning with claims effective March 15, 2020, Governor Northam has directed that the one week waiting period and the requirement to conduct a weekly job search both be suspended for those receiving unemployment insurance benefits. If you are eligible for benefits, a payment should be processed shortly after you claim your first full week. You will need to refer to the Benefit Rights document for instructions on claiming weekly benefits.

Response to Covid-19 is rapidly changing from day to day across the Commonwealth and the Nation. Please check our Website regularly for updates on any changes that may occur in how claims are being processed in Virginia.

There are many partners working to provide information, guidance and resources during this crisis.

Here are some links to some valuable sites that we hope help:

Loudoun County Department of Economic Development COVID-19 Page

Visit Loudoun COVID-19 Webinar Update Replay (from 3/18/20… minor audio issue at the beginning but it clears up)

Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Page

Small Business Administration SBA- COVID-19 Page

Where Do I Get Information on COVID-19?

What you need to know about COVID-19

The above video is from Dr. Lisa Park, executive director of Mason’s Student Health Services, who answers questions about coronavirus/COVID-19

As the outbreak continues there are many sources of information that may be helpful to assist you in making decisions for your business. The following are some sources we recommend:

https://www.loudoun.gov/5307/Coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf

https://www2.gmu.edu/coronavirus

 

We will share other sites and information as they become available.

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If you are not already an SBDC client please use the button below to get set up in our system. NOTE: All coaching through the SBDC Loudoun is free of charge.

Once you’re set up we will be in touch about scheduling an appointment with an advisor or other appropriate services. If you have visited the SBDC in the past and are unsure of your client status please contact us and we will assist you.

By email: mec20175@gmu.edu or by phone: (703)466-0466

Register as an SBDC Client

We look forward to working with you as you start and grow your business.

Request an Appointment

New Businesses

If you are starting, recently started, or are taking over a business, we recommend you register for the “Starting a Business in Loudoun County” workshop as your first step. The class covers much of the basic information you need to know about starting a business. Feel free to refer to our EVENTS CALENDAR for the day, time and location of the next workshop.

To help you with your business planning you can also download and fill out this pdf form to help you get ready for the workshop. It will give you some of the most common questions you will need to answer before you start your business.


New Business Questionnaire



Existing Businesses

If you have an established business or have already attended the Start a Business workshop and have questions, we ask that you provide some background information before we meet one-on-one.

Please download the pdf form below, fill it out and SEND US AN EMAIL (if you use browser based email send to mec20175@gmu.edu).

We will review the information and contact you about other services that would be appropriate for your situation, such as a no-cost appointment with a business adviser.



Existing Business Questionnaire

NOTE: You can only save the pdf forms if you download it to your computer or device first.

You will not be able to save forms if you open in a browser. We recommend downloading the form before filling it out and saving it.