We understand you and your agency may be experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. This is an issue that affects the entire travel industry. We are continuing to take action to protect your business and our industry by actively engaging in lobbying efforts for financial assistance that would benefit all travel advisors.
We are pleased to report that Congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (the “CARES Act”), a $2 trillion relief package with important provisions for the travel industry and the small business community. You can download the summary here.
ASTA’s Government Affairs team also provided an overview of the new forms of financial and regulatory relief available to businesses as a part of the CARES Act. You can find a recording of the webinar here.
In the meantime, we encourage you to apply for loans and grants to help you manage cash flow and support your business. Below are some options for financial assistance currently available, including SBA loans, grants and various state-by-state resources.
In addition, U.S. states are providing tax filing and payment due date relief for individuals and businesses. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has compiled the latest developments on state tax filings related to coronavirus. You can find that information here.
In addition to your local bank or national financial institutions, the Small Business Administration is providing Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) up to $2 million in Disaster Assistance Loans.
The SBA is working directly with state governors to provide these targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. These low-interest federal disaster loans are for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Some travel agency owners will likely qualify under the set standard.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans can provide vital economic support to your travel agency to help you overcome the temporary loss of revenue you are experiencing. Additionally, the SBA also assists small businesses with counseling and navigating preparedness plans through its network of 68 district offices and numerous resource partners located around the country.
SBA will offer interest rates of 3.75%for small businesses without credit available elsewhere — businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. Loan terms are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the borrower’s ability to repay. There is no limit on the number of loans available in a given area.
The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with state governors who submit relief requests. Once a state or territory is approved, these affected businesses will receive more information. You can find here a regularly updated list of states where disaster assistance is being offered. For more information, the SBA disaster assistance service center is available at (800)659-2955 or email@example.com.
Additional useful links:
Below are some examples of statewide initiatives to help small businesses. Know of a state program not listed below? Please email travelleadersgroupPR@travelleaders.com so we can include it.
On Grants.gov, you will find grant and cooperative agreement opportunities from federal agencies that award grants.
Since each state’s plan to assist small businesses varies, the best thing you can do is check with your local governor’s office for the latest on state-specific assistance, resources and updates.
To help small businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19, the City has launched the Employee Retention Grant Program to help retain employees as businesses face decreased revenue. This program is available to New York City businesses with one to four employees that can demonstrate at least a 25% decrease in revenue as a result of COVID-19. Eligible businesses will receive a grant covering up to 40% of their payroll for two months. Businesses can access up to $27,000.
If you know of any additional financial assistance programs in your region, please email travelleadersgroupPR@travelleaders.com.
Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate. Check here for more details.
The goal of Amazon’s Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund is to help ensure small businesses are able to maintain their livelihood in times of need. Click here to apply.