Small Business Resource Guide


My staff and I have assembled this guide to help small businesses and non-profit organizations understand the options available to them and decide on a course of action. But we know this will be a difficult process for many small businesses and we want to be a resource. Members of my staff are also prepared to assist you with applications, questions, and other urgent needs. If we can’t help or answer your question, we’ll quickly connect you with someone who can.

Contact my nearest office here. We’re also making our small business staff available for you to email directly: In most cases, we will respond within 24 hours.

Congressman Golden's signature.

What new federal programs are available to help my small business during COVID19? There are two programs that are most likely to be a good fit:

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides small businesses with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million to cover payroll and other operating expenses. Up to 8 weeks of payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs can be forgiven. Payments on principal and interest are deferred for six months. More information on this program is available here.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) + $10,000 disaster grant

EIDLs are loans up to $2 million with interest rates of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits, and principal and interest payments deferred at the SBA’s discretion—currently 12 months. The SBA is also offering to advance businesses a $10,000 grant that does not need to be paid back. You can apply for this $10,000 grant as part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan process. More information on this program is available here.


Which loan works for my business? Check your eligibility:

PPP Loan eligibility:

You are eligible if:

  • Your business or entity was in operation on February 15, 2020; 

  • Your entity is not included in this list of ineligible businesses (nonprofits aside); and

  • You are :

    • A small business, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a 501(c)(19) veterans organization, tribal business concern, or other business that has fewer than 500 employees, or the applicable size standard in number of employees for the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industry as provided by SBA, if higher; 

    • A sole proprietorship, an independent contractor, or self-employed; or 

    • Certain businesses with less than 500 employees per location, certain franchises, and certain companies that receive funding through a Small Business Investment Company. Click here if your business may fall into one of these categories.  ​

EIDL eligibility:

  • In addition to the entities that are already eligible for SBA disaster loans (small businesses, private non-profits, and small agriculture cooperatives), eligibility is temporarily expanded to include:
  • Business entities with 500 or fewer employees

  • Sole proprietorships, with or without employees

  • Independent contractors

  • Cooperatives and employee-owned businesses

  • Tribal small businesses

  • Private non-profits of any size.
  • Additionally, you must have been in business as of January 31, 2020. Expanded eligibility criteria and the emergency grants are only available between January 31, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Do I have to pay these loans back? It depends:

PPP Loan: All or some of the PPP loan may be forgiven, meaning the loan converts to a grant. There are specific requirements on how you may spend the money if you want the loan to be forgiven (details here).

EIDL: You must repay the EIDL, but payments are generally deferred for one year. If you receive an EIDL advance grant, you do not need to repay that amount (details here).

How do I get these loans? You must apply:

PPP Loan: You must apply for this loan with a lender that is partnering with SBA. You should inquire at your local bank or credit union. If your local financial institution is not participating, you should consider contacting an institution from this list. The loan application details are here. Small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply starting April 3. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply starting April 10. 

EIDL: You must apply directly with the SBA, online here. 

How much can I borrow?

PPP Loan: Can be up to 2.5 times average monthly payroll, capped at $10 million (details here.)

EIDL: Capped at $2 million (details here.)

Can I apply for both loans?

Yes, but there are conditions. If you have questions about simultaneous use of both loans, contact our staff at

What if I’ve already had to lay off employees? Is it too late to apply for the PPP loan?

Your loan may be forgiven if you restore, no later than June 30, 2020, your full-time employment and salary levels to undo any reductions made between February 15, 2020 and April 26, 2020, compared to the levels that existed on February 15, 2020 (details here). 

What if I’m self-employed and none of these programs work for me? Can I file for unemployment?

The Maine Department of Labor administers the Unemployment Compensation program, which has been expanded to include self employed people and provides additional funding for a limited time period. Please check the Maine Department of Labor website for updated information.

Other programs that can help:

Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is also offering disaster loans. More information is available here.

Employee Retention Tax Credit - not available if you utilize one of the SBA loan options

A refundable payroll tax credit is available for small businesses that retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. More information is available here.

Debt Relief for New and Existing SBA Borrowers

For small businesses that already have an SBA loan (such as a 7(a), 504, or microloan) or take one out within 6 months of March 27th, the SBA will pay all loan costs for borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. SBA borrowers may also seek an extension of the duration of their loan and delay certain reporting requirements. More information on this program is available here.

Advance Payment of Tax Credits for Paid Leave

The Treasury can now send advance payments of tax credits available to employers that are required to provide up to 12 weeks of coronavirus-related paid leave to their employees. More information is available here.

Payroll Tax Delay

Employers are now able to delay paying the employer-portion of payroll taxes through the end of 2020. More information is available here.

Relief for Small Business Government Contractors

If you are a government contractor, there are a number of ways that Congress has provided relief and protection for your business. Agencies will be able to modify terms and conditions of a contract and to reimburse contractors at a billing rate of up to 40 hours per week of any paid leave, including sick leave. The contractors eligible are those whose employees or subcontractors cannot perform work on site and cannot telework due to federal facilities closing because of COVID-19. If you need additional assistance, please reach out to your local Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, SCORE chapter, or SBA District Office. You should also work with your agency’s contracting officer, as well as the agency’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).

Delay for Single Employer Pension Plans

Single employer pension plans are allowed to delay quarterly contributions for 2020 until the end of the year. Employers may also use 2019 funded status for the purposes of determining funding-based limits on plan benefits for the plan years that include 2020.