During his Sunday afternoon COVID-19 update, Governor Andy Beshear mentioned the Small Business Administration low-interest loan program outlined in the acronym-rich information release that appears below, in its entirety as forwarded to us.

Beshear observed that not all on-line resources pertaining to the SBA program had yet been updated, but the effort is ongoing and most moving parts should be in place. 

It’s another way of saying that like so many other aspects of the COVID-19 situation, daily developments are occurring in real time. Consider the following an overview and a possible tool in the arsenal. Use it to plan and get things started, and understand the rivets are still being fastened.

Dear Restaurant Friends,

The Covid-19 virus has prompted the closure of many retail and food establishments as leaders try to contain the spread of the virus. While social distancing is the best choice for containing the spread of the virus, it is adversely affecting many local small businesses and business owners whose livelihood depends on customers visiting their establishments and socializing.

As the landscape changes day-by-day, restaurants, especially small, independent local ones, are struggling to stay afloat in an industry that already has very low profit margins.

Many restaurants are trying to move to or focus more on carry out and delivery options but, if that isn’t already in place for a business, it can be difficult to get off the ground. Using an outside vendor for delivery means integrating your online system with theirs and paying commission fees which, in turn, must be added to the cost of the meal.

Some restaurants, including the local Mayan Café, is trying out boxed dinners with curbside service. The key is selecting menu items that travel well and can be easily mass produced and offering the ability to pay with an online app to have near zero interaction with the customer.

Several large delivery vendors are making temporary changes to help support small businesses. Postmates and GrubHub have both announced that they will suspend commission fees for independent restaurants during the crisis. Restaurants must sign up for the relief pilot program for Postmates. UberEats is waiving their delivery fees for independent restaurants.

Many local restaurants are taking to social media to tell their story and sending emails to loyal customers encouraging them to continue to support their favorite local restaurants during this pandemic. Messaging includes information like adding curbside or delivery service and specials to assuring customers that the restaurant is following protocols on operation in light of the viral outbreak.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is planning on offering low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for eligible small businesses and non-profits reeling from the financial impact the coronavirus is causing.

The program is being developed in real-time, so all of the details are not yet available. Here are a few key details:

  • Eligible small businesses can receive loans of up to $2 million.
  • The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of COVID-19.
  • The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without other credit options, and 2.75% for non-profits.
  • A long-term repayment plan of up to 30 years can help keep payments affordable.

SBA has posted some new information here.

Select Kentucky counties are now listed as disaster areas. Check location and application here.

For more information, contact the Louisville Small Business Development Center office at (502) 625-0123 or visit www.louisvillesmallbusiness.com.

If you need immediate help, you can contact David Oetken directly at doetken@greaterlouisville.com or 502-625-0012.

Unemployment Benefit Information

We strongly encourage you to file for unemployment benefits as way to keep your finances intact.

How to File

  • Call 502-875-0442. Calls are taken Monday – Friday from 7:30am – 5:30pm EST
  • File online at www.kentuckycareercenter.com

Information to have before you file:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Address and Telephone Number
  • Dates of Employment
  • Alien Registration Number if you are not a US Citizen.
  • Employer Information

Currently, Congress is considering legislation that may provide additional benefits. Stay informed, check multiple sources of information.