Webinar Details How Small African American Businesses Can Receive Funds Through the CARES Act

A webinar hosted Thursday provided guidance for African American small businesses to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

The webinar, titled Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance: Will it work for Black Businesses? What You Need to Know NOW!, was hosted by William Michael Cunningham, head of creative investment research and Howie Hodges and Kevin Kimble of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The webinar discussed the eligibility, key terms, use cases, and key timing considerations of the loan assistance program. Cunningham wasted no time explaining one of the most important aspects of the program.

“Apply now,” Cunningham said. “That’s the only key timing consideration you need to be aware of.”

Cunningham’s webinar describes a breakdown of the CARES Act and how to apply to receive a piece of the $10 billion in advance grants of $10,000 for small businesses and nonprofits. Hodges suggested that when business owners apply for a loan, they have four key pieces of information with them to speed up the process.

“You’ll want to have your 2019 payroll, the number of employees you have, 1099s for 2019 employees and independent contractors that would otherwise be employees,” Hodges said. “All of your health insurance bills paid by the business and lastly, if you had a retirement program for your business, how much funding you put into that program.”

Hodges added the program is expected to be flooded with applications, but it’ll be the banks that will do the majority of the back-end processing for the Small Business Administration. As a result, Hodges suggested going directly to the bank your small business has a business relationship with, especially if it’s a big bank.

“My advice would be to go to the business bank you have a relationship with,” Hodges states. “If you don’t have a relationship with a bank, pick a large one that’s in your area and apply through them.”

Additionally, Cunningham says the program is on a first-come, first-serve basis and this grant program is a significant opportunity.

“This is a huge opportunity especially for African American and minority companies to get money from an agency which does not have the best track record of getting money to you.”

The coronavirus outbreak has hit the job market worse than the Great Depression and the 2008 housing crisis. Some companies are trying to find ways to make other cuts to save money and small businesses are looking to the government for help.