It’s been almost four weeks of disruption due to COVID-19. During that time, we’ve done a great deal of research and learning about how our businesses can operate legally and successfully. Here are a few of the top FAQs about financial assistance from brokers throughout the Commonwealth.
Q. Is my business eligible for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)?
A. If your business has 500 or fewer employees and your business has been impacted by COVID-19, you may be eligible. Loans are available for sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, non-profits, limited partnerships, trusts, and limited liability entities. Examples of sole proprietorships include individuals with rental properties, home-based businesses, and self-employed trades. EIDLs are for working capital which includes fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid due to the disaster’s impact. It does not cover lost sales.
The Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has a step-by-step walkthrough of the application process.
Q. Are there grants available to assist with the EIDL?
A. Yes. Emergency grants from the Small Business Administration (SBA) included as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 provide for immediate grants within three days of submitting the application of up to $10,000 for eligible entities. The applying entity must have been in business for at least a year, which may be waived, but certainly before January 31, 2020. Considerations for the grant are part of the loan process. For more information, read this article from the National Law Review.
Q. As a business owner, are there benefits I need to offer to my employees as a result of Federal legislation?
A. On March 18, the U.S. Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires certain employers to provide employer-paid sick time and expands the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for employees who are impacted by COVID-19 or caring for family members impacted by COVID-19.
Q. Is my firm covered by the FFCRA?
A. The FFCRA covers all private employers with fewer than 500 employees; however, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption from the requirement to provide paid leave due to school closings or unavailability of childcare if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business. More information can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website and the National Association of REALTORS® website.
Q. I am unable to practice real estate due to COVID-19. Am I eligible, and what are the steps I should take to gain unemployment?
A. Yes, you will be eligible, but that VEC isn’t set up to handle 1099 quite yet. For self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, and gig-economy workers, please regularly check back with the VEC Resource Page for the latest information. They will update their website once more guidance is received from the Federal Government.
For more information that will help you and your business during this time of challenge, please visit and bookmark the Virginia REALTORS® COVID-19 Resources and Updates Page. Check back regularly, as updates are frequently added.