All About The CARES Act

Firestorm · Mar 30, 2020

As the premier B2B networking organization, our mission at Firestorm® has always been to serve the small and medium (SMB) size business community. SMB’s are the backbone of the US economy. According to the JP Morgan Chase Institute, there are over 30 million small business owners accounting for over 99% of all firms in the US. We wanted to put together a resource guide to help you be aware of and get access to any and all programs available to you during these tumultuous times. This is a fluid situation and as such, all of these resources will be updating as things change. Hopefully this will be a good starting point though. Please reach out if you have any questions.


CARES Act Full Text


The best way to research the exact benefits is to go into the full text version and do a text search for the terms you are interested in. I am going to provide some links below to summaries of the sections I think will be of most interest to the people in my network.


The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act


This is a good overview of the CARES Act put together by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.


Coronavirus Emergency Loans – Small Business Guide & Checklist


Here is a nice document prepared by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


What’s Inside the Senate’s $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Package


And a summary from NPR.


Paycheck Protection Program


Details on applying for the Paycheck Protection Program are a little ambiguous at this point. We are talking with lenders within Firestorm and will update this as we get new information.  You can read about it in Section 1102 of the full text. Also here is a nice FAQ put together by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

Update (4/1/2020): Here is a link to an FAQ on the PPP and EIDL

Update (4/3/2020): Interim Final Rule on PPP


Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan


Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses and individuals operating as independent contractors and sole proprietors. They can be approved solely based on the applicant’s credit score and if the loan is less than $200,000 it will not require a personal guarantee. Additionally, borrowers can receive a $10,000 emergency grant cash advance that can be forgiven if spent on certain expenses. You can find info on this in Section 1110 of the full text.         

Update (4/9/2020): Update & FAQ’s on EIDL: Amount of advance & timing


Colorado SBDC COVID-19 Small Business Response Resource


Here’s some more information from the Colorado SBDC on the EIDL’s and other provisions.


Federal Student Loan Forbearance


For anyone that still has federal student loans, you can get a forbearance until September 30th, 2020. This appears in Section 3513 of the full text document.


Mortgage forbearance for federally backed loans


Part of the CARES Act was directed at mortgage relief. Anyone experiencing hardship may request a forbearance of their federally backed mortgage for up to 180 days with a potential extension of another 180 days. Section 4022 in the full text has all the details. Here’s a summary from Investopedia.


Freelancers Relief Fund


If you are a freelancer or part of the gig economy, here is an additional resource that is offering assistance of up to $1,000.


Colorado Department of Labor and Employment


Unemployment benefits have been beefed up. This bill adds an additional $600 per week to payments and extends the period you can claim benefits by 13 weeks. Additionally, freelancers, self-employed people, and independent contractors can apply for benefits under the new rules. Read more in Section 2102 of the full text.


Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Business Resource Page


Finally, here is another good resource for updates and what is going on in Colorado.



If you haven’t been affected by this, or you’ve been positively affected, that’s awesome! There are so many people that currently and, in the future, will need help. Please consider donating money, time or other resources if you can. Here are some things to start with:


Help Colorado Now


Colorado Gives


Freelancers Relief Fund


Kynd Kits

I am confident that together we can make it through these challenging times. As I said in an earlier letter, Firestormers are cut from a different cloth, a heartier bunch. We will find a way to adapt and overcome any obstacle. As Ryan Holiday said in his book The Obstacle is the Way “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”


Yours in success,




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