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Updated: Apr 14, 2020
A Whole New World for Small Businesses
The current global pandemic caused by COVID-19 is affecting hundreds of thousands of people. It is also having a growing impact on the worldwide economy that is being felt most acutely by small businesses.
At Funding Circle, we’re here to help. Keep reading for tips and resources to help you stay informed. Continue to visit our Resource Center for relevant news, information and data.
What We Are Doing
Our priority is to get capital to small businesses as quickly and safely as possible. Here’s what we are doing at the federal level to make that happen.
Funding Circle is working diligently with the U.S. Government to understand what we can do during this unprecedented time and what exactly we can provide to the small business community. Our goal is to work through this to keep our borrowers safe and healthy, both physically and financially.
Below is the most recent information on three options for emergency sources of capital available to you:
Available now through the Small Business Administration (SBA):
Funding Circle, the largest small business lending fintech is one of a few non-depository online lenders in the United States that was recently approved to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans. We offer the PPP application in four languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin and Hindi.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Small business owners may apply on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) up to $2 million. An overview of loan criteria is below:
In addition to the entities that are already eligible for SBA disaster loans (small businesses, private non-profits, and small agriculture cooperatives), eligibility is temporarily expanded to include:
Additionally, you must have been in business as of January 31, 2020. Expanded eligibility criteria and the emergency grants are only available between January 31, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Economic Injury Disaster Grant
As part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan application process, you may qualify to receive a one time grant up to $10,000. More details of this program are below.
Funding Circle recommends applying as soon as possible for the grant because Congress only allocated $10 billion for this program and it is first come first serve.
Funding Circle, the largest small business lending fintech is one of a few non-depository online lenders in the United States that was recently approved to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans. We offer the PPP application in four languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin and Hindi. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will serve as an extension of the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan program, allowing small businesses to apply for federally guaranteed, forgivable loans. Preliminary details for this program are found below (subject to change):
Can I apply for both the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Grant and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan?
Yes. If you apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) through the SBA, you can also apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan through Funding Circle (subject to SBA approval, Funding Circle and our partners will start processing these applications). However, the amount forgiven under a Paycheck Protection Program will be decreased by any EIDL grant you receive.
For more information about SBA loan programs, please visit the Small Business Administration website.
To get on the advanced application list for the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), please visit fundingcircle.com/us/paycheck-app-start. Funding Circle will start processing these applications (subject to SBA approval, Funding Circle and our partners will start processing these applications).
Please find the complete list of government programs below
While health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people, small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. We are sharing this guidance from the Small Business Administration with you in hopes it will help you protect yourself, your employees, your customers, and your business:
Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
by Aaron Gregg, The Washington Post, 3/30/20
“The program is designed to get cash in the hands of suffering small businesses quickly, with less red tape and fewer guardrails than the SBA’s existing loan programs. It is designed to incentivize business owners to keep employees on payroll by offering them loan forgiveness.”
The Brief: This informative article includes an in-depth Q&A on the new Paycheck Protection Program. These loans will apply to costs incurred retroactive between February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020 with a maximum interest rate of 1%. The SBA has a network of 1,800 approved lenders to process these new loans (Please note: Once the SBA has decided all the details in the next week or so Funding Circle will be offering these loans).
by Amy Blaschka, Forbes, 3/30/20
“According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), 76% of small businesses are negatively impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus, a dramatic escalation from just under one-quarter of small businesses reporting the same earlier this month.”
The Brief: Many larger companies are mobilizing to help small businesses with digital marketing and digitizing their businesses to keep up with changing consumer behavior. Collectives like #keepsmallstrong, and you can apply to join here.
The Brief: Google is providing free ad credits for “small and medium businesses, who advertise directly with [them] or through partners, around the world with active accounts since the beginning of 2019.”
Think with Google is a free digital toolbox to help small-to-medium businesses discover market trends and get consumer insights.
We’ve put together a dedicated COVID-19 section on our Resource Center. We’ll continue to update this section with more updates and helpful articles.
Is there a prepayment penalty or fee?
No, we won’t charge you extra to pay your loan off early. Plus, you only have to pay interest for the time you borrow — so if you pay it off early, you pay less.
If I make a manual payment before my automatic payment, will my automatic payment also go through?
Yes, we will continue to process your automatic payments every month unless you specifically ask us to stop them. Please let us know of any changes at least 5 days in advance of your automated payment date in order for the change to be updated in our system. You can still make a manual payment, but it will be in addition to the automatic payments.
How do I make an additional payment?
You can make an additional payment at any time by calling and requesting a one-time electronic transfer. Please note that we are unable to accept multiple daily electronic transfer payments. You may also be able to set up one-time or recurring wire transfers or check payments from your bank account, although some banks may charge a fee for this service. Additionally, if you’d prefer, you can make additional payments by mailed check.
You may use these processes to break up your monthly payments into multiple, smaller payments. However, be sure that the full monthly payment amount is received by the due date to avoid late fees.
Where can I find my payment history and current loan balance?
You can view your payment history and current loan balance by logging into your dashboard. Unfortunately, we cannot yet accept payments in the dashboard. You can also contact us with any questions, including inquiries about your payment history and current loan balance, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 679-7966.
What if there is an issue with my statement?
If you think there’s an issue with your statement, we want to help correct it right away. Please email or call us at email@example.com or (866) 679-7966.
What should I do if I think I’m going to miss a payment?
If at any time you believe that you may not be able to make one or more repayments, please contact us immediately.
If you miss a payment or only partially pay the amount due, we (or an agent acting on our behalf) will contact you and ask you to explain why and will attempt to collect the payment. If you’re unable to make the payment, your account will be overdue. If your monthly payment is more than 10 days late, we may charge a late fee of up to 5% of the payment amount. The late fee will be payable immediately and is in addition to the missed payment.
Save in exceptional circumstances (such circumstances being deemed exceptional by Funding Circle in its absolute discretion from time to time), if you miss, fail to pay or only partially pay, three or more consecutive monthly installments or four out of six consecutive monthly installments, or if you otherwise fail to comply with any term or condition of the loan agreements, the loan may be placed into default. We will notify you of the default, and our intent to collect all amounts owed from the business and, if necessary, the personal guarantor(s).
If your loan is placed into default we may charge fees to cover tracing charges, field agents’ costs, litigation costs, expenses and other such third party fees incurred by Funding Circle in the course of protecting the interests of the investors who lent to the business.
Is there a late fee for missed payments?
If your monthly payment is more than 10 days late, we may charge a late fee of up to 5% of each missed payment amount. The late fee will be payable immediately and is in addition to the missed payment.
For a full list of FAQs, please see HERE.
At Funding Circle, our goal is to help small businesses like yours grow, create jobs, support local communities, and drive the economy forward. If you are currently a Funding Circle customer, please reach out to us at 1-866-679-7966 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are new to exploring Funding Circle, welcome!
We can connect you to Paycheck Protection Program loans offered through the SBA. Subject to government approval, Funding Circle and our partners will start processing these applications (subject to SBA approval, Funding Circle and our partners will start processing these applications). Register to secure your spot in line now. CLICK HERE.
Jessica Holcomb is the Content Marketing Manager at Funding Circle, specializing in small business marketing and social media. She has a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Prior to Funding Circle, Jessica was a Marketing Manager at a successful social games company and a freelancer for many small businesses in the Bay Area. Her work can be seen in top retail, gaming, and financial small business resource sites.