CORONAVIRUS: New, Forgivable Loans for Small Businesses and Employees

The CARES Act funds two programs to get small businesses cash quickly so they can keep their employees on payroll and cover other immediate operating expenses (e.g., rent or utility payments).

  • The first program is a new Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to help small businesses with 500 or fewer employees keep their workforce employed through a fully forgivable loan. These businesses  including non-profit organizations, veterans organizations, tribal businesses, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors can apply for up to $10 million in no-fee, federally guaranteed loans. As long as employers maintain payroll and salary levels for employees over the eight-week period following the loan, all eligible expenses will be fully reimbursed. Beginning on April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for these loans, and on April 10th, independent contractors and self-employed individuals are also eligible to apply. Due to limited program funding, we encourage individuals and businesses to apply as soon as possible.
  • The second program is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, which provides advances of up to $10,000 to small businesses and non-profit organizations. This advance provides $1,000 per employee capping out at $10,000, and does not need to be repaid, even if the EIDL application is denied. Small business owners are encouraged to apply as soon as possible here.

Additional resources for Massachusetts small businesses include the following:

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA): here you will find information on all COVID-19 related programs that SBA is administering, including the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Grants, and Small Business Debt Relief.
  • Department of the Treasury: here you will find information on the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as other tax provisions intended to help employers, including non-profit organizations. You can also find FAQ here.
  • Senator Warren’s Remarks to Boston Small Businesses: here you can read the transcript of Senator Warren’s March 26th call with Boston small businesses where she shared an overview of the new loans.

Local resources to help advise Massachusetts businesses:


We will update this page as further programmatic details are available from federal agencies and to reflect the most current information about state and federal resources.