Many COVID assistance funding programs have ended, but there are still a couple opportunities left open.
As the availability of government funded COVID programs dwindles, many business owners have written off the possibility of receiving funds in 2023. Luckily, businesses still have a way to recover from their losses through the Employee Retention Credit, a government funded program made available by the CARES act. This credit is available to businesses that faced operational disruption or lost revenue during the pandemic.
Although the deadline extends to April 2025, Congress can choose to terminate this program at any point. So, it is imperative to file a claim as soon as possible. As of now, businesses have until April 15th, 2024 to claim the ERC tax credits for 2020. The last date for an ERC claim submission is April 15th, 2025, at this point, only refunds for 2021 can be claimed.
Once you have claimed the ERC, the funds are mailed to you as a check. It does not need to be repaid, as it is not a loan. This is a welcome financial break for many businesses affected, however, many business owners are not aware that they qualify. Our Tax experts are here to help. Get in touch with Omega Tax Credits specialists to see if your business is eligible!
Additionally, there is another opportunity to receive assistance quickly if your business was impacted by COVID and you qualify for the ERC. Business owners that have already filed for the ERC are well aware of the current backlogs at the IRS. This delay means that they are having to take funds out of their own pockets while they await a check from the IRS. If your business cannot afford to wait for the refund, Omega’s Funding Solutions (OFS) provides bridge loans so that you can take care of your day-to-day expenses. All you need is a valid ERC claim in process with the IRS to get started.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was introduced in 2020 to provide financial relief to small businesses. The purpose of this program was aimed at helping small businesses pay up to eight weeks of payroll, benefits, overhead costs, and even hire back furloughed employees. This program ended on May 31st, 2021. Fortunately, businesses that leveraged PPP are still eligible for ERC.
There was one additional program available for the first month of 2023, however, it was only available to a small percentage of businesses. The ECIP program encouraged financial institutions to support small businesses and minority-owned businesses in their communities. Applicants eligible for this program included certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). A CDFI is a not-for-profit financial institution whose mission is to enable community growth by providing financial assistance to businesses in disadvantaged areas. Banks, Credit Unions, Venture Capitalists, etc are some examples of CDFIs. MDIs, on the other hand, are institutions that meet one of the two criteria, either 51% or more of their voting stock is owned by minority individuals or a majority of the board of directors is a minority and the community that they serve is predominantly minority. The United States Department of the Treasury recently announced a second application round on December 2nd, 2022, and these applications were due on or before January 31st, 2023.
Introduced in March 2020, the EIDL program offered low-interest loans to businesses that could show revenue loss due to COVID. Some businesses were eligible for ‘EIDL Advance’, in which the loans did not have to be repaid. EIDL was discontinued in January 2022.
Programs such as Shuttered Venues Grant and Restaurant Revitalization Fund were applicable for certain industries that were negatively affected by COVID. Applications for both these programs have closed. If your business is still in need of assistance in 2023, contact an ERC expert to help you file your claim.