How can the CARES Act assist your small business in the wakes of COVID-19.



Published Saturday, March 28, 2020.

On March 25, 2020, the Senate announced Key Provisions HR748.  Known as the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, the legislation specifically addresses the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.  The legislation passed the Senate on Wednesday (03/25/2020)  and the House on Friday (03/27/2020).

What does the CARES Act mean for a small business owner? 

The act will temporarily expand the SBA 7(a) loan program and allow small businesses and non-profits that have been “substantially affected” by COVID-19 to apply for funding to continue payroll PLUS benefits.  Loan amounts can be 2.5 x the average monthly payroll cost for the prior 12-month period, not to exceed $10 million.  Businesses applying should be those with fewer than 500 employees.  Any employer whose business was fully or partially suspended in 2020 due to government orders associated with COVID-19 or that experienced a significant decline in gross receipts (or that is a tax-exempt organization) may be eligible to apply for this program in order to keep employees paid and bills maintained as the nation digs out of this global health crisis.

How can the CARES Act benefit a small business owner?

As consumers are practicing social distancing and cities and towns are mandating closures of public spaces, many small businesses are beginning to feel the pressure of reduced income.  For customers approved under this plan, proceeds from the loan can be used for:

  • Salary, wage, commission, or similar compensation*
  • Group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave and Insurance premiums.
  • Payments of interest on business mortgage
  • Rent/lease agreements
  • Utilities
  • And interest paid on any other debt incurred before the covered period

What does a small business owner need to have ready to apply for this funding? 

Since the House passed the bill just yesterday, we await final direction on the details about the program.  However, businesses interested in participating in this program are encouraged to start gathering documents that are essential to our understanding of the approval process.  The list below includes what we will need in order to begin the application process as we know it today.  Additional documentation to process your loan may be requested.

  • 2018 & 2019 personal and business tax returns (including all schedules).  Business tax returns should include any business in which you own 20% or more.  Any K-1’s for which you own 20% or more.
  • 2019 year-end profit & loss (P&L) and balance sheet (if 2019 tax return is not completed)
  • The number of Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) as of 12/31/2019 and number of FTEs in January and February 2020
  • The total payroll as of 12/31/2019 and total payroll in January and February 2020.  Any employee making more than $100k per year should cap the salary at $100k.
  • Current schedule of business debt including current balance and monthly payment obligation
  • Updated Personal Financial Statement (access the document by following the link:  Personal Financial Statement)
  • Year-to-date P&L and balance sheet (if available)

How does a small business owner obtain more information or apply for the CARES program? 

Reach out to your lender to discuss our current understanding of how the CARES Act may benefit your business.  If you do not have a lender of choice, reach out to our Customer Support Center by dialing 864-834-9031.  A representative can transfer you to a lender when you tell them you are calling regarding the CARES Act.


*Bank of Travelers Rest is participating as a Paycheck Protection Program lending facility for customers with an existing account relationship.  Customers must be eligible under the current guidance provided by the US Treasury and the US Small Business Administration.  This guidance may change and require additional information.  Funds available for the Paycheck Protection Program loans are limited.


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need assistance?

 If you are trying to determine the status of your Economic Impact Payment, or "stimulus check," we direct you to www.IRS.GOV. Once on the site, find the "Get Coronavirus Tax Relief" link. Follow the link to "check your payment status" where you can enter the requested information and determine when your payment will arrive.