The COVID-19 crisis has impacted life for people around the world. Businesses have had to shut, people have lost jobs, and many have found themselves in increasingly precarious positions financially. For citizens of South Carolina, there are a number of programs available to help both families and small businesses weather the storm — along with programs sponsored by the federal government available to the entire country. During and after this crisis, a financial advisor can help you make sure you’re covered when it comes to your finances.
South Carolina Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
The Palmetto State, along with local organizations, has taken steps to make sure citizens can get the help they need during this crisis, establishing a number of programs.
South Carolina Hospitality Employee Relief Fund
This fund is for workers in hospitality fields who have been laid off, furloughed or seen a reduction in hours because of this crisis and the mandatory stay-at-home order. More details on distribution of funds will be available soon.
South Carolina is following the lead of the IRS and making all income tax payments due July 15.
University of South Carolina Employee Emergency Relief Fund
For employees of the state University (not including student employees), a grant of up to $1,000 is available. If you are an employee of the school who has lost their job because of the crisis, apply here.
University of South Carolina Emergency Relief Fund
This fund is for students at the school who are struggling, especially those who need to pay for hardware, software and internet access to continue remote learning. Information and application are here.
One SC Fund
This fund, a collection of nonprofits, is helping both individuals and organizations like homeless shelters make it through the crisis. More information is available here.
South Carolina Coronavirus Relief for Businesses
There are also programs in South Carolina for businesses who have been harmed by the ongoing crisis.
Much like individuals, businesses have also gotten an extension on tax payments, with any payment that was due on April 1 now due on June 1.
Extended Alcohol Sales
While most bars and restaurants have had to close or go to takeout only, South Carolina is letting establishments that sell beer and wine do so for curbside/drive-thru sales from now until the state of emergency is over.
Aiken Loan Fund
The city of Aiken created a $1 million loan fund to help businesses get through until more federal help arrived. More information is here.
Federal Programs for Individuals
There are also a number of programs at the federal level designed to help individuals. The one that is getting the most attention is the personal stimulus check program. These checks are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which became law in March. The program is means tested, so how much money you get is determined by the income you reported on your last tax return.
An individual’s check can be for up to $1,200, while married couples filing jointly can get up to $2,400. Checks for this amount will go to any individual earning less than $75,000 and a coupe earning less than $150,000 collectively. As your income goes up, your stimulus goes down, with any individual earning more than $99,000 and any couple earning more than $150,000 getting no check. Many people have already gotten their stimulus, but some are still waiting.
The CARES Act also created enhanced unemployment benefits. If you lose your job due to this crisis, you get 39 weeks of unemployment guaranteed, 13 more than is guaranteed in most states. The federal government is also giving a $600 weekly booster to unemployment checks through July 2020. Paid sick leave is also there for anyone who misses work because the caught the virus.
Federal Programs for Businesses
The federal government is also helping businesses impacted by the economic downturn. One prominent program is the Paycheck Protection Program, which lets businesses with fewer than 500 employees borrow up to 2.5 times their payroll (minus any salary in excess of $100,000 for individuals earning more than that), with a $10 million maximum loan. PPP loans are fully guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. Plus, they are forgivable for the equivalent of eight weeks of payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities, so long as the headcount and payroll at the company stay the same as they averaged between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019 (changed to January 1, 2020 and February 15, 2020 for new businesses.) That total becomes a grant if these provisions are met. Apply for these loans through a local PPP lender. Note, though, that all of the money allocated for these loans has been given out, so it may be difficult to get one unless more money is apportioned.
Another option are Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). These loans, administered by the SBA, are for up to $2 million and are available anywhere an economic disaster has been declared. There is an interest rate of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits and the term can be for up to 30 years. Apply here.
A business with an existing SBA loan will get automatic debt relief, with the SBA covering the principal, interest and fees for six months. Check with your lender to see that you qualify.
If your business has applied for an EIDL but needs help while waiting for it to come through, express bridge loans of up to $25,000 are available. These will then be paid back with the EIDL money. Apply with a local lender.
All existing small business programs are also still available, including 7(a) loans, express loans, 504 loans, Community Advantage loans and microloans.
The Bottom Line
South Carolina residents and businesses may be hurting because of this crisis, but help is available. Look at all the possible ways you can get help from both the federal government and from sources closer to home.
Tips for Managing Finances During the Coronavirus Crisis
- Business owners and individuals can use help from a financial advisor. 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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