Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for Small Businesses

Last Updated On: 5/14/2020 10:38:30 AM

I can’t afford to keep my business or nonprofit open due to Covid-19. Are there programs that can help?

The U.S. Government and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have created or expanded programs to help. Depending on the program, there may be:

• loans to help with payroll expenses and employee retention, 
• loans to offset the temporary loss of income,
• relief to help pay for existing SBA loans, and
• increased access to credit for businesses that already work with an SBA express lender.

The SBA website has a lot more information. For information about the Payment Protection Program and some other resources for small businesses, read this article

You may also want to reach out to the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC). The center assists businesses on matters like business planning, coaching, or offering potential sources of funding. 

Is the State of West Virginia offering help to small businesses?

At this time, there is not a specific program being offered by the State. The West Virginia Department of Commerce has information for small businesses impacted by the crisis. So does the West Virginia Secretary of State

Are there other places offering help?

If you work in agriculture, you should contact the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. The Department is looking for ways to connect farmers or producers with buyers due to the sudden loss of sales from regular buyers, like restaurants.

There may also be funding or assistance from community funds, foundations, other nonprofits, or larger businesses. You can find a very helpful list on the West Virginia Economic Development Council’s website

What can I do to reduce my expenses?

First, you should contact your credit card and loan providers. Credit card providers and banks may be willing to:

• waive late fees, 
• defer payments, 
• lower interest rates, or 
• extend credit lines.

You should also contact utility companies and internet/phone providers to see if they will waive fees or defer payments. 

Finally, you should contact your landlord.  Ask if you can lower your monthly payments or defer payments. If you are a good tenant, your landlord may be more willing to negotiate. 

What about my tax filing for the year 2019 or estimated tax payment for 2020?

The tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. This deadline applies to all individuals and corporations.

If you cannot make your tax payment or file your taxes by the new deadline, you should consult with a tax professional to talk about your options.

Can Legal Aid help my business with legal matters during this time?

Legal Aid of West Virginia is closed to the public, but we are offering services remotely.

Our Community Economic Development Legal Project provides legal help to qualified clients on transactional matters. You should contact Sherry O’Malley at 304-343-3013, ext. 2142 or somalley@lawv.net to apply or for more information. 

This is general legal information. For guidance about your situation, talk to a lawyer.