Coronavirus Small Business Relief for Delaware

The ongoing spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has had lasting impacts on US small businesses. Federal, state, and local governments have created relief assistance to support small business owners.

Our guide to Coronavirus Small Business Relief for Delaware provides information on grants, loans, tax relief, and emergency assistance for all small businesses, both on a federal level and on a state level.


COVID Small Business Relief: Loans and Grants

Depending on the size of your small business, you may be qualified for certain loans and grants on both the federal and state level.

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What is considered a small business?

Small businesses are defined based on what type of industry they belong to. To determine if your business is considered to be a small business by the Small Business Administration, visit the SBA Size Standards webpage.

COVID Federal Small Business Help

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing disaster loan assistance in all states. These low-interest loans are targeted toward small businesses and nonprofits that have experienced severe economic injury due to the coronavirus.

Read more about the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to see if your small business qualifies. You can also download the SBA's Delaware EIDL Fact Sheet for more information.

As part of the Coronavirus Aid Package (CARES Act), small businesses can also apply for forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that can be used to pay employees and fund other day-to-day business operations. To learn more, visit our guide to the CARES Act or read about the Paycheck Protection Program in particular.

COVID State Small Business Help

Delaware is offering assistance through the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP). This program provides no-interest loans of up to $10,000 per business per month in the hospitality industry. Relief through this program has a 10-year term with payments deferred for nine months. Businesses can use this loan for the payment of rent, utilities, and other unavoidable bills but cannot be used for personnel costs.

As of April 16, the revenue limit for businesses with a first four-digit NAICS code of 7225 has been lifted to $15 million. This means that more restaurants can apply for monthly loans of up to $10,000 to cover fixed expenses, since the restaurant industry has been struggling. If a business with the eligible NAICS code has mortgage or lease payments that exceed $10,000, they can apply for a loan of up to $50,000. 

Completed applications should be submitted to Business_Finance@delaware.gov. To see if your small business qualifies, check out the HELP application.

COVID Small Business Relief: Private Sources

Some private companies and organizations have established grants for small business relief. Facebook is one such company. The Facebook small business grant was created to help small business owners amid disruptions that are being caused by the coronavirus.   

Certain credit card companies and banks, like Bank of America, are also offering economic relief for their small business members.

For a larger list, visit our guide to private grants for small business relief.

Private Relief in Delaware

The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund is a fund designed to help Delaware nonprofits affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The maximum amount available per nonprofit is $50,000. Applications will be due on the Monday of each week. Applications received after that time will be included in the following week's pool. On the Friday of each week, all applicants will be notified of their status. Then, funds will be transferred to the grantees by 5 pm that day.

Apply for the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund here.

Another resource is the Philadelphia nonprofit-based FINANTA Emergency Loan. Small businesses affected by the coronavirus could receive $5,000 to $15,000 to use for most business needs, including working capital, inventory, and equipment. FINANTA offers flexible payment terms and up to 24-month amortizations.

To apply, call (267) 236-7030 for English or (267) 236-7019 for Spanish.

COVID-Related Tax Relief & Federal Paid Leave

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, both federal and state governments are actively providing tax assistance for small businesses as well as updated employee leave policies.

Tax Relief

The federal government has extended the payment deadline for all first-quarter tax payments from April 15th, 2020 to July 15th, 2020. Small businesses must file IRS Form 7004 to extend their tax payments, while individuals must file IRS Form 4868.

State Tax Relief

Delaware has extended the filing deadline for corporate income taxes to match the federal income tax due date, which is now July 15, 2020. In addition to extending this deadline, the Delaware Department of Revenue has extended income tax filing deadlines for corporate final, corporate tentative, estimated personal income taxes, and fiduciary income taxes due in April to July 15, 2020. All other returns have their original deadline in place. 

For more information, please contact the Delaware Department of Revenue at (302) 577-8200.

Changes to Federal Paid Leave

As of March 18th, 2020, the federal government is providing certain workers paid sick leave in the event that they are ill, quarantined, or seeking medical care.

This relief act applies to employees at small, midsize, and nonprofit companies so long as the employee has been employed for more than 30 days. For more information, you can read the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The Department of Labor also recommends that small business employers check if their employee’s sick leave is covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If an employee or their family is incapacitated due to the coronavirus (or any pandemic illness), their employer is required to provide job-protected, unpaid leave.

So long as employers are covered, they are required to abide by federal FMLA and state FMLA laws. For more information on the FMLA, check out the Department of Labor’s website.

Running Your Business During Coronavirus Pandemic

Because of the ever-changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to set business maintenance policies for you and your employees.

Emergency Guidelines

In the event that your small business undergoes financial difficulties during the coronavirus spread, consider implementing these guidelines for the good of your business and its employees:

  • Consider putting employees on temporary leave instead of terminating them
  • Communicate with customers regarding business closures, reduction of hours, or maintenance changes
  • Diversify your suppliers or stock inventory with an adequate amount of supplies to last an extended period of time
  • Contact your insurance agent to review any business interruption policies that your business may have in place
  • Prepare a plan with your employees regarding present and future business actions regarding the virus
  • Review your emergency business continuity plan. If you don’t have one, take a look at New York’s Emergency Planning Process Sheet.
  • Determine whether your business is considered essential or nonessential. Visit our guide to essential businesses for more information.

For more business solutions, visit the SBA website.

Unemployment Insurance

The Coronavirus Aid Package (CARES Act) is providing extended unemployment benefits to workers who are ineligible for regular unemployment programs but are out of work solely because of the coronavirus pandemic. Unemployment compensation has also been extended by 13 weeks.

The state of Delaware has extended state unemployment benefits to workers who may not have typically qualified for benefits before the coronavirus pandemic. People who are now eligible for unemployment benefits include:

  • Workers whose employers have had to reduce hours or shut down business due to the outbreak;
  • Workers who have been ordered by a doctor to self-quarantine;
  • Parents or guardians who have been forced to quit or take unpaid leave from their jobs to care for children;
  • Workers who have been forced to quit or take unpaid leave from their jobs to care for an infected loved one;
  • Workers who have contracted COVID-19, and;
  • Part-time workers.

While under unemployment, workers will not have to meet the weekly work search requirements. Delaware has also waived the waiting week period normally used to receive confirmation of eligibility.

Questions about unemployment can be directed to uiclaims@delaware.gov or (302) 761-8446, though due to the high volume of calls, it is encouraged to use email as the point of contact.

Business owners should also notify the Division of Unemployment Insurance if they have laid off 25 or more employees. Send an email to uiclaims@delaware.gov with the subject line “Layoff Notice” and include the workers’ names, SSNs, and the contact information for the business.

NOTE: Workers cannot file for unemployment if they are receiving any kind of direct financial help from your business.

Employee Safety

NOTE: The State of Delaware has issued a “stay-at-home” executive order shutting down non-essential businesses until midnight on May 15th, 2020 or until the public health threat is eliminated. To see if your business is considered essential, read the Delaware governor’s executive order. For all other Delaware State of Emergency Declarations, visit the office of the Governor John Carney

Small business employers should also establish strategies with their employees and customers to avoid spreading the virus:

  • Encourage sick employees and customers to stay home
  • Separate sick employees from the rest of the employees and encourage them to go home
  • Practice good self-hygiene
  • Avoid travel
  • Clean all work environments routinely and thoroughly

For more guidelines, visit the CDC’s website. The White House website also provides a printable PDF of recommended precautions, or you can create your own guidelines poster.

For periodic state updates, visit the State of Delaware's website.

NOTE: The State of Delaware has issued a “stay-at-home” executive order shutting down non-essential businesses until May 15th, 2020, or until the public health threat is eliminated. To see if your business is considered essential, read the Delaware governor’s executive order.

Remote Workforce

The best way to prevent the spread of the virus in your business is to create a “work from home” policy. If your business is able to provide remote work opportunities for its employees, consider the following strategies:

  • Invest in new technologies and software
  • Provide remote training for employees
  • Establish a remote communication system
  • Enforce a daily routine
  • Trust in your employees’ ability to stay on track

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