The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered Nevada. By mid-May the state had 6,499 confirmed cases and 331 fatalities (out of a population of 3.08 million). Unemployment has been rampant. For the week ending April 18, the state’s jobless rate was 16.8% – the highest in state history.
Fortunately, Nevada has several programs specifically to help people and small businesses through the crisis, complementing the ones already offered by the federal government.
Nevada Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) and other entities have created programs to help individuals overcome challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak.
The federal CARES Act has expanded the qualifications for individuals to receive unemployment benefits. As a result, the state of Nevada has begun distributing unemployment benefits to more people. The state has also begun to backdate all unemployment claims for traditional unemployment insurance to the earliest date of eligibility for all individuals. This means that more people will qualify for unemployment benefits. Information on applying for unemployment in Nevada can be found here.
Gov. Steve Sisolak has issued a directive pausing eviction and foreclosure proceedings. This will stay in effect for as long as Nevada is in a state of emergency. This applies to traditional renters, those residing in extended-stay motels and weekly rentals, and homeowners with mortgages. If you’re a renter, you will still be responsible for paying rent. If you must negotiate your rent, it is recommended that you do so early, and still plan to pay your rent in full, even if you can defer when the payments are due.
On the other hand, if you are a landlord, you may not evict or begin eviction proceedings for any tenants. This includes any evictions already filed in the courts. All fees related to late payments must be waived during the state of emergency. Exceptions to evictions include a tenant posing a danger to other tenants or the public or damaging the property.
Tenants may not be evicted if they have COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19. Landlords are being encouraged to work with their tenants to create repayment plans to help them catch up on rent they will continue to owe during coronavirus including repayment plans that extend after the state of emergency has been terminated.
If you are a homeowner, mortgage forbearance is the first step in the process for homeowners who need relief during coronavirus. The Nevada Treasurer’s Office has compiled a resource guide for homeowners who have been impacted by COVID-19 and need assistance with their mortgage payments. You must reach out to your lender directly to discuss what options may be available to you including loan relief, forbearance, and more.
Some companies are helping consumers by deferring or eliminating their payments. NV Energy has offered payment support for customers who are experiencing financial hardship or isolation as a result of COVID-19. They are temporarily suspending disconnections for non-payment and the company is working with customers who are impacted by waiving deposits and fees for late payments and creating payment plans for some customers.
NV Energy’s Project REACH, established to assist senior citizens, is now available to any vulnerable adult who meets income requirements or has been negatively affected by COVID-19. The company is also offering bill-paying assistance through its Special Assistance Fund for Energy (SAFE). While Project REACH and SAFE have existed for years, the parameters for these programs have been expanded to include any customer who demonstrates economic hardship to pay their energy bill.
Nevada Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
The Nevada COVID-19 Response, Relief, and Recovery Task Force is a public-private partnership that is overseen by the governor’s office and the Nevada Health Response Center. All of the money donated to the fund is used to support community efforts. The focus of the fund right now is to support businesses that can create PPEs and other medical equipment. As the situation and needs evolve, the funds may be distributed to non-manufacturing companies.
Nevada was one of the first states to get statewide approval for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans. This ultimately helped small business owners apply early to ensure they received the federal funding that was available.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
In addition to state programs, Nevada residents can utilize several federal coronavirus relief programs. Many of these programs require individuals to be directly impacted by the virus, but some, such as the coronavirus stimulus checks, do not. The stimulus checks go out to individuals, married couples, and heads of household. You will be eligible to receive the checks if your adjusted gross income (AGI) doesn’t exceed a specific dollar amount. Individuals who earn more than $99,000 per year will not receive a stimulus check, and people who earn less than $75,000 will receive the full $1,200. The amount you will receive may change if you are the head of household, if you have children, and if you filed jointly. You can determine how much you will receive here.
In addition to the stimulus checks, the CARES Act also provides enhanced coronavirus unemployment benefits for those who lost their job due to COVID-19. The act provides all states 13 additional weeks in unemployment compensation, plus a federal boost of $600 per week for the benefits period. Also, the package creates three key unemployment assistance programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). These funds are meant to complement the stimulus checks, so some people may receive a monthly stimulus check as well as weekly unemployment benefits.
In addition, the federal government has extended the tax deadline to July 15. They have also included benefits protecting people who have to take sick leave due to coronavirus, student loan relief, and coronavirus relief for mortgage and rent payments.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
If you do not qualify for Nevada’s assistance for small businesses, you may still qualify for funding from the federal government. The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program quickly blew through its initial funding of $349 billion but it has recently been renewed. It allows eligible businesses to borrow 2.5 times its average monthly payroll costs, or up to $10 million (excluding salaries above $100,000).
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) serves as another major source of relief for small businesses. The program offers emergency cash advances of $10,000 and loans of up to $2 million for eligible small businesses.
The SBA Debt Relief program offers six months of automatic debt relief to those currently using SBA 7(a) loans, 504 loans and microloans. The program covers the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a) loans, 504 loans and microloans issued before September 27, 2020, according to the Small Business Administration. Find out more about the program here.
In addition to the SBA loans, the Main Street Lending Program is not connected to the SBA. Instead, it is run by the Federal Reserve and is designed to help banks give money to businesses in need of money during COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 10,000 employees are encouraged to apply. If your small business has also received money from the PPP, you are still eligible to apply for the Main Street Lending Program loans.
The Bottom Line
All states are struggling as a result of coronavirus, and Nevada has been particularly hard-hit. However, Nevada has several programs in place to help individuals and small businesses. When paired with federal programs, people can receive funding and benefits to help them financially navigate the economic crisis.
Tips for Business Owners During the Crisis
- Many financial advisors specialize in working with business owners. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to find a local advisor that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- For a comprehensive list of the programs available to small businesses, check out our guide to coronavirus relief for small businesses.
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