On this page you will find a comparison of three relief programs: unemployment, EIDL grant and PPP loan. Followed by a FAQ of relief questions, how to contact your congressperson and other resources from Simple Profit.

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Comparison of Business Relief Options

Note: The funding for EIDL is still open though the grant is no longer available.


Eligibility: The CARES Act expanded eligibility to self-employed individuals, even though self-employed do not pay into the unemployment system. This is for a period of time during the economic shut-down.

Individuals who are fully unemployed and meet state set requirements qualify. Specific rules vary by state.

Some states have partial unemployment. Partial unemployment allows you to get some benefits while you are working reduced hours.

Where: Contact your state unemployment office to apply.

Amount: The CARES Act offers an additional $600 per week through the end of July 2020.

Documentation: You may need to provide information about past and current work hours and earning. 

Uncertainty: Many states have not updated their unemployment processes as these are substantial changes. Processing unemployment may take an extended amount of time and guidance on who is eligible or how much the benefit may be in total, may not be readily available.

EIDL (Loan)

Eligibility: Businesses with fewer than 500 employees formed as sole proprietors, LLC's, partnerships, S-Corps and C-Corps.

Businesses need to have been in operation since January 31, 2020

Where: Apply on the SBA.gov site at: EIDL Application.

Amount: Businesses can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) which is a 4% loan. Previously there was an option to click "advance" on the last page of the application, the applicant requests a grant which does not have to be paid back. The grant was $1k per owner or employee, up to $10k. The grant has expired but the loan remains available.

Documentation: You will need to know your gross revenues 2/1/2019 - 1/31/2020 and number of employees. 

Uncertainty: The SBA says the applicant can keep the grant even if they do not qualify for the loan, however, it is not clear if one can refuse the loan portion to avoid taking on debt. Worst case the recipient would invest the cash and use it to repay the loan when it is due.

PPP Loan

Eligibility: Businesses with fewer than 500 employees formed as sole proprietors, LLC's, partnerships, S-Corps and C-Corps.

Businesses need to have been in operation since February 15, 2020. 

Where: Apply with a participating bank.

Amount: The loan amount is your average monthly payroll x 2.5. 

Payroll costs include salaries, employee benefits, state and local employer taxes plus net earnings from self-employment. See a full list of payroll costs on page two of the PPP Borrowers Information Sheet. and in the FAQ below for "average monthly payroll." 

Documentation: Payroll reports as well as your Profit and Loss Statement for 2019 and Jan-Feb 2020. The bank may request other documents.

Uncertainty: It is unclear how forgiveness will work for self-employed individuals. It is concerning that businesses which began in late 2019 may have forgiveness based on 2019 earnings even if their loan was based on 2020 earnings.



I am not satisfied with how this relief process is being handled. What can I do?

Contact your Congressperson! You can call, email, mail or tweet them. Let them know if you are a struggling business and have been unable to access any relief through the existing avenues. Tell them if your bank is refusing to take your PPP loan application. Let them know that if they are going to give unemployed individuals $600 extra per week, a disaster loan of $1k per employee is not helpful. 

You can use a program called Resistbot to quickly send messages to elected officials by text. Note, these messages could be viewed as spam.

Try Resistbot

You can contact your congressperson the old fashioned way. Find your U.S. senator and representative contact information below. 

Elected Officials
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Jennie Schottmiller is a CPA. She simplifies complicated topics for small business owners and helps them make business decisions with confidence. Jennie is also a licensed family therapist and runs a private practice in Pennsylvania.

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