Business

Unemployment Insurance

  • During the recession of 2008, employers saw an increase in state employment tax as a result of necessary cutbacks and layoffs. The legislature passed SB 1694 (unemployment compensation; coronavirus disease) to proactively curtail similar increases during this state of emergency. This measure prohibits hikes to an employer's benefit experience rating charged as a result of increased unemployment eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information about the state's Unemployment Insurance Program is available here.

  • Arizona Shared Work Program: Many employers are facing a reduction in force due to decreased economic activity. The Arizona Shared Work Program allows an employer to divide the available work or hours of work among a specified group of affected employees in lieu of a layoff, and it allows the employees to receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. SB 1694 allows the Department of Economic Security to approve employer cutbacks of up to 80%, rather than 40%, during the federal declaration of emergency.

Paycheck Protection Program

  • Program: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. The initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Loans can be up to 2.5 times the borrower's average monthly payrolls, up to $10 million.

  • Eligibility:

    • A small business with fewer than 500 employees

    • A small business that otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard

    • A 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees

    • An individual who operates as a sole proprietor

    • An individual who operates as an independent contractor

    • An individual who is self-employed who regularly carries a trade or business

    • A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard

    • A 501(c)(19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard

  • Forgiveness: A borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount the borrower spent on the following items during the 8-week period beginning on the date of the origination of the loan:

    • Payroll costs

    • Interest on the mortgage obligation incurred in the ordinary course of business

    • Rent on a leasing agreement

    • Payments on utilities (electricity, gas, water, transportation,

    • telephone, or internet)

    • For borrowers with tipped employees, additional wages paid to those employees

  • Duration: CARES extends the SBA's Disaster Loan Program through the end of the calendar year, in addition to adding businesses with less than 500 employees, sole proprietorships and independent contractors as eligible entities. It also waives rules related to personal guarantees on advances and loans of less than $200,000, lowers the one-year-in-business rule and waives the requirement that an applicant must be unable to find credit elsewhere.

Disaster Relief Fund Program

  • Program: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Arizona that will help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of COVID-19’s impact. There is no minimum loan requirement, though loans are capped at $2 million per business and business affiliates.

  • Eligibility: Business that meet SBA's size standards. Check eligibility at https://www.sba.gov/size-standards/.

  • Terms: Businesses approved will be offered loan terms up to 30 years with a 3.75 percent fixed interest rate. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. Loans which exceed $25,000 must be secured to the extent possible. SBA will not decline a loan if you don’t have enough collateral but will ask for whatever collateral is available which may include real estate owned by a business’ principals or in the form of a lien on the damaged residential property.

  • Apply at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

Grants

Loan Programs

​​Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA)

  • Business resources

    • The Arizona Commerce Authority has gathered resources to support businesses and employees as they help combat the spread of COVID-19.

    • Visit www.azcommerce.com/covid-19/ for information. This site will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.

  • Webinar

    • The ACA is hosting various series designed to help Arizona business owners navigate the financial, operational and technical impacts of COVID-19.

    • Their community partners will discuss applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), accessing cash quickly and finding alternative funding sources. Each session occurs daily from 9 - 10 a.m. They are here to help small businesses respond to the immediate impacts of the pandemic, plan for the future and return stronger than before.

    • Learn more and register here for their upcoming sessions: https://www.azcommerce.com/covid-19/webinars/

© 2020 by the Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus.

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