Federal Programs and Legislation
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Disaster Loans: Small businesses, for-profit contractors and private non-profits anywhere in Kentucky that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans online at www.sba.gov/disaster.
Applications can also be emailed to the address below. Additional guidance and resources from SBA are available here.
The SBA is also mobilizing call centers to assist in the loan-application process. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com.
Payments on existing SBA disaster loans from previous disasters are being automatically deferred through Dec. 31, 2020.
Emergency Economic Injury Grant: If you apply to www.SBA.gov/disaster for an Economic Disaster Injury Loan (EIDL), you can also apply for an Economic Injury Grant of up to $10,000 as an advance as part that loan-application process. The grant is to be made available within three days of your EIDL application. Those grants do not need to be repaid.
The federal Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act addresses multiple needs of businesses, general citizens, families, those who are unemployed as well municipal and county governments.
To summarize the parts germane to businesses, the CARES Act encourages businesses to maintain and/or rehire their employees. This is accomplished through the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a Small Business Administration loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Loans are fully forgivable if at least 75% of the funds are used for payroll costs.
- Remainder of loan funds may go toward mortgage interest, rent and utilities.
- Businesses can receive loans worth up to two months of their average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25% of that amount.
- $10 million maximum per business.
- All loans will have the same terms.
- Businesses must apply through an SBA-approved lender.
To learn more about PPP, apply or find a lender, click here.
Families First Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires paid sick leave to hourly employees, expands unemployment insurance and creates a small business interruption loan program. Detailed information is available through the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Questions about new federal paid leave requirements related to the Coronavirus?
Internal Revenue Service
The IRS is extending payroll tax credits to eligible small and midsize businesses
FDIC and financial institutions
Businesses should also work with their banks, credit unions and other lenders. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) encouraged financial institutions by stating: “A financial institution’s prudent efforts to modify the terms on existing loans for affected customers will not be subject to examiner criticism.”
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
The CDC provides guidance for employers on maintaining business activity, working from home, cleaning and other topics here.
Please take time to complete the 2020 Census at 2020Census.gov while staying healthy at home. As well, encourage your friends, family and neighbors (via socially distant contact, of course) to do the same.
“We want to make sure every single person in Kentucky is counted so our state receives the correct amount of federal funding over the next 10 years,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “These dollars will help us recover from the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19.”
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Gov. Andy Beshear
The Governor’s daily briefings are livestreamed at 5 p.m. on the administration’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. As well, they are saved and available for replay at both those locations.
Each briefing is followed a couple hours later by a news release, available in the News Section toward the bottom of www.kentucky.gov.
Employers and residents can stay up to date on the latest Kentucky COVID-19 information at:
Reporting hotline: The COVID-19 Reporting Hotline 833-KY SAFER (833-597-2337) for complaints about non-compliance with coronavirus mandates. Labor Cabinet personnel will monitor the hotline from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. Kentuckians can visit the website www.kysafer.ky.gov to make online complaints.
Orders by the Governor:
- Order for all non-essential retail businesses in Kentucky to close
- Out-of-state travel restriction: Expansion of a recent order restricting travel to include people from out of state coming into the commonwealth. Anyone from out of state has to follow the same travel restrictions as Kentuckians. “If someone has a family member from out of state and they want to come and ride it out with their family members, that’s fine,” he said. “But once you get here, you quarantine for 14 days and you don’t go anywhere else. It’s a precaution that all states should do and most states are doing.”
Unemployment – Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
Gov. Andy Beshear expanded unemployment eligibility to Individuals typically not covered by unemployment insurance. Those include self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers, childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and non-profits can now file. Those who left their job for good cause because of reasonable risk of exposure (self-quarantine) or due to caring for a family member affected by the virus are also eligible. To file a claim, visit kcc.ky.gov.
Due to the tremendous call volume, please reserve the phone line for those who need to reset their Personal Identification Number (PIN) or who need technical assistance.
Gov. Beshear also waived the waiting period for unemployment for those who are losing their jobs because of COVID-19 and will waive any work-search requirements while Kentucky’s state of emergency is in effect.
Kentucky Career Center:
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Cabinet for Economic Development business development project managers are calling Kentucky manufacturers, service and tech companies, offering them insight, assistance and guidance.
As well, Kristina Slattery, executive director of the Office of Business and Community Services, is taking point on handling and directing the Cabinet’s COVID-19-related business inquiries to project managers, KY Innovation staff, the communications team and others within the Cabinet.
Contact the Cabinet for Economic Development at:
As we go forward, the Cabinet for Economic Development will continue to make information for businesses available throughout the state.
Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC)
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center is helping businesses with contingency planning via Zoom or phone to develop a business plan. Visit KSBDC’s dedicated COVID-19 page where you can download a checklist for Managing in Times of Financial Difficulty, register for a weekly Wednesday-at-noon webinar and contact a business coach. KSBDC business coaches are also available at
How you can help
Many businesses are stepping up across Kentucky. Here’s how yours can help:
- Become a vendor or donor of personal protective equipment. Paste this survey link into your browser tinyurl.com/kyemcovid, complete it and a member of the Kentucky Emergency Management’s logistics and procurement staff will contact your company to discuss potential assistance.
- Donate to the Team Kentucky Fund. Gov. Andy Beshear announced this fund to help Kentucky residents who have lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic. Donation are tax deductible and the fund is being managed by the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet.
- Volunteer: Kentuckians looking for volunteer opportunities can visit https://www.usa.gov/volunteer.
Businesses, Industry Groups, Media Resources
Across Kentucky, multiple distilleries are producing sanitizer. Many are donating it to healthcare facilities and first responders. The Kentucky Distillers Association and the Kentucky Chamber established a page to centralize orders with a priority toward healthcare facilities and first responders.
The Kentucky Chamber is curating a list of job openings here.
Below are resources the Chamber compiled to help employers:
LBF Small Business Resource Guide
Louisville Business First has compiled a helpful list of small business resources, with separate articles on federal programs, state/local resources, guidance on applying for an SBA disaster relief loan in Kentucky, and Louisville’s emergency relief fund.