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“Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act”

aka “CARES Act”

From our Executive Director Vicky Chambers.

The Payroll Protection Program (part of last week’s CARES Act guaranteed under the United States Small Business Administration) went live today. This program is a loan program designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses for them to keep their workers on the payroll. 

Please don’t be intimidated. Business owners on Whidbey and throughout Washington should read on, and fill out the application. Maybe a little admin, it’ll be relatively painless. Read on. 


The Payroll Protection Program provides cash flow assistance in the form of a low interest SBA loan through your bank or credit union specifically designed to protect employees.

Interest rate: 1%.

There is discussion that this % could be cut in half or that a portion of the loan will turn in to a grant.  

Who’s eligible? Small businesses with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organizations or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by Covid19 pandemic.

Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible if their individual locations employ less than 500 workers.

Service -Disabled Veterans Owned Small Business Program

How does this loan get to me: From federally guaranteed lenders who issue Small Business Administration Loans. YOUR bank/credit union.

View and Download Application Paycheck Protection Program Application


Relax into the idea of needing to read a sentence or paragraph (in guidelines at the bottom of the application) more than once.


Have your financial info and forms ready! Gather everything you’ll need up prior to beginning the application process.

  1. DBA or Tradename
  2. Business TIN (EIN, SSN)
  3. Average Monthly Payroll Amount
  4. Number of Employees
  5. Purpose of the loan (See “VERY IMPORTANT NOTE” below

Complete it, include any needed attachments and deliver to YOUR lender (bank/credit union) as soon as you can. The faster you can get in the que the better!

Reach out to YOUR lender immediately. We know Heritage Bank, Peoples Bank, and others are ready to help. 


LOAN DETAILS & FORGIVENESS language directly from SBA site

Payroll Protection Program loans will be fully forgiven IF the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels.  Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%.


AUTOMATIC DECLINE of SBA Payroll Protection loan: If you answer “Yes” to questions 5 or 6 on the form the loan will not be approved. View form

HELP with valid data gathering! Take the Main Street America small business covid19 impact survey. Deadline: Monday, April 6

Additional resources

Washington Retail Association: Retailer Resource Guide. Employers and employee resources.


US Chamber of Commerce: Covid19 Emergency Loans Check List and Small Business Guide  View and download


Norma Ramirez de Miess’s workshop: Leading through Crisis on Tuesday, April 7 at 9:00 a.m.


Kauffman Foundations Guide to Helping Small Business Navigate…. (including good information about PPP) https://www.kauffman.org/currents/a-guide-to-helping-small-businesses-covid-19/


Washington Women’s Business Center is offering free one-on-one consultation, including help with SBA loans, for women-owned small businesses! https://businessimpactnw.org/washington-womens-business-center/


Locable has free business status directory template web pages https://www.locable.com/2020/03/19/1087/free-business-status-directory-during-covid-19-coronavirus-for-your-community/



Please don’t be intimidated by filling out forms at this time. It is to your benefit to navigate the relief package programs as soon as you can.