Coronavirus April 3, 2020

100% forgivable loans all US-based businesses can apply for during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Joe Howard @joeheadbuff


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I would have posted this earlier but I wanted to have a call with my accountant & tax guy this afternoon before I passed along any information I didn't fully understand.

To be clear: I'm just passing along some information from my call today. I'm no expert here! But I had a really eye-opening conversation with Elliot today and I thought sharing what I learned would be helpful.

And if you want to speak with Elliot, he really knows his stuff. 💵 You can find him at Tell him I sent you and he'll roll out the red carpet for you. goes!

Important notes:

  • All loans are 100% forgivable (meaning they become grants) if you use them to pay for operational costs, payroll, etc for your business.
  • Check out 💻 the page on small business loan guidance for more information.
  • Elliot stressed multiple times to me that the sooner you apply for these, the better! There's only so much money given out and as more and more people apply, the slower it may take for people to get their money because of the admin work required.
  • If your business isn't US-based, sorry! It's definitely worth doing some research to see if the country where your business HQ is has some government support options.

Here are the 2 loan/grant programs that every US-based small business owner can apply for.

1. Economic Injury Disaster Loan

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington DC, and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

👉 You can apply directly on the SBA website here.

I just applied for this today and it took ~10 minutes. You can literally apply for this right now!

2. Paycheck Protection Program

Small businesses may qualify for loans up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount. Loan payments will be deferred for six months and if you maintain your workforce and the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses. Contact your business bank as soon as possible for information on how to apply.

  • Take your average monthly payroll this year and multiply by 2.5x and that's the amount you're applying for in this loan.
  • If you're a remote team like WP Buffs, you can only count payroll for US-based employees in this calculation.

Applying for this one is a bit more complex, as applications open tomorrow (Friday, April 3) and you're supposed to only be able to apply for this loan through a designated lender (bank). They're supposed to announce the designated lenders tomorrow morning, Friday, April 3.

My plan is to call the SBA directly (1-800.659.2955) at 8AM EST on Friday when they open and have see what exactly I need to submit. Then I'll apply through Capital One Bank if they're a designated lender (that's where I do my business banking). This will entail calling someone at my local branch and having them walk me through the process since they're not doing in-person banking right now.

The SBA already has a 📝 sample application, which I've filled out in preparation for tomorrow. It says. "SAMPLE" across the pages so not sure if I'll have to fill out another official form when they release it tomorrow, but I feel more prepared with least something filled out already.

Along with your application, you'll need to export a payroll report from 2019 and 2020 (year to date) and attach it with your application. We exported this right from Gusto and it was pretty easy.

I will keep posting updates in the comments below so it's a bit more concrete for folks who are reading this later on...

Well...that's it! Hope this was helpful for you.

This is a scary, stressful and unsure time for all of us who work at a small business. But now is not the time to let fear take over; be brave, take the necessary steps and together, we'll get through this.

P.S. WP Buffs is seeing an influx of new customers as businesses invest in their websites with so many people at home and online. We manage websites 24/7 for 💯 serious website owners. We also have a 24/7 white-label support program for 🦸‍♀️ agencies and 🦸‍♂️ freelancers that want make sure their clients don't leave them during this challenging time. ☎️ Book a call anytime if you'd like to chat!

  1. 1

    Thanks a lot for such good information. One of the best options is to take from banks because they give the best percentage and you can give the loan in some years. I took loans when I was younger, 18 years old, first, my loan was for my business which now it brings me a good income and I take a loan all the time when I want to buy an expensive device. The most confident money leader is because they have the best loans at the best conditions.

  2. 1

    My PPP loan application through C1 has been approved.

    Thank you for applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan with Capital One®. Based on the information provided, the Paycheck Protection Program loan application has been approved for Wp Buffs LLC for $##,###.##.

    Your loan amount was determined based on SBA requirements and the documentation you provided. If your loan is less than the amount you requested, it is because the documentation was not sufficient to support the requested amount.

    We will contact you in the coming days regarding next steps to process your loan. Please note that our call center and branch associates will not be able to provide support on this topic.

    I was actually pretty surprised to receive this email. As you can see in the comments here, I wasn't too happy that it took C1 so long to start accepting applications. Seems it's possible that all that time they took to open for applications paid off in accepting all the correct information and processing loans faster than a lot of other banks. I've heard plenty of folks who applied ~2 weeks before me who still haven't heard anything.

    That being said, I'm not holding my breath to see how long it will take the $ to hit my account but this is at least some good news :)

  3. 1

    Capital One finally opened application after the $350B has technically run out of small business funding. Great timing!

    I applied anyway in case Congress gets more money out to small businesses. You can apply to Capital One here, but again, you'll need to apply through your own bank where you have an existing business relationship as of February 15, 2020.

  4. 1

    A couple updates this morning:

    1. I've heard this from one of the few folks I know who have successfully applied.

    Loan amount cannot be a penny more than your 2.5x calc... do not round!

    So make sure you break out your calculator app when inputting your numbers here.

    1. My bank, Capital One, still isn't accepting PPP apps. Waiting patiently (and definitely not freaking out).
  5. 1

    Latest #PaycheckProtectionProgram numbers: 17,503 loans valued at more than $5,400,000,000.

    @SBAgov + over 1,100 local lenders helping small businesses stay afloat with working capital to keep employees paid + doors open.


    1.54% of total $350B fund has been loaned as of Saturday morning EST.

  6. 1

    Thanks for the email. Good stuff. I applied for the $10k and have a meeting tomorrow with BofA to discuss SBA loan for 2.5x avg monthly payroll. Any idea on when the $10k would pay out?

    1. 1

      Your application has been submitted. Thank you! The digital application for the Paycheck Protection Program has been submitted. What happens next?

      • We will process your application as soon as possible
      • We will contact you with next steps and to collect any required documents
      • Our call centers and financial centers do not have access to this information. Please do not call, email, chat, or go into a financial center to inquire about your loan
    2. 1

      Ok, for Bank of America, to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, visit this link

    3. 1

      No clue about timing on anything haha but the confirmation screen after applying for EIDL said they'll email when they have an update. So keep an eye on your inbox!

  7. 1

    As of 4:33PM EST, 9,970 loans have been processed totaling $3,200,000,000+.

    $3.2B already processed may sound like a lot, but it's <1% of the total $350B in the fund for small businesses. So don't freak out (more than you already are)!

    To stay up-to-date with how many loans have been processed (and how much funding is left) follow:

  8. 1

    Submitted. Lets see what happens

    1. 1

      Fingers crossed for you, Raj!

  9. 1

    Thanks! Super useful

  10. 1

    New Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form has been posted!

    Not 100% sure you'll need this to submit an application through your bank, as I heard BoA's application didn't require it. I just filled it out though to prepare to submit as quickly as possible.

  11. 1

    Have heard that folks have submitted their applications successfully through BoA as well as some small, local banks. So at least some are getting through!

    Still no details from my bank. Most bank websites have a small business banking page where I assume they'll post application instructions once they've live. Good place to keep tabs. Here's Capital One's. And here's their PPP submission page.

    Capital One is awaiting updated guidelines and application forms from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury Department, and thus we cannot begin accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program Loans at this time.

    When we are able to begin accepting applications, we may require business owners who apply for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan through Capital One to have a business banking relationship with us as of February 15, 2020. Business owners will also need to meet the requirements provided by the SBA to be eligible for these loans, and provide all necessary information and documentation.

    We ask that you please not send us any SBA or Treasury Department forms, or any related materials, at this time as we will be unable to process them. We also expect the draft forms to be modified by the SBA and Treasury Department before they are finalized. We appreciate your patience, and please continue to visit this page for updates.

  12. 1

    Just heard that to successfully apply for PPP through BoA, you need a business account at BoA (opened before 2/15/2020) AND a BoA business credit card to apply.

    Also, this...

    Without getting into it, it seems the Trump Administration has been unwilling to give banks guarantees that they won't be held liable for fraudulent applications, but is requiring them to start accepting applications today. Banks are balking, as they don't profit much from these loans and they open them up to huge liability.

    Quote from Nate Kayhoe.

  13. 1

    Called my business bank (Capital One) this morning about this. They haven't received any guidance on this and the guy I spoke with said most likely they'll start accepting applications on Monday.

    Elliot said M&T told him the same thing.

    Saw on the news this morning that Bank of America is the only bank accepting applications right now.

    Called my local BoA branch and you need to have an existing business account there already to apply. I assume it will be like this with all banks.

    Not sure how this will work if the bank where you do your business banking isn't an official lender? Capital One is so I'll just have to wait until they're ready.

    Things are a little crazy right now but I'll keep commenting here with updates!

  14. 1

    Friday morning...yikes!