COVID-19 Business Resources, Services and Assistance

We’ve been helping businesses thrive and grow for 45 years, and we help corporations and government agencies with their supplier diversity goals. We continue to be here for you.

We’ve assembled an important and timely list of resources and information, including loans, assistance with loan packaging, technical assistance, webinars, resources to help minority suppliers during this downturn,  advice on business continuity and strategies for managing remote workforces. We’ll be updating these resources regularly, as information, recommendations, executive orders and opportunities change.

COVID-19 | Request for Assistance

If you need assistance or support for your business please complete the Request For Assistance form.

Business Opportunities

COVID-19 Medical Supplies & Equipment
To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government
Products Development Relate to the COVID-19
If you are a private company that wants to produce a product related to the COVID response
Doing Business with FEMA
For non-medical supplies, services or equipment, if you are interested in doing business with FEMA, visit our Industry Liaison Program.

Grant Opportunities

Yelp’s Relief for affected businesses
Yelp is providing $25 million in COVID-19 relief for independent restaurant and nightlife businesses in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products, and services.
Verizon and LISC Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund
Verizon’s investment of $2.5 million into a Recovery Fund, is making it possible for LISC to begin offering critical relief and resiliency-building support to small businesses. The funding will go to make grants of up to $10,000, especially to entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.
James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund
The national nonprofit culinary arts organization has launched the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The Foundation will be gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where Facebook operates, including the U.S.

Important News and Alerts

Guide to the

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act”

Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Business Loans

MBDA Miami & Orlando Business Centers

The MBDA Miami and Orlando Business Centers are available to assist with loan packaging  and other business and financial services. Contact the center nearest you.

Florida Emergency Loans

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently offering short-term, interest-free working capital loans that are intended to “bridge the gap” and are available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.

U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) offer up to $2 million in assistance for eligible small businesses. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue driven by COVID-19’s impact.

Disaster Loan Applications are now live for the State of Florida (Disaster #FL-00152).

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act” is a $2 trillion stimulus bill which will provide economic relief to individuals, families, small businesses and other sectors of the United States economy that have been impacted due to the pandemic.

$500 billion in loans to eligible businesses

  • Targeted at companies that do not receive adequate relief from other provisions of the bill, located in the U.S. and with a predominantly U.S. employee base
  • Eligible businesses must maintain employment levels from March 24, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • Prohibits stock buybacks, dividend payments and increasing compensation for certain high wage employees
  • $46 billion set aside for the airline industry: $25B for passenger airlines; $4B for cargo air carriers; and $17B for businesses important to national security

$350 billion in small business loans administered nominally through the SBA, called the “Paycheck Protection Program.” Loans will be administered through local and regional banks; any federally regulated bank may become an SBA lender for this purpose. The Department of the Treasury will issue regulations for these loans quickly. SBA lenders will be able to determine eligibility credit worthiness by determining whether a borrower was operational on March 1, 2020 and had employees that they paid salaries and payroll tax. The government guarantee of 7(a) loans would be increased to 100% through the end of 2020, at which point the guarantee would return to 75% for loans over $150,000 and 85% for loans less than or equal to $150,000. The complete deferment of 7(a) loan payments are permitted for up to one year.

  • Targeted at companies with less than 500 employees or otherwise specified by SBA standards
  • Loans can be used for payroll, mortgages, rent, insurance premiums and utility payments.
  • Up to $10 million per company available
  • Cannot apply for SBA disaster loan related to COVID 19 and loans under this program at the same time
  • Loans can be forgiven up to the amount spent by the borrower during the eight weeks from loan origination on payroll costs up to $100,000 in wages, mortgage interest, rent or utilities
  1. Forgiveness is reduced by layoffs or pay reductions in excess of 25%.
  2. Forgiveness is not treated as taxable income
  • Additionally, $24 billion is set aside for relief to stabilize the farm economy.

Health Care Provisions

  • $150 billion for hospitals and other health facilities, which will come from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and more funding for small and rural hospitals
  • Provides permanent liability protections for makers of PPE that are called for public health emergency countermeasures.
  • Clarifies no COVID-19 cost sharing for private insurance, requires free vaccine coverage without cost sharing following current vaccine practices guidelines and includes a range of public health measures to address COVID-19 treatment and response, including liability protections for doctors who volunteer.
  • Removes barriers and facilitates telehealth services, especially for high deductible health plans that utilize health savings accounts. Provides $200 million to boost telehealth services.

Labor Provisions

  • Sets a cap on maximum payments employers will be required to pay for new emergency paid leave requirements. The provision also allows employers to receive an advance tax credit on paid leave rather than having to be reimbursed on the back end.
  • Provides individuals an additional $600 per week for up to four months on top of state unemployment benefits. The provision also establishes short-term compensation programs for states like Georgia that allow for employers to reduce workers’ hours while still providing employees a pro-rated unemployment benefit.

Individual Provisions

  • CARES Act provides checks of up to $1,200 to single individuals and $2,400 to married couples (as well as $500 per child). Check amounts begin to reduce as income exceeds a threshold amount ($75,000 for individuals/$150,000 for married filers) and are completely eliminated once income reaches $99,000 for individuals/$198,000 for joint filers with no children.
  • Waives the 10% penalty for distributions from certain retirement plans. Only applicable to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, whose spouse or dependents have been diagnosed or who experience adverse financial consequences from the virus.

Other Provisions

  • $25 billion for food assistance programs
  • $30 billion for emergency education funding for colleges, universities, states and school districts
  • Waives the matching requirement for campus-based aid programs and it will allow institutions to transfer unused work study funding as a supplemental grant. This can be distributed to students who were unable to work due to workplace closures. Additionally, students who had to dropout due to COVID-19, grades will not affect federal academic requirements.

Informative Business Webinars | Free

SBA Webinar | Monday, March 30th at 2:00pm
Florida Chamber COVID-19 Call with Governor DeSantis and
Florida's Surgeon General, Scott Rivkees, M.D.
SBA Webinar | Friday, April 3rd at 10:30am
Surviving the Challenges: Thriving During a Changing Economy
SBA Webinar | Wednesday, April 8th at 10:30am
How My Company Survived 2 Recessions & 2 Gov’t Shutdowns: You Can Too
SBA Webinar | Thursday, April 16th at 10:30am
Doing Business With the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)
SBA Webinar | Wednesday, April 22nd at 10:30am
Doing Business With the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
SBA Webinar | Thursday, April 23rd at 10:30am
Capturing Government Contracts During Disaster Conditions: Working with Essential Federal Agencies

Working Remotely Resources and Employee Compensation Programs

Working from Home

Working from home because of COVID-19? You’re not alone.

Reemployment Assistance

If your employment has been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation efforts in Florida to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance.

How To Prepare Your Business to Work from Home

While U.S. companies lag behind much of the rest of the world on remote work, there is a trend to accelerate acceptance and lead to change.

Short Term Compensation Program (FDEO)

The Short Time Compensation Program is a voluntary employer program designed to help employers maintain their staff by reducing the weekly working hours during temporary slowdowns instead of temporarily laying off employees. If an employer establishes a Short Time Compensation Plan, and an employee meets the qualifications to file a re-employment assistance claim in the state of Florida, the employee will receive a partial re-employment check to supplement their reduced paycheck.

Working From Home

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has set an unprecedented time for people to work from home. Fortunately, if you are new to working remotely, we have some tips to help you stay productive and maintain balance.  

  • Maintain Regular Hours 
  • Create a Morning Routine
  • Schedule Breaks

In creating a plan for your business, consider the following:

  • Work from home options:Determine if it’s possible for part or all your workforce to work from home.
  • Your company’s remote work policy:Now may be the time to put a policy in place if you don’t already have one.
  • Communication:Define how your teams will communicate, the frequency required and how reporting on the progress of work will be handled. This information could be included in your policy.
  • Employee information:Make sure you have an updated contact list for all employees.

Disaster Recovery Assistance & Resources

SBA Virtual Training Program

The SBA offers a variety of online courses to help you start and run your business.

Other Resources

For information on traffic, road conditions, closures, nearby shelter and more.

Emergency Supply Kit

Find a list of essential supplies to help you and your family be prepared during this time. 

Additional Resources

US Food and Drug Administration
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing instruction to the import community regarding the submission of entry information for personal protective equipment and certain other devices. Following the instructions below will help facilitate the import process for all; especially for products related to the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. It is in the best interest of the U.S. to facilitate and expedite the importation of products into the U.S. market that address immediate, urgent public health needs. For further information regarding entry submission requirements, see the FDA Supplemental Guidance here.

Submit Additional Information and Resources

The Florida State Minority Supplier Development  Council is working hard to ensure that we provide the most up-to-date, actionable intelligence to our business community. If you or your company has information to share regarding the outbreak and its impact on the business community, please reach out to us directly as we are committed to amplifying all relevant information to South Florida as a whole.

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