Coronavirus: Small Business Updates and Resources

coronavirus updates from the SBDC

COVID-19 Emergency Bridge Loan Extensions: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) sent an email on April 21, 2021, to COVID-19 Emergency Bridge Loan recipients with directions regarding how to apply for a repayment extension. The email came from “Rebuild Florida No Reply” with the Subject: “Emergency Bridge Loan Extension Request.” Check your email for the directions to apply for a repayment extension. For questions, contact DEO directly at

SBA Disaster Relief Contact Information: For help with EIDL, call 1-800-659-2955 or email For technical support with the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal, call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service center at 1-800-659-2955. For help with Targeted EIDL Advance, email; For help with the Restaurant Revitalization Fund program, call 1-844-279-8898.

Consulting Request for Existing Clients


Guides, Tips & Templates:

  • Preparedness Plan for Reopening Template
    This template is designed to help businesses develop and implement a plan for reopening their business, ensuring a safe and healthy workplace for all workers. The template fits the potential needs of different types of businesses.
  • Tips to Prepare for Reopening
    Though your business may be closed, now is the time to start preparing for your next chapter. We recommend you develop a well-thought-out plan for when you can open again. While not all businesses are brick and mortar, many of these tips can be applied to your business. Focusing on the highlighted areas will help make the transition easier for you, your employees, and your customers.
  • Guide to Business Resiliency in Times of Disaster
    Many business owners are wondering what they can do (outside of taking on additional debt) to help meet the challenges of COVID-19. The guide provides suggestions for cash management, pricing and cost containment, supply chain management, and marketing.
  • Small Business Guide to COVID-19
    Tips to do right now to stay afloat, SBA loan programs explained, pro tips, looking ahead, find help.


Work From Home Assessments
Work From Home Assessments: Has your top employee all of a sudden become a challenge? If you are struggling to manage your work-from-home team, this free assessment can help you capitalize on your teams’ strengths. Each report contains a personalized communication style page, tips for working remotely based on their dominant communication style, and four pages of communication tips for working with other styles remotely.

COVID-19 Survival PlansCOVID-19 Preparedness Plans: Business as usual may be a thing of the past. Professional consultants are available to assist with detailing how you will implement the following, at a minimum: infection prevention measures; prompt identification and isolation of sick persons; engineering and administrative controls for social distancing; housekeeping, disinfecting and decontamination; communications and training for managers and workers; and provision of management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the survival plan.

Student TeamsStudent Teams: Working with Student Teams is a mutually advantageous situation for all parties involved. Each project is assigned a Florida SBDC at USF business consultant to oversee the project. This program lasts one semester. During the semester, the student team will prepare an individualized product, based on the business’ needs and selected team.

Expanded Consulting ServicesExpanded Consulting Services: The Florida SBDC at USF has brought on additional staff to serve small businesses during the pandemic recovery. Expanded consulting services include the following specialty areas: accounting, contracts, finance, insurance, organizational development, and taxes.

Fees Waived: All fees for businesses that qualify for DISC Assessments (up to 5 assessments) and Export Marketing Plans are currently waived.

WebinarsOn-Demand and Live Webinars:  While our face-to-face seminars have been suspended until further notice, we are offering additional learning opportunities via our on-demand webinars and live webinars. These short on-demand webinars will give you strategies you can implement in your business immediately. Want more detailed information after watching a webinar? Contact us to schedule a no-cost consulting session as a follow up. All webinars are currently being offered at no cost.


Passed by Congress and signed by the President, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act tasks the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) with overseeing the distribution of millions of dollars in loans and grants to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides additional funding for SBA’s resource partners to provide advice and training to help small businesses respond to the unprecedented challenges in communities throughout the country.

Disaster Assistance Comparison Chart


Small businesses are encouraged to look into other Federal relief programs that are made available thanks to the passage of the CARES Act. Additional funding opportunities may arise through the State of Florida or local county entities, as needed. Speak with a Florida SBDC at USF consultant for details.

SBA Debt Relief

The SBA’s Debt Relief Program provides immediate relief for new and existing borrowers of SBA’s regular loan guarantee programs. For existing borrowers with a regular 7(a), 504 or micro-loan, SBA will automatically make payments on your behalf for a period of six months. For new borrowers, SBA will automatically cover payments due prior to September 27, 2020. Debt relief is automatic, but you should check in with your lender. Under the new law, the SBA is directed to make payments within 30 days of the date on which the first payment is due. For more information about the Debt Relief Program, click here.

SBA Serviced Disaster Loan Debt Relief

For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans, if your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020. Learn more about this debt relief program by clicking here.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million.$2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Find out more about qualifications and how to apply on the U.S. SBA’s website.

SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program

The SBA’s Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for a decision and disbursement on an EIDL, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. Click here to learn more about the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program.

Other SBA Lending Options

The 7(a) loan program is the SBA’s primary program for providing financial assistance to small businesses. The terms and conditions, like the guaranty percentage and loan amount, may vary by the type of loan. For information on other traditional SBA lending options, click here.

Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted December 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the employee retention tax credits previously made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), for six months through June 30, 2021. Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.

As a result of the new legislation, eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. Thus, the maximum ERC amount available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 in 2021. Learn more on the IRS website.


Florida Department of Health Covid-19 Website

Information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.

For questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, individuals and business can contact the Florida Department of Health dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to

FloridaDisaster.Biz Website: Business Damage Assessment

Information regarding business preparedness, recovery, online training, links and news. The Business Damage Assessment is open for COVID-19. If your small business has been impacted, please complete the survey.

Short Time Compensation Program for Employees | Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Reemployment Assistance | Florida Department of Economic Opportunity


U.S. Small Business Administration Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Assistance

These resources can help small businesses develop a plan to protect their employees, lessen the financial impact of disasters, and re-open for business quickly to support the economic recovery of the community.

The Three Step Process: SBA Disaster Loans

While disaster loans have not been activated yet, small businesses can prepare by getting the appropriate documents gathered, using this PDF.

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Comprehensive and customized business disaster preparedness planning information, materials and training videos

Federal Resources for Small Business | America’s SBDC