Guidance from SBDC Advisors
Are you feeling frustrated with the still-continuing changes to relief programs? The NH Small Business Development Center is here to help. Do not hesitate to contact a business advisor by visiting the NH SBDC website.
Here are a few updates we want to flag for you…
COVID Relief Updates
Many small businesses have been told that the company cannot claim both PPP and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). This is no longer true and if you qualify for both you can do both, just not on the identical dollar. This can be a tricky exercise and we are advising clients to revisit this with their accountant or in-house financial person.
The ERTC is worth up to $5,000 per qualifying employee in 2020 and up to $28,000 per qualifying employee in 2021. This is a clear example of how using an accountant will more than pay for itself!
Business Recoupment Relief Program
It has been a challenging week for the many small businesses that received letters requesting funds be returned from the GOFERR funds they received.
Also, the program changed the PPP calculation after the initial letters went out. It is now calculated on 50% of the PPP funding, whereas the original letters calculated the amount owed on 100% of PPP funding.
The Business Recoupment Relief Program is open to any business that received one or more of the following COVID relief grants from the State of New Hampshire: Main Street Relief Fund (MSRF 1.0 and 2.0), the Self-Employed Livelihood Fund (SELF), The General Assistance and Preservation For-profit Fund (GAP), and/or the 2020 Live Venue program. If you received a grant from one of those programs and have been notified by the State Department of Revenue that there is a difference between your estimated and actual decline in revenue that requires you to pay back the difference, you will now have the chance to off-set that repayment by reporting COVID related expenses.
If you wish to claim less than $20,000 in COVID-related expenses, you can use a “self-certification” application to apply. If you wish to claim over $20,000 in COVID-related expenses, you must use a “document” application, which will require you to provide evidence of all the expenses. Increased payroll expenses and the costs of expansion (unless required for social distancing) are not eligible to offset recoupment. A full list of eligible expenses and further information about how to apply is available here:
Economic Injury Disaster Loans are still available for COVID-19 impacted small businesses and must be applied for by Dec 31, 2021.
Small businesses and non-profits can use these low-interest loans for working capital and normal daily business expenses. There is no prepayment penalty for these 30-year terms, 3.75% interest rate (2.75% for non-profits) loans. The maximum for EIDL has been increased to $500,000 and people who applied under the earlier cap are eligible to have their loans increased. Loans granted in 2020 have a 24-month repayment deferment, and those granted in 2021 have an 18-month deferment. As of 06/23/21, NH businesses have $710, 970,199 in EIDL approved funds, benefiting 11,579 businesses.
This is still a very viable source of funds, and SBA has increased capability to process loans and advances in a timely fashion. Do not wait till December to apply if you are eligible!
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant (RRFG)
This fund was closed on July 2nd. In New Hampshire, there were 1,009 applicants requesting $242 million. Of that, there were 418 businesses approved for a total of $91 million. Congress allocated $28.6 billion in funds for grants to restaurants. However, nationally more than 3,000 operators whose grants were approved were later told that their funds were rescinded due to court rulings in lawsuits filed by those who claimed that the process was discriminatory. There is a proposal in Congress to add more money to the program.
Additional Funding Sources for Small Businesses
Good news - RDC partners have resources to deploy and are great partners to SBDC and small businesses.
Here is a list of the current financing through Regional Development Programs in New Hampshire:
- Regional Economic Development Center (REDC). REDC has $2,500 grants available for New Hampshire businesses with five or fewer employees and have had COVID-19 related losses or expenses. Interested businesses are encouraged to contact REDC for additional information to determine if they qualify. This is for businesses who are not located in Manchester, Portsmouth, Dover, Rochester, or Nashua. To access more information about the program click here.
- Wentworth Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO) has a Rural Microentrepeneur Assistance Program (RMAP) for enhanced business technical assistance for businesses in southern Carroll County and northern Stafford County. The grant is for up to $2,500 and requires a 15% cash match by the applicant. Check out this link for more information.
- WEDCO This is a grant for businesses that qualify as low-to-moderate (LMI) enterprises and start-ups, with 5 or fewer employees, to offset costs associated with preparing for, responding to, or recovering from COVID-19. Qualifying businesses may receive up to $2,500 of indirect grant funding to be applied toward equipment costs, operational expenses, and working capital. Eligible expenses include business costs, such as rent, staffing, equipment purchases, utilities, and PPE. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Access the intake form and the application at these links.
The PitchFork Challenge
The NH SBDC is proud to partner with The Hannah Grimes Center to offer this year's PitchFork Challenge!
The PitchFork Challenge provides money and momentum for local rural entrepreneurs to apply to be part of a business pitch competition. Over the summer local entrepreneurs can work with SBDC business advisors to create a compelling pitch describing their business opportunity. Ultimately, one business winner will be chosen to receive a prize of $10,000 in cash for the rural small business track.
The deadline to apply is July 26, 2021 and the final, live pitch will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2021, as part of the Radically Rural Summit. Learn more & apply.
If you have never pitched before and are nervous about talking about your business, do not worry! This is a supportive and friendly pitch competition. The PitchFork Challenge is a great opportunity to get your business name out to a wider audience, meet new people who are building a business, as well as other professionals who work to support small businesses, and an SBDC advisor can help you build your communication skills when pitching your business.
Discussion About Energy Efficiency and Optimization
On August 3rd, from 12-1 pm, Energy LB Resources, together with Clean Energy NH, will be hosting a discussion on Energy Efficiency and Power Optimization strategies. The forum is geared towards people and entities looking to begin the process of acting and investing in reduced consumption, operational efficiency, lower energy costs and profiles, sustainability in facilities.