The disease that the novel coronavirus causes, known as COVID-19, has hit businesses and individuals across the country. Despite its distance from the worst-hit areas, Utah has not been spared. By the end of April, the state, which has a population of 3.2 million, had nearly 4,000 cases and recorded 39 deaths. About half of those deaths have been residents of long-term care facilities. While there are several federal relief programs such as the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program, the Beehive State has several programs of its own that can help individuals and small business owners.
Utah Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
Some of Utah’s programs have always been around and others are specific to COVID-19. Gov. Gary R. Herbert extended the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive through May 1, and the governor’s office has also created a webpage to keep all coronavirus relief resources in one place.
Department of Workforce Services Unemployment Resources
The Department of Workforce Services is where Utah residents can apply for unemployment insurance. The resources are not meant to be a full wage replacement but can replace 40%-50% of an individual’s income up to $580 per week. This is meant to supplement the federal government’s CARES Act stimulus program. Utah residents can apply for unemployment insurance online.
In addition to unemployment benefits, the Workforce Services website allows residents to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare, Utah Home Energy Assistance Training (HEAT), and child care subsidies. You can find all these resources on the Workforce Services website.
Utah Apartment Association
The Utah Apartment Association has created a plan to help renters cope with an inability to pay some or all their rent during COVID-19. Renters who can demonstrate their financial status may qualify for rent deferment. Landlords and management companies will be required to provide a plan to defer part or all of April’s rent to their renters.
Utah Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
Utah has done an impressive job of planning for economic recovery. The “Utah Leads Together” plan was created by a task force that seeks to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Utah.
Small Business Bridge Loans
The Bridge Loan will use $11 million in state funds to help Utah’s small businesses and nonprofits. This loan is meant to supplement the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be considered, and the loan amounts will not exceed three months of operating expenses for each company. The loans will have 0% interest for at least the first six months of the loan, and 25% of total funds will be disbursed to support rural businesses.
Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) Grants
BEAR grants are administered by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. These grants are to be used for economic development projects in Utah, but under COVID-19 recipients have been granted permission to repurpose funds to aid small businesses. These grants can now be used for utilities, rent, payroll, employee health benefits, and more.
Salt Lake City Emergency Loan Program for Businesses
The Emergency Loan Program aims to help local businesses in Salt Lake City. The maximum loan amount is $20,000 and has a 0% interest over a five-year repayment plan. The loans must be used for payroll, rent, and other working capital purposes. Repayment will not begin until the Mayor’s “Proclamation Declaring a Local Emergency” has expired. This loan can supplement additional funds from the SBA Disaster Loan and other Coronavirus relief programs.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
The federal government has created several programs to help individuals financially maneuver the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. The most prominent is the Coronavirus Stimulus Package. If you earned under $100,000 in 2018 or 2019 and have filed your taxes, you will receive a stimulus check of up to $1,200 per month. The amounts increase for married couples and people with kids, so you can use this calculator to figure out exactly how much you will get from the stimulus package.
Unemployment benefits have been expanded or enhanced by 39 states. Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) provides an extra $600 per week to regular unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) recipients. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) allows individuals to receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits after they have exhausted their state benefits. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor outlines new expansions and flexibility to their unemployment guidelines on their website.
The CARES Act is also supporting student loan relief, tax-free student loan repayment benefits, tax deadline extensions, and more. Additionally, information regarding rent and mortgage relief is available here. You can view all of the individual relief programs here.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
Perhaps the most prominent program for small businesses is the Paycheck Protection Program loans. Small businesses can apply for these SBA loans up to two and a half times their monthly average payroll costs up to $10 million. This is meant to help employers with less than 500 employees to keep their employees on the payroll.
Additionally, businesses can apply for the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program. To qualify for this loan, small businesses that were in operation when the virus was declared an emergency and meet all other SBA 7(a) loan requirements.
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.
Finally, the CARES Act has allowed businesses to postpone their payroll taxes through the end of 2022. They can earn an Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) to help them keep their employees on payroll during the economic downturn.
The Bottom Line
Utah residence who are facing financial, emotional, or physical difficulties during this time have access to support. There are several programs available to individuals and businesses. Most business support programs’ applications are available on the SBA webpage. Individuals can visit Utah’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage to link to any local and state resources.
Tips for Managing your Finances During the Coronavirus Crisis
- Many financial advisors specialize in working with business owners. Finding the right financial advisor who fits your needs does not 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 who will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- It is crucial to stay up to date with both SBA and state provisions so that you can take advantage of these programs if your business loses revenue due to COVID-19. Several companies are also supporting coronavirus-impacted people, and banks are also taking steps to help their customers. 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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