Covid-19 disaster assistance is available to small businesses and photographers.  Below are some types of assistance that are available.

Covid-19 disaster assistance for photographers

Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) has been dramatically streamlined through a simple online form that requires very little business information. In addition, it is offering a $10,000 immediate advance to the bank account you enter into the form. You don’t have to pay this back if you qualify. The loan itself cannot be forgiven, but it can be used for a wider range of expenses than the Paycheck Protection Program.

You can receive up to $2 million for use paying fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact upon the business. The interest rate for small businesses is 3.75%. While long-term repayments of up to 30 years are available, payment terms are determined on a case-by-case basis.  You can receive the $10,000 immediate advance, regardless of whether you are actually approved for the EIDL.

In the last 24 hours, the application process for Covid-19 disaster assistance has been dramatically simplified.  In addition, the final step will ask whether you’d like a $10,000 immediate advance, as well as your bank account routing information.

You can find the application here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

This program provides cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy snap-back quicker after the crisis. PPP has a host of attractive features, such as forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year. Small businesses and other eligible entities will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, in order to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.

To apply for Covid-19 disaster assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, you will need to go through an approved SBA 7(A) lender. Many national and regional banks provide SBA 7(A) loans but aren’t yet ready to provide the PPP. It is recommended to reach out to your banker for information on how to apply for this type of loan.

For more info:  U.S. Senate Committee

What are the differences between the PPP and the EIDL?

Photo courtesy of Live Oak Bank

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS (VARIES BY STATE)

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Disaster Assistance update: The federal government is allowing new options for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:

  • An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
  • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
  • An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.

March 30 update: New federal law allows states to extend benefits to self-employed and gig workers, and to provide an extra $600 per week as well as an additional 13 weeks of benefits.

Select your state below to file and to learn more, including details about coronavirus updates. Please note that states are in the process of updating their websites to reflect these new laws. For now you should file for benefits as directed on your state’s website and look for information about how to receive future updates. Also note that many states are experiencing high volumes of traffic and ask filers to be patient and persistent.

Alabama |  Alaska  |  Arizona  |  Arkansas  |  California  |  Colorado  |  Connecticut  |  Delaware  |  District of Columbia  |  Florida  |  Georgia  |  Hawaii  |  Idaho  |  Illinois  |  Indiana  |  Iowa  |  Kansas  |  Kentucky  |  Lousianna |  Maine  |  Maryland  |  Massachusetts  |  Michigan  |  Minnesota  |  Mississippi  |  Missouri  |  Montana  |  Nebraska  |  Nevada  |  New Hampshire  |  New Jersey  |  New Mexico  | New York  |  North Carolina  |  North Dakota  |  Ohio  |  Oklahoma  |  Oregon  |  Pennsylvania  |  Puerto Rico  |  Rhode Island  |  South Carolina  |  South Dakota  |  Tennessee  |  Texas  |  US Virgin Islands  |  Utah  |  Vermont  |  Virginia  |  Washington  |  West Virginia  |  Wisconsin  |  Wyoming

UPDATE: Another great resource is the US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Guide and Checklist.

In no way is this a comprehensive list of options for Covid-19 disaster assistance for photographers looking for financial assistance but it’s a straightforward start.  Be sure to read through the terms and services of the application and other info as things are changing daily (literally).  We will be updating this page as more current information comes!