Grocery stores, restaurants, and digital retailers are still open despite the COVID-19 outbreak. While this is positive news, many of those retailers still operating are large national chains, not your local business. Even though small businesses have been hit hard during this crisis, there is hope. The CARES Act was signed into law by President Trump and will offer over $2 trillion in relief for all of America. This will provide immediate relief to many and there are several other resources available.

The CARES Act offers blanket coverage for many Americans and also offers provisions for small businesses. The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program has been expanded under the act and can be used by many who would not typically qualify. Normally the loans are only available to areas declared a disaster zone, but due to the severity of COVID-19, this designation applies to the entire United States.

The CARES ACT also offers loans in the form of the Payment Protection Program administered by the SBA.  This loan will provide immediate cash flow to aide companies. These will be available through June, 30th and provide loan forgiveness if all employees are kept on the payroll for at least eight weeks. 75% of the loan must be used for payroll and 25% can be used for other expenses.

The federal government is not the only one providing relief; state governments have all come up with their own rules and guidelines on how to operate during this crisis. The mandate for closing all restaurant interiors and non-essential businesses has had the largest impact on the industry. Check with your state Chamber of Commerce to see what options are available.

While brick-and-mortar may be in a holding pattern, there is still the digital landscape to pursue. Digital marketing is now the main way for companies to generate sales or track down leads for the future beyond COVID-19. Chain Store Guide is an important resource that has key contact information for thousands of retailers, grocers, and restaurants which B2B companies can use to sell their goods and services. Our digital platform allows us to provide clients with all of their data needs from the safety of their home offices.

We must all do our part to help keep the wheels of America turning during this crisis. Legislation like the CARES Act is a good start, but more will be needed. Through these relief programs and by bolstering their own digital marketing, companies have several outlets to support their cash flow and continue operations. Not every program will be beneficial to every business; however, by staying vigilant companies can find the right way to navigate back to a sense of normalcy.