The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic crisis has impacted life throughout the world, hurting both individuals and small businesses as our normal way of living has profoundly changed. North Dakota has not been hit particularly hard by the outbreak, but there is not a corner of the United States that has not at least been affected by the current economic situation. Both the federal government and the state of North Dakota, though, have plans in place to help individuals and business. As always, a financial advisor can help you make the most of your financial situation.
North Dakota Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
North Dakota’s programs for coronavirus relief are not quite as varied or comprehensive as in some of the larger states where the pandemic has had a bigger impact, but there are still options for individuals who have been negatively affected.
North Dakota is following the federal government’s lead and has made all income tax filings due on July 15 instead of April 15.
Unemployment benefits are now available to independent contractors, gig economy workers and self-employed people. You can apply for unemployment here.
If you are struggling to put food on the table for you and your family, North Dakota can help. There are the usual SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits available, which you can apply to here. Work requirements have been waived and children eligible for free or reduced cost meals at school can get these benefits temporarily if their school is closed.
Some families in North Dakota are eligible for help paying their heating bills, whether they heat their home with electricity, coal, wood or some other method. More information and applications are here.
North Dakota Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
North Dakota is also helping small businesses get through this crisis.
Just like it did for individuals, the North Dakota government has moved the due date for business tax payments to July 15. Any tax payment that was due between April 15 and July 15 is not not due until July 15.
Business Impact Study
The state is taking a survey to see how this crisis has impacted businesses in North Dakota. The survey is currently closed but will reopen in May, so check here then.
Federal Programs for Individuals
The federal government is also helping out people who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic turbulence. In March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed which includes a number of programs designed to help individuals, most notably one giving out personal stimulus checks to most Americans. The program is means tested, so the amount of money you get from the government is determined by the income you reported on your last tax return.
An individual can get a check for up to $1,200, while married couples who file taxes jointly can get up to $2,400. This total is for individuals with income of less than $75,000 and married couples earning less than $150,000. The amount of money you get goes down as your income goes up, with the cutoff for getting a check set at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples. Many people have already gotten their checks, while others are still waiting.
The CARES Act also contained enhanced unemployment benefits. If you lose your job due to this crisis, there are 39 weeks of unemployment payments guaranteed, 13 weeks more than in most states. The federal government is also attaching a $600 booster to unemployment checks through July 2020. The bill also made sure paid sick leave is available to anyone who misses work because of the virus.
Federal Programs for Businesses
The federal government also has programs designed to help businesses impacted by the crisis. The most prominent is the Paycheck Protection Program, which lets a business with less than 500 employees borrow up to 2.5 times their monthly payroll (minus any individual salary in excess of $100,000), with a $10 million cap on the loans. PPP loans are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration at 100%, and are forgivable for the equivalent of eight weeks of payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities — provided the firm’s full-time headcount and payroll stay the same as they averaged between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019 (or January 1, 2020 and February 15, 2020 if the business was founded this year.) The initial funding for PPP loans was used up, but Congress approved an additional $310 billion for loans. You will be able to apply for a loan through a local PPP lender.
Another option are Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). These loans are administered by the SBA and were available for up to $2 million in any where where an economic disaster had been declared. The loans carry an interest rate of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits, with a loan term of up to 30 years. In the program’s second round of funding, only certain agribusinesses qualify.
If your business has an existing SBA loan, you will get automatic debt relief. For six months all payments of principal, interest and fees will be covered by the SBA. Check with your lender to see if this applies to your loan.
If you are waiting for an EIDL but need help making it until that money gets to you, an express bridge loan of up to $25,000 can help. The money from the EIDL is then used to pay back the bridge loan.
Finally, existing programs for small businesses, including 7(a) loans, express loans, 504 loans, Community Advantage loans and microloans are still available.
The Bottom Line
Though North Dakota does not have the wealth of programs some other states are offering, there is help available both from the state and from the federal government if you or your business is struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic crisis. Make sure you consider all your options to make the best choice to help you make it through.
Tips for Business Owners During the Coronavirus 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 be matched with local advisors 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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