Small and local businesses are working through COVID-19 with creativity. There are ways you can help, and we've put together a list of assistance and resources available for small business owners and built a hub of content to help you navigate the new normal.
You have probably seen posts from your favorite local business owners who are getting creative to keep their businesses thriving during these uncertain times.
Even with social distancing measures, this CNN article suggests ways you can help support local businesses from afar:
Order takeout from your favorite local spot
leave a generous tip if you’re able
purchase a gift card to use when we can safely sit across a table from one another
try shopping online
There are also a number of resources available for small businesses as a response to COVID-19 and the incredible circumstances our local business owners are facing. We’ve put those resources together here and will update as we learn more.
Please share widely with your friends and neighbors and favorite local establishments.
Artist Emergency Fund: Developed out of a partnership among the Knight Foundation, Central Carolina Community Foundation and One Columbia for Arts and Culture, this fund will provide 40 emergency grants to support artists in Columbia. OneColumbia will accept applications beginning May 8th.
Resilient Columbia: Review this guide for reopening and sustainability plans for small businesses in the Midlands. You can also join webinars hosted by the Economic Recovery Task Force.
Small Business Stabilization Forgivable (SBSF) Loan: SBSF loan funds are designed to provide immediate financial relief needed to strengthen our local small business enterprises that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program: We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.
Internal Revenue Service: The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. They have also added payroll tax credits and other benefits for small business. This page will be updated as new information is available.
Richland County Economic Development Office: As part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Richland County's Economic Development Office is distributing non-contact infrared thermometers to businesses for screening employees.
The SC Small Business Development Centers: Small Business Development Centers are equipped to work remotely and will continue to assist clients via phone, e-mail and various online tools. Center phones have either been forwarded to the consultants or they are checking messages regularly. There is a blue box at the top right of the page that they can click and go to a page to sign up for consulting.
Small Business Administration (SBA):
Find information on Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, Guidance for Businesses and Employers, SBA Products and Resources, Government Contracting and Local Assistance.
SBA Disaster Assistance Service Center: The Office of Disaster Assistance's mission is to provide low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.