Moving Forward. Together.
As the COVID-19 virus emergency unfolds, work is underway at NMSDC and its affiliate Councils to address the areas of concern for our minority businesses and corporate partners.
We are available and working virtually to keep us connected. While the necessary steps of social distancing are being observed, technology allows us to continue our work and our mission, and to stay connected to you.
Collectively, through our 23 affiliates across the U.S., we are providing information, assistance, and possible solutions to address your needs, especially as they pertain to your state and region. All NMSDC affiliates have posted information on their websites to address questions and offer support and assistance where they can.
Together, as a community, we will get through this unprecedented crisis.
Our first virtual Town Hall met on March 19, to answer questions directly and provide information that addressed the needs of our constituents. If you missed it, you can view the live recording on our website. We are scheduling additional online programming, including further virtual Town Halls, to assist and support your action plans.
Stay tuned here for updates on events and changes, as well as information we gather from our partner organizations to assist in the area of capital and financing.
Wishing you all health and safety.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act”
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act” passed the U.S. Senate last night and is headed to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration as soon as today March 26. This 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. Once this is passed in the House and signed by President Trump, most provisions are available to individuals and businesses almost immediately.
Summary of Key CARES Act Provisions
$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
- Forgiveness is reduced by layoffs or pay reductions in excess of 25%.
- Forgiveness is not treated as taxable income
- Additionally, $24 billion is set aside for relief to stabilize the farm economy.
- Companies may use tax losses in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to offset income from the prior five years.
- The maximum amounts of business interest deductions are increased for 2019 and 2020 from 30% of to 50%.
- Allows an employer to defer its share of 2020 payroll tax and pay them over two years.
- The 2018 tax reform bill imposed a one-time tax on earnings held overseas, which could be paid over eight years. The IRS has taken the position that companies cannot receive refunds until the eight-year period is completed. The bill overturns the IRS position.
- Creation of a new, temporary refundable payroll tax credit for companies who keep workers on their payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic, up to $5,000 per worker.
- Companies may accelerate recovery of Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Credits.
- Businesses in retail, restaurants and hotels to write off certain facilities improvements immediately.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- $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.
In the Network
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.
FEMA Industry Liaison Program
MBDA Business Center: Enterprising Women of Color
The Enterprising Women of Color program is a part of MBDA’s focus to promote the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. The agency program will promote women of color entrepreneurs as engines of economic growth in their communities. Click here to learn more
Four million suppliers. 20,000 categories. All for free.
SAP Ariba Discovery is opening access, so any buyer can post their immediate sourcing needs, and any supplier can respond to show they can deliver. Free to post, free to respond. Open to everyone.
Click here to apply for Ariba Discovery
NMSDC has opened an ongoing, network-wide conversation about how businesses are responding to the crisis, through a series of live virtual Town Halls. Each Town Hall solicits and answers critical questions about how businesses navigate in these difficult days.
- How are you coping?
- What can corporate customers do to answer the needs of MBEs?
- What support do federal, state, and local governments need to offer minority businesses?
- How are CPOs mitigating risks in their supply chains?
- Are they working with minority suppliers to reduce impact on their businesses?
- What strategies are corporations following to limit the risk to minority suppliers?
For answers to these and many other questions – in case you missed the live transmissions – visit the recordings of these Town Halls, available here for your review.
Other Free Webinars
Entrepreneur Webinar Series | Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 12:00 pm (EDT)
Resetting Small Business America with Jon Taffer
SBA Webinar | Wednesday, April 22nd, 10:30am
Doing Business With the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
SBA Webinar | Thursday, April 23rd, 10:30am
Capturing Government Contracts During Disaster Conditions: Working with Essential Federal Agencies
Inc. and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Stimulus 2020 Q&A Town Hall Series
Billions of dollars are promised to small businesses. Learn how to get what your company needs in this virtual National Small Business Town Hall hosted by Inc. with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Entrepreneur Webinar Series | Thu, Apr 23, 2020, 12:00 pm (EDT)
How Business Owners Can Optimize Cash Flow During A Crisis
Entrepreneur Webinar Series | Thu, Apr 23, 2020, 12:00 pm (EDT)
How Entrepreneur & ESPN Host Jay Williams Envisions
Tomorrow’s Normal for Business, Sports and Beyond
Entrepreneur Webinar Series | Fri, Apr 24, 2020 at 12:00 pm (EDT)
Managing People in a Distributed Workforce
Grants & Loans
Women-Focused Grants & Loans
National Member Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance
Small Business Administration’s Coronavirus Relief Options
NYC Employee Retention Grant Program
Amazon Small Business Relief Fund
Information for New Jersey Based Businesses Seeking Loans
Seattle Small Business Stabilization Fund
Restaurant & Restaurant Workers Relief
James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund
Yelp’s COVID-19 Response and Support for Local Businesses
Verizon and LISC Come Together to Support Small Businesses with COVID-19 Recovery Fund
Tory Burch Foundation
Resource Hub for Women-led Small Businesses
Bumble Community Grant
Covid-19 Business for All Emergency Grant
Hello Alice, a Machine Learning Company Founded as a Women’s Virtual Accelerator
Ifw Covid-19 Relief Fund
Ifundwomen, a crowdfunding Platform
Red Backpack Fund
Backed by billionaire Spanx founder Sara Blakely
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
Sheamoisture Community Commerce Fund
Sheamoisture (beauty brand)
Assisther Emergency Relief Grant
Texas Woman’s University
Anonymous Was a Woman Emergency Relief Grant
Anonymous Was a Woman and the New York Foundation for the Arts
Visa Foundation Commits to Support Small and Micro Businesses
- Ask your bank for a three month or more grace period to defer any payments on interest or principal for your business or home loan(s).
- Ask the company financing your vehicle to see if they are willing to allow you to defer payments with no financial costs or penalties.
- Ask your credit card company for the same.
- Caveat: Know that you should not drive your balance up unreasonably to the point that when the grace period is over, you have an insurmountable amount of new and old debt.
- Apply for unemployment benefits if you are out of work due to COVID-19.
- Develop a budget if you do not already have one, to fully understand where you are spending your money. Manage your expenses and consider which expenses you can live without. Here is a link to a US News website as a resource to help you get started.
- Call the 2-1-1 helpline to see what resources agencies like United Way can direct you to. Here is a link for each state.
- Visit www.coronavirus.wa.gov to find out about the various assistance programs available (Financial, Food and Housing, Well-Being, etc.).
- Important information for student loan borrowers – a recent announcement from the Department of Education (ED) regarding Federal Student Loans:
- All borrowers with federally held student loans will have their interest rates set to 0 percent for at least 60 days. Additionally, borrowers will have the option to suspend payments on these loans for at least two months. Borrowers who suspend payments will not have to worry about accruing interest during that period.
- If you would like to suspend your federal student loan payments, you should contact your loan service provider immediately. Please see here for the ED’s announcement, and follow this link for further updates on the Federal Student Aid website.
Otani, Tim. “Strategies to Assist Employees Affected by Coronavirus Disease.” March 2020.
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.
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.
Global companies have to be predictive and proactive in their decision-making to preserve continuity and build resilience. As global companies grapple with an ongoing and evolving situation, we have identified five priorities for them to consider.
- Prioritize people safety and continuous engagement
- Reshape strategy for business continuity
- Communicate with relevant stakeholders
- Maximize the use of government support policies
- Build resilience in preparation for the new normal
Four actions to build resilience and reshape results
- Put people safety first
- Communicate with stakeholders
- Reshape strategy to maintain business continuity
- Build resilience and prepare for recovery
- Debt is not a panacea. The cost of capital has to be less than the Return of Investment (ROI) for the use of funds.
- In a crisis, focus on your balance sheet more than income statement in the short run.
- Take the opportunity to “thin the herd” of low performing products, projects, or even staff.
- Communication is key! Focus on messaging your employees and customers more than ever.
- The gig economy is the small and medium-sized enterprise’s (SME’s) friend. Keep or shift expenses to variable.
- Farm out work to lower-cost states if possible (e.g. Upwork)
- Personally get involved in negotiating payment terms with suppliers.
- Consider subscriptions, maintenance contracts, gift-cards or other clever new ways to drive revenue up-front.
- Manage realistic budgets, not hopes.
- Consider search engine optimization (SEO) changes for key terms to “lean into” the crisis.
- Consider changing your tax basis accounting to cash if Accounts Receivable are greater than Accounts Payable.
Brown, Reggie. “Financial Management for Emerging Businesses.” University of Washington Foster School Consulting and Business Development Program. March 2020
- Maintain Regular Hours
- Create a Morning Routine
- Schedule Breaks
Paid Sick Leave And Expanded Family And Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
► PAID LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS
Generally, employers covered under the Act must provide employees:
Up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave based on the higher of their regular rate of pay, or the applicable state or Federal minimum wage, paid at:
- 100% for qualifying reasons #1-3 below, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total;
- 2/3 for qualifying reasons #4 and 6 below, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total; and
- Up to 10 weeks more of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 for qualifying reason #5 below for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.
A part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.
► ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES
In general, employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons (see below). Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave for reason #5 below.
► QUALIFYING REASONS FOR LEAVE RELATED TO COVID-19
An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:
- is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
- is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
- is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
- is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has the authority to investigate and enforce compliance with the FFCRA. Employers may not discharge, discipline, or oth erwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, files a complaint, or institutes a proceeding under or related to this Act. Employers in violation of the provisions of the FFCRA will be subject to penalties and enforcement by WHD.
For additional information or to file a complaint:
WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Page
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
S. Department of Labor: Occupational Safety & Health Administration
What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
COVID-19: Investing in black lives and livelihoods
McKinsey & Company
COVID-19: Implications for business
McKinsey & Company
Restore Your Economy
International Economic Development Council
COVID-19 Business Resources
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Coronavirus Small Business Guide
U. S. Chamber Of Commerce
Our complete coronavirus coverage, updated daily with new resources to assist you and your business.
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.
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- Procurement ethics: yesterday, today and tomorrow
Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
COVID-19 Lockdown Guide: How to Manage Anxiety and Isolation During Quarantine
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Emotional Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
What a Coronavirus Quarantine Does to Your Body and Brain, and How to Cope
Submit Additional Information and Resources
The National 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 our network.
National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.
Phone: (212) 944-2430
10th Floor, Suite 1000
New York, NY 10018