Small Businesses Have Been There for Us.
This pandemic presents unprecedented challenges, together we can help address this crisis.
This page highlights ways you can help today.
“20%, even 30% of small businesses could fail even in a good scenario.”Karen MillsFormer head of the Small Business Administration
CDFIs: Responsive Local Lenders
Most small businesses are desperately low on cash and need capital to stave layoffs and avoid defaults. The recently passed federal aid programs will provide significant support, but that capital may not reach businesses for weeks, if not months. CDFIs are local lenders that know their communities and are well equipped to rapidly meet the individual needs of small firms. It is paramount that we support these local lenders to save the small business while funds from government programs make their way to small businesses.
CDFIs are in critical need of investment, grant, and other flexible capital to meet the support the unprecedented capital needs of small businesses. Below are two ways you can support small businesses through proven CDFIs, right now.
CNote has created the Rapid Response Fund to quickly deploy patient loan capital to CDFIs so they can fill this critical lending gap until federal and state aid is implemented. For more details on the fund, click below.
The Growing Crisis
A Global Pandemic
COVID-19 is the disease, SARS-CoV-2 is the virus behind this growing pandemic.
This pandemic has had a massive human impact with hundreds of thousands infected and tens of thousands of deaths.
Sadly, these numbers continue to grow at a rapid pace.
In response to this fast-moving pandemic, countries, regions, and cities are issuing shelter in place and quarantine orders. These necessary actions prevent the interaction of people and work to slow the spread of this deadly virus, which is the global priority. It is critical the appropriate steps are taken to address this massive medical challenge first and foremost.
Essential steps to resolve the global health crisis have serious implications for general welfare and economy. As long as the threat of widespread transmission persists, economic activity will take an immense hit, too.
For more information about the virus, including how to prevent its spread please visit the following websites:
The Economic Fallout
Small Business Impact
The medical crisis and the measures to prevent its spread have a significant economic impact as well.
Small businesses typically have just around 27 days in cash. Restaurants have even less, with 17 days of cash on average. With no customers, these firms are running out of funds to meet liabilities and fixed costs.
If these firms run out of cash, they are likely to fold.
As a result, businesses are laying off employees in record numbers.
Further, we know that low-income communities, minorities and under-served communities are disproportionately impacted by crises like this. Supporting these communities to prevent further damage is critical.
Supporting Small Businesses
Community Lenders: Providing Small Businesses a Lifeline
We know that most small businesses only have cash to cover 17-45 days’ worth of expenses.
We also know that state and federal grant, lending and aid programs can take weeks, if not months, to implement and deploy.
Small businesses need support now.
CDFIs have a proven history of responding to disasters of all types and being lenders of last resort during recessionary periods when conventional banks retrenched. Today, CDFIs are working with small businesses across the country to fill the growing capital gap small firms face in light of this pandemic.
Now, more than ever, the work CDFIs do is critical to saving small businesses and protecting our economy.
We must direct more capital to these lenders (CDFIs) that have proven durable and aligned with the communities they serve.
Below you’ll find resources for small businesses, including business relief programs, special CDFI relief funds, and local initiatives.
Federal, State and Local Programs
Information about government programs for small businesses.
- Catalog of Federal, State and Private Small Business Relief Programs
- SBA Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
- SBA COVID-19 Disaster Loan Application
- IRS Page on Coronavirus Tax Relief
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
- Small Business Resources for COVID-19 Resilience (Compiled by Pacific Community Ventures)
- Searchable List of National, State and Local programs, both loans and grants (via CaseAtDuke)
- Covid-19 City Responses (via Living Cities)
- Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund
CDFI Small Business Initiatives and Resources
CDFI-originated programs to support small businesses
- North Carolina Rapid Recovery Fund (Consortium, including NCIFund and CSBDF)
- Capital Good Fund – Crisis Relief Loans
- OFN (largest CDFI network) Partners with Google – Grow with Google Small Business Fund ($125 Million)
- Verizon and LISC COVID-19 Recovery Fund
- Pursuit’s Small Business COVID-19 Resource Center
- TruFund COVID-19 Resource Center
CDFI Donation and Investment Opportunities
Help scale CDFI small business relief efforts with a grant or investment
- Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (Maine CDFI) COVID-19 Donation Page
- New Hampshire Community Loan Fund – Borrower Stabilization Fund (Donate) & Invest
- NCIFund COVID-19 Grant Program & Rapid Recovery Loan Program
- Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund Donation Page
- Emergency Cooperative Enterprise Relief Loan Program
- Genesis Loan Fund Donate & Invest Page
- LiftFund COVID-19 Donation Page
- Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) Donation Page
- Chicago Community Loan Fund Donation Page
- Working Solutions Donation Page
- Seattle Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund
- PCV – An Open Letter From CDFI Leaders to our Supporters
Small Business & Community Impact
Reports from the field about how this unprecedented crisis is impacting small firms and communities across America.
- Where Low-Income Jobs Are Being Lost to COVID-19 (Urban.org)
- California small business owners report devastating impacts of COVID-19, need immediate cash assistance to survive
- 5 Charts on How COVID-19 is Devastating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (CSBDF)
- NY State CDFI Coalition – Small Business Stories from Across NY
- Carolina Small Business Development Fund – Stories of Small Businesses that have been impacted
- Carolina Small Business Development Fund – Research Paper on Aggregate Impact to North Carolina