Braintrust has compiled a helpful list of tools, resources and programs designed to help freelancers who are facing new challenges due to COVID-19.
To support freelancers who are impacted by COVID-19, Braintrust has compiled a list of programs, funds, and grants currently being offered in the U.S.
CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act). Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is the most significant part of the CARES Act for small business owners.
Over $349 billion in COVID-19 small business stimulus assistance funding was approved for distribution to small business owners. It is the largest small business assistance package in U.S. history. Over 30 million American small businesses, non-profits, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals will be eligible for these funds on a first-come, first-served basis until June 30, 2020. Read FAQs here.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The SBA dropped interest rates on the PPP loans from 4% to 0.5%.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
Federal funds will be distributed to state unemployment agencies, and all benefits will be administered through your state. If you have not yet done so, submit your application to your state's unemployment assistance program now. Each state may require different supporting documentation; find your state and its requirements here. More information on unemployment insurance here.
Alice $10,000 Emergency Business Funding
In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and hundreds of entrepreneur networks and government agencies, Alice is launching their COVID-19 Business For All emergency grants program, designed to help you get through this crisis and grow your business. Apply today to receive $10,000 for your business; grants will be distributed on a rolling basis. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community.
LISC Rapid Relief And Resiliency Fund
LISC is launching the Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund to assemble and deploy resources to their local partners, small businesses and residents who are being hit hardest. The Fund will deliver operating capital, emergency subsidies and IT support, as well as technical assistance, to keep partners and their communities strong and functioning through this unprecedented situation.
LISC will use the funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises that don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital in historically underserved communities. LISC will launch an online process for small businesses to submit applications for grants (Apply for the first round of grants by Saturday, April 4 at 11:59 PM ET)
SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. Apply here.
Freelance Artist Resources
Here is a very comprehensive list of National Grants/Relief Funds from 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organizations & Unions.
This list is specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers & playwrights, photographers, etc.
Foundation for the Contemporary Arts
The FCA is creating a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions. Applications of the one-time $1,000 grants are accepted on a rolling basis.
PEN America Emergency
PEN America will distribute grants of $500 to $1,000 for emergency expenses to writers and journalists based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Apply here.
Authors League Fund
Journalists, playwrights, poets and authors facing sudden loss of income or unforeseen medical expenses in the United States can apply for emergency grants from the Authors League Fund. The grants prioritize experienced professionals who’ve either been published by traditional publishing houses or publications with national circulation, or have had their work produced by mid-sized or large theaters. Apply here.