COVID-19 Information HUB

Information from Local, State, and National Agencies

Your all-in-one information resource for employment, benefits, small-business assistance, and taxes 

For Businesses Small Business Owner Resources and Information
Information on Grants and Loans available to Small Business Owners facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Federal Small Business Administration, Application for Disaster Loan 
https://www.sba.gov/disaster/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html

Federal Small Business Administration, Loan Guidance 
https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

State of NJ: Coronavirus Information for NJ Businesses 
https://faq.business.nj.gov/en/collections/2198378-information-for-nj-businesses-on-the-coronavirus-outbreak

State of NJ: Information for NJ Businesses on the COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 
https://www.njeda.com/about/Public-Information/Coronavirus-Information

State of NJ: Economic Development Authority Announces New Initiatives to Support Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 
https://www.njeda.com/Press-Room/News-Articles/Press-Releases/NJEDA-Announces-New-Initiatives-to-Support-Business

More information about the State’s programs can be found at faq.business.nj.gov

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

  • Who – Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
  • Interest rate – is 3.75% for small businesses, 2.75% for non-profits.
  • Terms – Long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • Approval – Loans can be approved by the SBA based solely on an applicant’s credit score. Loans that are smaller than $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee.
  • Advance – Borrowers can receive a $10,000 emergency grant cash advance that can be forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.

Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:

  1. The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made
  2. Employee and compensation levels are maintained.

Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months. 

For Individuals
Information on the Stimulus Bill: For Individuals

Stimulus Payments

  • One of the most publicized portions of the law involves cash payments of $1,200 to individuals and $2,400 to married couples.
  • An additional $500 may be paid for each qualifying child. These amounts are subject to reduction if the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) exceeds $75,000 ($150,000 for a married couple). Nonresident alien individuals and a person who is the dependent of another is ineligible to receive the payment.
  • The cash payments will be based on the recent tax information available to the IRS, based on the 2018 or 2019 tax return filed, but is subject to a “true-up” based on 2020 tax return information.

Unemployment Benefits

  • Unemployment benefits would be expanded from 26 weeks to 39 weeks and Self-Employed individuals would qualify for the first time.
  • Unemployed workers may potentially get an additional $600 per week for up to four months, on top of the normal state unemployment benefits.
  • For more information go to https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance

How to Apply online for Unemployment Benefits
https://myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/before/about/howtoapply/applyonline.shtml

Schedule for claiming/certifying NJ Unemployment Benefits
https://myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/schedule.shtml

Important information for claiming weekly benefits
https://myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/covidinstructions.shtml

Guides outlining COVID-19-related benefits for NJ employees
English: https://www.nj.gov/labor/assets/PDFs/COVID-19%20SCENARIOS.pdf
Spanish: https://www.nj.gov/labor/assets/PDFs/COVID-19%20SCENARIOS_SPANISH.pdf

Resources for Job Seekers

  • State of New Jersey COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal – https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/
  • New Jersey State Residents have access to the Job & Career Accelerator.  Create resumes and cover letters, learn interviewing techniques, and prepare for related exams. Access millions of job listings. This resource is provided to New Jersey’s libraries by the New Jersey State Library and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Mortgage and Rent Relief, and Tenant Information

Energy Assistance info from the State of NJ
https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/energy.html

Financial Assistance, from the NJ Dept. of  Human Services
https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dds/hottopics/financial/

Resources for Restaurants and Workers Coping with the COVID-19 Emergency
https://www.restaurantworkerscf.org/news/2020/3/15/resources-for-restaurants-and-workers-coping-with-the-covid-19-emergency

Coronavirus Emergency Relief Assistance in NJ
https://www.autismnj.org/article/coronavirus-emergency-relief-assistance-in-nj/

Payments on Credit Cards, Student Loans, and Auto Loans
Student Loan Payments
The government has already waived two months of student loan payments for any federal student loan borrowers; in addition, the bill is slated to suspend payment for student loans held by the federal government until September 30th.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/advisor/2020/03/26/student-loan-forbearance-in-the-coronavirus-covid-19-stimulus-what-you-need-to-know/#459b6f282039

Credit Card Payments 
In this time of need, many credit card issuers are moving quickly to assist their customers by providing them with information and resources that may alleviate some of their financial burden. Please go to your financial institutions’ websites for information.

If you need that relief, take a look at Credit Karma’s compiled list of credit card issuers’ assistance efforts and eligibility requirements: https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/coronavirus-credit-card-relief-options/

Auto Loan Payments
Many lenders are offering auto loan relief programs to help their customers alleviate some of their financial burden. 
https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/coronavirus-auto-loan-relief/

Retirement Funding

  • Required Minimum Distribution rules for qualified plans and individual retirement accounts are suspended for 2020 to preserve asset value.
  • Coronavirus-related distributions of up to $100,000 can be made with the related income tax payable over a three-year period. Additionally, the amount can be re-contributed back to plan over a three-year period without affecting that year’s contribution limits
  • The limits on the amount of loans that can be taken from a qualified plan for Coronavirus-related purposes is increased to the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of the individual’s accrued benefit.

Forbes: COVID-19 and Your IRA: What you need to know:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/berniekent/2020/03/28/covid-19-and-your-ira-heres-what-you-need-to-know/#6dc0134c2131
Bloomberg:  Coronavirus Bill lets Struggling Americans Tap Retirement Money
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-27/coronavirus-bill-lets-struggling-americans-tap-retirement-money

Income Taxes
Filing Deadlines extended to July 15 for Federal and New Jersey