The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

The best guide we have encountered so far, both comprehensive and understandable, has been produced by the US Chamber of Commerce. Access the document below.

The funding made available by CARES is real and will be readily available soon, but effort is required. Be proactive. Take control of the fate of your business.

We are all still learning how the mechanics of the available financial tools will work. We will continue to distribute the best info we have. You are also welcome to contact me. Just be aware that this is uncharted territory for everyone and we may be referring you to a direct provider such as the SBDC or a bank.

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security(CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with the Clackamas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Portland SBA Office.

Local banks, US Bank and Key Bank, are both SBA banking partners and will also be instrumental in rolling out these programs and making loan and grant funds available to small business injured by the Coronavirus and related executive orders. It is never too early to introduce yourself and start the beginning of a banking relationship. Reach out to them or another trusted SBA lender soon if you can.

Access the Guide HERE

A few other noteworthy things to know about CARES…

Beyond the $1200 and $2400 one time checks that are supposed to go out to most all Americans soon, the Feds are going to supplement unemployment checks by $600 a week and extend the time you can receive unemployment payments from your state’s system.

The big news on that score is that self employed folks and people working as independent contractors are made eligible for unemployment through the CARES Act.The Unemployment Insurance system is one of the vehicles the federal government is using to distribute cash to people.
In addition to the Economic Injury Disaster Loans, the SBA administers Emergency Economic Injury Grants for businesses and nonprofits that have been in operation since January 31, 2020.
The Paycheck Protection Program described in the CARES Act provides money to keep your employees (and yourself) on your payroll through the end of June 2020 with an SBA 7a loan that is forgiven if you keep your people on payroll through the end of June 2020.
It appears these loans will need to be applied for through the network of local SBA Lenders—the two banks noted above.

  • These loans are 100% guaranteed by the SBA. Credit underwriting is substantially relaxed. (This makes sense because who knows what your ability to repay these loans is going to be in the current uncertain economy).
  • Interest rates are capped at 4% with opportunities for deferral on payments. Loan term is 10 years on loans that are not expended on costs that are identified as forgivable.
  • Loan Terms
    • Loan is forgiven if it used to pay wages to yourself and your employees/ Independent contractors within 8 weeks of getting the money.
    • Can apply with any approved SBA lender
    • Non-recourse (no personal guaranties or collateral)
    • Loan amount= 2.5 x (2018 income/ 12) of the business owner and all of the employees/ Independent contractors paid.
    • For loan funds not spent on wages within 8 weeks:
      • Term= 10-year
      • Interest rate= 4%
      • Payments can be deferred for 1 year.


Business Oregon continues to compile information and resources on their website, here.
One such resource is a guide for businesses that addresses how to survive an emergency situation such as the one we are currently facing, where revenues are significantly decreased or gone altogether.

More helpful links and resources for businesses can be found at the GPI website.
These webpages are being update daily, if not more often. Check back regularly as this situation evolves and more resources and programs are developed in order to address needs of both workers and employers.

When times are tough, Work Share provides Oregon businesses an alternative to layoffs. This newly streamlined program allows employers to leverage unemployment insurance (UI) to subsidize a portion of lost wages for employers whose work time is reduced due to market downturns or other business stressors.

Learn more about Workshare

Questions about COVID-19 related Business Layoffs, Closures, and Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

Access answers to frequently asked questions for you and your employees.

Visit the FAQ

COVID-19 Information