Freelancers (like yours truly) are dealing with the coronavirus lockdown in different ways but financial issues can make things more difficult. Fortunately the CARES act has provisions to help freelancers and can help you get back up to $1000.
Many of the beneficiaries for SBA disaster loans and grants were expanded to include, sole proprietorships, with or without employees, independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers like RideShare drivers. You have to have been in business from January 2020 and you have to send your application in by December 31st, 2020. The application should be found at covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ (if for some reason it isn’t there, do a Google search on “SBA disaster loan application”). Background information from the SBA can be found at www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19 .
From Forbes :
What Advice Is There for Completing the SBA Application?
If you are an independent contractor, freelancer, or gig worker, here are some tips on filling out the application:
- On the first question, check the second box as you are applying as an independent contractor or sole proprietorship.
- You must add your Social Security number if you are applying as an individual independent contractor, freelancer, or gig worker.
- The form will ask you for the gross revenues for the last 12 months for your independent contractor business and the “cost of goods sold.” You can estimate this based on what happened in 2019. Cost of goods sold means the expenses incurred in the process of providing your product or service as a freelancer, gig worker, or independent contractor.
- Where it asks for “Owner” put your name and “100” percent owner.
- It will ask for the date the business was established. This is the date you started doing freelance, gig work, or independent contractor work. Just estimate if you don’t have the exact date, but make sure it was before January 31, 2020.
- The form will ask for the bank account to which you want the grant money direct deposited. You need the name of your bank, the account number (the middle number at the bottom of your checks), and the routing number (the number at the bottom left of your checks). See the question below on direct depositing.
- For your business phone number, it’s okay to give your cell number.
- “Is your business owned by a business entity?” The answer is no since you are an individual owner.
- When the form asks for your business name, just enter your individual name if you don’t have a business name.
- You can ignore the question “If anyone assisted you in completing this application …” unless you have in fact gotten help.
- Make sure to check the box that says you want to apply for the $10,000 grant (although it will only be $1,000 for independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers).
The form should take about 15 minutes to fill out. After it is completed and submitted, the SBA will give you a confirmation number, so keep a copy of that for any follow-up.
How Can I Make Sure I Provide My Correct Direct Deposit Information to the SBA?
Direct deposit information is as follows:
- The name of your bank
- Your bank account number, which can be up to 17 characters. On the sample check below, the account number is 2020202086.
- The “routing number” for your bank, which must contain 9 digits. On the sample check below, the routing number is 250250025.
- Don’t include the check number (1234 on the image below).
- Double-check that you have provided the correct numbers.