Governor Carney Announces HELP Program to Support Delaware Small Businesses
Small businesses contribute and stimulate our economy by offering employment opportunities and bringing growth and innovation to the community. Unfortunately, a number of small businesses will be impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the lingering after-effects on our economy.
As you are aware, Restaurants have been told to only provide takeout and delivery services to encourage social distancing and limit the amount of time individuals are spending in public spaces. Restaurants, bars, hotels and other hospitality-level businesses, and their employees, are among those most seriously impacted by COVID-19 in Delaware. Governor Carney recently announced the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP) to provide financial relief for restaurants, bars and other hospitality industry businesses that employ thousands of Delawareans.
The Division of Small Businesses will administer the HELP program, which works to provide businesses with no-interest loans that are capped at $10,000 per business per month to help small businesses cover rent, utilities and other unavoidable bills. The loans can not be used for personnel expenses and will have a 10-year term with payments deferred for nine months.
In order to be eligible for the HELP loans, the business must have been in operation for at least a year, have an annual revenue below $1.5 million and be in certain hospitality-connected industries as described above.
Assistance is also available for Delaware workers impacted by the Coronavirus. Governor Carney approved a number of changes to Delaware’s unemployment benefits program for the hospitality industry. The goal is for benefits to be available within a week of applying, part-time income may still be earned while collecting benefits as long as the worker can demonstrate their decreased hours and earnings, and the Department will not classify tipped workers as minimum wage earners as long as their tips are reported as wages.
Our office is here to assist you during this process. As a small business, we understand the impact of this situation and want to assist our clients throughout the process. Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or 711 for individuals who are hearing impaired.