As the COVID-19 pandemic has tossed the world upside down and sent the economy into an unprecedented tailspin, many of Missouri’s solo practitioners and small law firms are left looking for help.
Fortunately, several federal, state and legal organizations offer varied ways to get relief. Here’s a list of many of those options. Check back occasionally for updates.
Federal financial/tax assistance:
U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- Up to $2 million, with as much as $200,000 available without a personal guarantee or collateral
- No requirement for borrowers to show they can’t get credit elsewhere
- Repayment terms to be determined by the borrower’s individual abilities but may be as long as 30 years
- Funds may be used for fixed debts, payroll or other costs that cannot be covered due to the COVID-19 emergency.
- Interest rate is 3.76 percent for small firms.
- Click here for more information
U.S. SBA Paycheck Protection Program
- Applications opened April 3, with recipients to be chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis
- Permits employers with fewer than 500 employees and up to $10 million in revenue to defer up to eight weeks of payroll costs and other expenses such as rent, utilities and taxes.
- Available retroactively so employers can rehire employees laid off since Feb. 15.
- Loans are forgivable if funds are spent for earmarked purposes. Employers must rehire or otherwise maintain their workforce, with new employees earning at least 75 percent of the person they replaced. If the workforce is reduced by 20 percent, only 80 percent can be forgiven.
- Funds that aren’t forgiven are to be repaid over two years at 0.5 percent.
- Loan amounts are determined by the total average monthly payroll from March 2019 to February, multiplied by 2.5, or the maximum amount of $10 million. Does not include annual compensation over $100,000 for individual employees.
- Average payroll for months of 2020 will be referenced for businesses that opened this year.
- Click here for more information
IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief
- In an effort to assist small business as well as individual taxpayers, the IRS has extended deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes to July 15. Click here for more information
- The IRS has assembled guidance on employee retention tax credit available to many firms and businesses financially affected by COVID-19. The credit is available to employers who retain and pay employees although they are no longer providing services. They are available only to firms that have not taken an SBA Paycheck Protection loan. Businesses with less than 100 employees are eligible for a 100 percent credit. Click here for more information
- For guidance on paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize firms to recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave, click here.
Assistance from Missouri legal organizations
These resources offer professional and other coronavirus-related assistance to solo and small firms:
The Missouri Bar COVID-19 Task Force
The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
COVID-19 resources from The Bar Plan
Other programs helping small firms and businesses
U.S. Department of Labor, for information on workplace issues for employers
Kansas City Economic Development Corporation
KCSourceLink, which connects Kansas City-area small business owners with a network of business resources, for information on financing and other services
Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Employers’ Primer
Missouri Department of Economic Development is offering $30 million in grants for small businesses, including law firms and family-owned farms, to recoup costs from business interruption
Missouri Department of Economic Development Small Business Resource Loan Program Application
Missouri Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, for information on filing multiple unemployment claims for employees due to firm layoffs or for its Shared Work Plan, which offers an alternative to layoffs by enabling employers to divide available work among a group of affected employees rather than lay them off.
Missouri Department of Revenue, for information on a 90-day extension on filing and paying corporate income taxes
Missouri Small Business Development Centers (various locations), which assist small businesses with critical business development issues
MoSourceLink, which connects small business owners with a network of resource organizations, for assistance with SBA program paperwork and other services
SCORE (various chapters throughout Missouri), a nonprofit organization that provides education and mentors for small businesses
St. Louis Economic Development Partnership Small Business Resource Fund
St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Regional Business Information Center