COVID-19: A Guide to Accessing and Protecting Capital

With the spread of COVID-19, the tourism sector has suffered a massive blow. In these times, access to capital, as well as ways to protect it, has become more crucial than ever for tour and activity operators.

However, navigating the wealth of information on the loans and financial assistance available can be challenging. To help simplify the process, we’ve created this running blog. 

Below, we’ll share the news on the latest loans, financial aid, and similar relief opportunities being provided, so that you can find the help you need, when you need it most.

 

Access to Capital: U.S. Government Aid

On Tuesday, April 21, the US Congress reached an agreement to allocate an additional $310 billion in funds to its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as well as an additional $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL), to aid small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

Because lenders now have a backlog of applications, this money is expected to go as quickly as the first wave of funding – business owners must act fast if they haven’t yet applied for this financial assistance.

Below we’ve compiled some updates on the loan programs and guidance on your options:

Key Updates

  • The $484 billion stimulus package includes a total of $370 billion in new funding that will be available in the form of government-guaranteed PPP and EIDL loans, specifically designated for small businesses. 
  • At least $30 billion of the new funds will be designated for community banks so that they don’t have to compete with larger institutions, which will help businesses in more rural areas.

Next Steps

  • Apply for PPP Loans with Peek & Womply – If you haven’t yet applied for a PPP loan, we recommend that you do so immediately through our partner Womply — this means if more funding is allocated, your application will already be in the queue. You should also apply through Womply if you have applied through your bank and they have not yet submitted your application to the SBA — Womply’s lenders move fast and have already been able to help businesses rejected or ignored by their bank get approved. If you do this, you should ensure you’re notified before either lender submits your application, or withdraw your application with your bank, to avoid applying for multiple loans.
  • Access Multiple Private Lenders at Once with Peek & SoFi – Get matched to a qualified private lender based on capacity, which may increase the likelihood of timely funding. Peek has teamed up with personal finance company SoFi to help our small business partners access financial assistance quickly through their Lantern marketplace. Here, you can shop across multiple lenders and compare financing solutions, including those that are also part of the SBA Paycheck Protection Loan Program (PPP) mentioned above.

Update on SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

  • Allocation per business is being reduced and the EIDL Grant Advance will be based on a formula of $1,000 per employee.
  • If you’ve applied for an EIDL, you should wait to hear updates from the SBA via email.

Access to Capital: EU Recovery Fund

EU Leaders Approve Half-Trillion Bailout Package – EU leaders agreed on Thursday, April 23, to draw up plans for a recovery fund worth 540 billion euros ($580 billion), set to be available by June 1. Details such as how it will be distributed have yet to be determined. 

 

Access to Capital: Other Entities Offering Aid

Major Companies Providing Aid:

  • Google’s $800M+ Aid to Support Small Businesses and Crisis Response – Read Google’s announcement to provide aid to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Its commitment includes a $200M investment fund to help provide small businesses with access to capital, $340M in Google Ad credits for SMBs, and more.
  • Goldman Sachs’ Small Business Stimulus Package – The investment banking leader has announced a slew of initiatives to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a Small Business Stimulus Package, which allocates $250 million in emergency loans and $25 million in grants. In total, the company has committed $300 million.
  • $100M in Cash Grants and Ad Credits from Facebook – Browse the aid Facebook is providing for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. It is not yet live, so sign up here for updates and get your application in when it’s released. 

Sources You May Have Missed:

  • Hello Alice’s Small Business Grants – Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus, as part of our broader mission to ensure Business for All. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community.  
  • Honeycomb Credit’s Relief Loan Program for Small Businesses – Honeycomb credit, an investment crowdfunding platform, has launched a small business relief loan program that’s providing $10,000 to $50,000 in working capital to qualifying businesses.
  • Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation Partners with GlobalGiving to Offer Grants –  Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has donated $5 million to support women-owned businesses affected by COVID-19. It has also teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund, which will provide 1,000 grants of $5,000 to female entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.
  • Kiva Increases Loan Limits, Extends Grace Period – Kiva is now offering expanded eligibility for its loans, so more businesses in the US will be able to access them. It’s also providing larger loans, with the maximum loan on its platform now at $15,000, and a longer grace period of up to 6 months for greater financial flexibility.
  • The Jewish Loan Association to Grant 250K in Loans without Fees – JFLA is offering fee-free loans for up to $10,000 to small businesses facing coronavirus-related losses. Individuals dealing with lost wages, child care costs, and funds lost due to canceled travel plans are also eligible.
  • The Opportunity Fund’s Relief Grants and Loans – This non-profit organization, which specializes in money lending to small businesses owned by women, immigrants, and people of color, is collaborating with investors and nonprofits to put together a coronavirus relief fund that will provide grants and low-interest rate loans to business owners in need.

Protect Your Capital

 Ads and Services:

Telecommunications:

Telecommunication companies providing free hotspots and unlimited data, and halting disconnects and late fees.

Telecommunication companies waiving late fees and halting disconnects for nonpayment

Telecommunication company providing free public hotspots and free WiFi to homes with students (kindergarten to university)

Utilities:

Utility companies suspending shutoffs for nonpayment and waiving late fees

Utility companies suspending shutoffs for nonpayment

Credit Cards:

Credit card companies lowering or waiving interest rates and halting late fees (for select cardholders)

Mortgages:

Provisions of the CARES Act mean most homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to receive mortgage forbearance. Some mortgage lenders are also offering additional mortgage relief programs to borrowers.

To take advantage of these programs, you’ll need to contact your lender. Below is an alphabetical list of mortgage lenders who are offering relief. Lenders are being inundated with phone calls, so whenever possible, it’s best to reach out for mortgage help online.

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