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Coronavirus: Financial Aid for Small Businesses Webinar
January 4, 2023
Presentation Video, PDF, Resource Files, and Q & A Discussion Download Transcript

Update April 24, 2020

The CARES Act PPP and EIDL loan programs, recently suspended due to the exhaustion of their allocated funds in the CARES Act, have been replenished by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the President. All eligible businesses that have applied and have not received funds as of yet, should contact their lender and inquire about the status of their applications and ensure their completeness. There is no room for error as it is likely that the newly added funds may be distributed within a relatively short period of time. It’s not necessary to re-apply for a loan if you have already submitted your application.

Contact the SBA  by email: Tel: (800) 659- 2955  Web:


In case you missed the April 8th webinar, "Coronavirus: Financial Aid for Small Businesses", we have provided links to the video, presentation PDF, resource files, and the Q & A discussion. 

View and download the presentation PDF here

View and/or download all of the resource files for the workshop here

View and/or download all of the webinar's Q/As here



About the "Coronavirus: Financial Aid for Small Businesses" Webinar

Coronavirus has generated a lot of uncertainty for the upcoming months. Small businesses have been deeply affected by the pandemic and are in need of help navigating this economic crisis. In response to the large number of requests from the business community, SCORE created a free webinar specifically designed to help small businesses survive these upcoming months of financial uncertainty.

SCORE Manasota mentors, Nabil Freij, Tom Garove, and Barry Portugal, developed a presentation that addresses important Coronavirus concerns such as: Financial Aid, Crisis Management, Business Continuity Planning, and More.

Topics covered in the Webinar

  • Financial Aid: Options available to FL Small Businesses based on the CARES Act just signed into law including: Paycheck Protection Program, Emergency Economic Injury Grants, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, Small Business Debt Relief Program, SBA Express Bridge Loans, FL Disaster bridge loans, and other corporate relief and financing options
  • Crisis Management: how to prepare, plan and execute during a crisis
  • Business Continuity Planning: How to keep your business afloat
  • How SCORE Can Help: As an independent resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), how you can leverage SCORE to help your business through this difficult crisis
  • Available Resources: links to how to apply for government loans and get more help

Polling Results on April 8th

67%  Didn't apply for PPP
51%  Filed payroll taxes and didn't apply for PPP
62%  That furloughed employees didn't apply for PPP
51%  Didn't apply for EIDL
24%  Needed more than a PPP loan and didn't apply for EDIL
50%  Applied for EIDL and didn't apply for the $10K Grant
76%  Aren't looking for Non-Disaster SBA Loans
  1%  Received a FL Bridge Laon

Questions and Answers

We have compiled all the questions asked during the webinar and attached them to this page. See above instructions on how to download them. Also, see below the answers to the most common questions provided by the SBA and other sources. For more information, read A Comprehensive Guide to The CARES Act Financing Available for Small Businesses.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

What is an “employee retention” tax credit?

  • If you’ve had to close your business or have lost half of your year-over-year revenue, the employee retention tax credit is available to help you cover the cost of keeping your employees on payroll.
  • It’s a refundable tax credit you can claim against your payroll taxes for half of any wages you are still paying to your employees, even if they’ve been furloughed or are working reduced hours.
  • If the tax credit is bigger than your payroll tax liability, the IRS will directly pay you the excess amount.

How do I know if I qualify for these tax credits?

  • The tax credits are available to any employer who has been forced to close or partially close as a result of federal, state, local, or tribal orders to limit commerce, travel, or group gatherings as a result of COVID-19.
  • It is also available to any employer who has experienced at least a 50 percent drop in quarterly revenues, as compared to the same quarter from 2019.
  • If your business wasn’t around in 2019, the IRS will soon be providing guidance on an alternative method for you.
  • Please visit for more upcoming details.

What if I’ve taken out a Small Business Administration (SBA) Interruption loan to help cover my payroll?

  • In that case, the employee retention credit is not available to you.
  • The credit provides an alternative to the SBA loan program for employers.
  • That is why the credit is only available to employers who do not have an SBA Interruption Loan.
  • Both programs seek to help business owners continue to cover payroll costs throughout the public health crisis.

How long will the credit be available?

  • Generally, the employee retention credit will be available for the rest of 2020 (through December 31).
  • If you qualify because your business has fully or partially closed, the credit is available to you until you reopen.
  • If you qualify because your revenues have dropped by more than 50 percent, the credit is available to you until the first calendar quarter after your revenues have recovered to at least 80 percent of prior year amounts.
  • These revenue figures are calculated on a year-over-year quarterly basis. For example, you would compare gross revenue for the first quarter of 2020 to gross revenue for the first quarter of 2019.

Is there a size limit for employers eligible for the employee retention tax credit?

  • There is no size limit, on either number of employees or revenues, for the retention credit.
  • All businesses, regardless of size, that have been forced to partially or fully close or that have a significant drop in sales can qualify.
  • The credit is provided for wages paid to furloughed or reduced-hour employees, up to $10,000 of wages per employee.
  • Smaller employers, with 100 employees or less, can claim the credit for all employee wages, up to $10,000 per employee, regardless of whether or not the employee is furloughed.

How much is the credit worth?

  • The tax credit is worth 50 percent of wages and benefits paid to employees, and is provided for up to $10,000 of combined wages and benefits per employee.
  • As the credit is worth 50 percent, this means the maximum credit will be $5,000 per employee.

Does it just cover wages? What about other benefits?

  • The credit covers regular wages in addition to health benefits provided to your employees, up to $10,000.
  • For more information on how to calculate the amount of health benefits provided, please visit more upcoming details.

How do I claim the credits?

  • The credits can be claimed against employer payroll taxes on your quarterly payroll tax return (IRS Form 941).
  • There will also be options to receive advance payments or defer paying payroll taxes
  • Lookout for information and form updates from the IRS at and talk to your payroll service provider, if you use one.

What if I don’t have enough money to pay payroll and wait for a credit to reimburse me?

  • You are allowed to hold onto payroll taxes you would normally have to deposit with the IRS, in anticipation of the credit.
  • That way business owners do not have to make deposits if they anticipate that the credit will cover all the taxes they would normally pay.
  • The IRS will soon be providing an option for businesses to receive advance payments of their credits, without having to wait to file their quarterly payroll tax return.
  • Please be alert for forthcoming IRS guidance on this topic at

What about covering other costs, like rent or utilities?

  • The employee retention credit can only be claimed against wages.
  • Expanded, low-costs loans are available through the Small Business Administration (SBA), which can help businesses cover some of these expenses.

Changes to Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines

When is my 2019 tax return due?

  • The tax filing due date for individuals and calendar-year corporations has been extended to July 15.
  • 2019 federal income taxes, as well as 2020 federal estimated payments, will not be due until July 15 of this year.
  • More information regarding delayed filing and payment deadlines can be found here: Filing and Payment Deadlines Questions and Answers

Were there any changes to payroll taxes?

  • Employers can defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020
  • Deferred amounts will become due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.
  • Payroll tax deferral is not provided to employers that avail themselves of SBA Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Please look for information at and discuss with your payroll service provider, as applicable.

New Small Business Loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

What are these new loans?

  • The stimulus bill that Congress recently passed includes nearly $350 billion in funding for a provision to create a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide small businesses and other entities with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. These temporary new loans, created for this emergency situation, do the following:
    • Forgive up to 8 weeks of average payroll and other costs if your business retains its employees and their salary levels.
    • Defer principal and interest for up to a year and all your borrower fees are waived.
  • This temporary emergency assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury can be used in coordination with other COVID-financing assistance established in the stimulus bill or any other existing SBA loan program.

Does my business qualify for this new loan?

  • It depends. These loans are meant to help nonprofits and small businesses with and without employees. They are only available to the following entities:
    • A small business, nonprofit, veteran’s organization, or Tribal business concern with no more than 500 employees, or the applicable size standard for the industry as provided by SBA, if higher.
    • Sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals.
    • Businesses with more than one physical location that employ no more than 500 employees per physical location and are assigned a NAICS code beginning with 72, for which affiliation rules are waived.
  • Your business also must have been in operation on February 15, 2020.
  • To find out more, please visit

What types of nonprofits are eligible?

  • In general, 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) nonprofits with 500 employees or fewer are eligible.

What else are lenders considering when determining if my business is eligible to receive this loan?

  • Eligibility evaluations are limited to whether your business was operational on February 15, 2020, and had employees for whom you paid salaries and payroll taxes, or paid independent contractors, and whether your business is substantially impacted by public health restrictions related to COVID-19.
  • There is no requirement to evaluate your ability to repay the covered loan or whether you could find credit elsewhere, unlike the normal 7(a) requirements.
  • In addition, no collateral or personal guarantees are required for a covered loan, and lenders will be required to provide complete payment deferment relief of 7(a) loan payments for not more than one year.
  • The SBA will provide guidance on this to lenders within 30 days after the law is signed. Stay tuned and visit for more information.

If my business qualifies, how much can I receive?

  • If your business qualifies, you will be allowed to borrow up to the lesser of (i) $10 million or (ii) the business’s average total monthly payroll costs (not including other expenses like rent, utilities or other operational costs) during the one-year period prior to the loan being made multiplied by 2.5. Payroll costs include salaries, wages, tips, payments for sick leave, insurance premiums and state and local taxes assessed on the compensation of employees, but does not include compensation of individual employees in excess of an annual salary of $100,000, as prorated for the relevant period.
  • If your business was not in operation between February 15, 2019-June 30, 2019, your maximum loan is equal to your average monthly payroll costs between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020 multiplied by 2.5.
  • For a seasonal business, the average total monthly payment is determined by a 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or if the business chooses, March 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2019.

What costs are eligible for payroll?

  • Compensation (salary, wage, commission, or similar compensation, payment of cash tip or equivalent)
  • Payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave
  • Allowance for dismissal or separation
  • Payment required for the provisions of group health care benefits, including insurance premiums
  • Payment of any retirement benefit
  • Payment of state or local tax assessed on the compensation of employees

What costs are not eligible for payroll?

  • Employee/owner compensation over $100,000
  • Taxes imposed or withheld under chapters 21, 22, and 24 of the IRS code
  • Compensation of employees whose principal place of residence is outside the U.S.
  • Qualified sick and family leave for which a credit is allowed under section 7001 and 7003 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

If my business qualifies, what can it use the loan for?

  • The loan may be used to cover the following:
    • Paid sick, medical or family leave
    • Costs related to continuation of group healthcare benefits during periods of leave
    • Payroll costs
    • Payments of interest on any mortgage obligation (which shall not include any prepayment of or payment of principal on a mortgage obligation)
    • Rent and utility payments
    • Any interest on other debt obligations incurred prior to February 15, 2020.

What are the loan term, interest rate, and fees?

  • For the first 2 years, the interest rate is 1%. Note that the first 6 months' payments are defferred. So you are really only paying 1% interest for 18 months. 
  • For any amounts not forgiven, the maximum term is 10 years, the maximum interest rate is 4 percent, zero loan fees, zero prepayment fee.
  • The SBA will establish application fees caps for lenders that charge.

Is there loan forgiveness?

  • Yes, provided your business meets certain conditions.
  • Your business will be eligible to apply for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent by you during an 8-week period after the loan closing date on payroll costs, interest on mortgages, payments of rent, and utility payments, in each case that were in place before February 15, 2020.
  • Principal payments of mortgage payments will not be eligible for forgiveness.
  • The amount forgiven is reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the previous year and by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of the prior year’s compensation; however, reductions in pay for employees who have an annualized salary of more than $100,000 are not considered in this calculation.
  • However, if your business re-hires workers previously laid off from February 15 through April 1, 2020 your business will not have those numbers counted against it during the period for loan forgiveness purposes, so long as the employees are rehired by June 30, 2020.

How do I get forgiveness of my PPP loan?

  • You must apply through your lender for forgiveness on your loan. In the application you must include:
    • Documentation verifying the number of employees on payroll and pay rates, including IRS payroll tax filings and State income, payroll and unemployment insurance filings.
    • Documentation verifying payments on covered mortgage obligations, lease obligations, and utilities.
    • Certification from a representative of your business or organization that is authorized to certify that the documentation provided is true and that the amount that is being forgiven was used in accordance with the program’s guidelines for use.

Can I get more than one PPP loan?

  • No, an entity is limited to one PPP loan.

How long are these loans available for?

  • Loans are available through June 30, 2020.
  • The program is also retroactive to February 15, 2020, in order to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.

How does the PPP loan coordinate with SBA’s existing loans?

  • Borrowers may apply for PPP loans and other SBA financial assistance, including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and microloans, and also receive investment capital from Small Business Investment Corporations (SBICs). 
  • However, you cannot use your PPP loan for the same purpose as your other SBA loan(s). For example, if you use your PPP to cover payroll for the 8-week covered period, you cannot use a different SBA loan product for payroll for those same costs in that period, although you could use it for payroll not during that period or for different workers.

Where can I go for more information on how to access these loans?

Can an entity that is not already an SBA lender become one for this program?

  • Yes.
  • Under this program, the Treasury Secretary has the authority to quickly approve new lenders to the 7(a) program to increase the availability of loans, and delegates authority for eligibility determinations to lenders in order to fast track loan approvals.

Where can I get loans?

  • Page 57 of the webinar slide deck lists the top 19 SBA banking partners with active links. Many more FDIC insured banks, credit unions and Fintechs are being added every day. The PayPal PPP portal is very easy to navigate and you get to sign the application immediately after you complete the form and upload the support document. You can file at:

Loans Specific to Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Minority Business Development Centers:

Are there any loans for training, counseling and general assistance to small businesses during this pandemic?

Debt Relief on Existing Small Business Loans

The stimulus package Congress recently passed also includes a provision that will ensure every small business with a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) will be relieved of their loan payments for the next six months.

How does this work, exactly?

  • The SBA already has the authority to pay the principal, interest, and fees on all products it has guaranteed — specifically its 7(a), 504, and microloan programs.
  • Congress has now stepped in to appropriate almost $17 billion for this relief fund, so that the SBA can make payments on behalf of small business borrowers to cover 6 months of payments.
  • These SBA payments are mandatory for all SBA loans. Neither banks nor the SBA have to identify which borrowers need the aid.

Which SBA lending programs are included?

  • The 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program, which is used by small businesses like restaurants, hotels, childcare centers, and medical and dental practices.
  • The 504 Certified Development Company loan guarantee program, which provides long-term fixed rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land, buildings, equipment, and machinery and microloan programs.
  • The Microloan program, which provides loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses and nonprofit child care centers, via nonprofit intermediary lenders.
  • Loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and disaster loans including EIDL are not eligible.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a 7(a), 504, or microloan?

  • In general, businesses must meet size standards, be based in the U.S., be able to repay, and have a sound business purpose.
  • To check whether your business is considered small, you will need your business’s 6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and 3-year average annual revenue.
  • Each program has different requirements, see for more details.

What is a 7(a) loan and how do I apply?

  • 7(a) loans are an affordable loan product of up to $5 million for borrowers who lack credit elsewhere and need access to versatile financing, providing short-term or long-term working capital and to purchase an existing business, refinance current business debt, or purchase furniture, fixtures and supplies. In the program, banks share a portion of the risk of the loan with SBA.
  • There are many different types of 7(a) loans, you can visit this site to find the one that’s best for you. You apply for a 7(a) loan with a bank or a mission-based lender. SBA has a free referral service tool called Lender Match to help find a lender near you.

What is a 504 loan and how do I apply?

  • The 504 Loan Program provides loans of up to $5.5 million to approved small businesses with long term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization.
  • It is a good option if you need to purchase real estate, buildings, and machinery.
  • You apply through a Certified Development Company, which is a nonprofit corporation that promotes economic development. SBA has a free referral service tool called Lender Match to help find a lender near you.

What is a microloan and how do I apply?

  • The Microloan Program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for profit childcare centers to start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000.
  • These loans are delivered through mission-based lenders who are also able to provide business counseling. SBA has a free referral service tool called Lender Match to help find a microlender near you.

Will this debt relief program pay for expenditures in addition to the loan itself?

  • This provision would relieve small businesses of their loan payments entirely, including principal, interest, and fees.

How will this interact with the new small business loans (PPP loans described above)?

  • Stabilizing the existing portfolio of SBA-backed loans will enable lenders to focus on getting hundreds of billions in new emergency loans to the small businesses that need them most.
  • While SBA borrowers are receiving the six months debt relief, they may apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan that provides capital to keep their employees on the job.
  • The six months of SBA payment relief may not be applied to payments on PPP loans. However, those loans already have forgiveness provisions that essentially make them grants if you meet certain requirements. (see above for more information!).

How many small businesses will benefit nationwide?

  • This will secure relief on SBA loan payments for more than 320,000 across the country.

Does my business already need to have an SBA loan to take advantage of this relief?

  • No.
  • This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out an SBA loan within six months after the President signs the bill. (Exception for PPP loans — see above for more information)

What about veterans?

  • As you may know, under current law, SBA cannot waive fees on 7(a) Express loans to veterans when the President’s budget projects a cost above zero for the overall 7(a) loan program.
  • The stimulus package fixes this on a permanent basis.
  • It includes a provision that allows SBA to waive fees for veterans and their spouses in the 7(a) Express Loan Program, regardless of the President’s budget.

I am unfamiliar with SBA loans, can anyone help me apply?

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Grant

What are these grants/loans?

  • There are two types of grants/loans that fall under this category. The first is a grant created by the stimulus bill Congress recently passed. This grant includes $10 billion in funding to provide an advance of $10,000 to all small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) within three days of applying for the loan. It is also called the Emergency Economic Injury Grant (EEIG).
  • The second is the already existing EIDLs, which are loans of up to $2 million that carry interest rates up to 3.75 percent for companies and up to 2.75 percent for nonprofits, as well as principal and interest deferment for 6 months to 1 year. The loans may be used to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses.

What if I apply for the EIDL grant in the stimulus but subsequently get denied a loan under the EIDL program?

  • The EIDL grant does not need to be repaid, even if you are subsequently denied a loan under EIDL, and may be used to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintain payroll, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
  • These grants go to businesses and other entities that suffer substantial economic injury as a result of the declared disaster, regardless of whether you sustained physical damage.
  • The SBA has recently calrified that the grant is awarded based on the number of the employees in a company. Each employee will allow for $1,000, up to $10,000 max.

Who is eligible for the EIDL grant in the stimulus package Congress recently passed?

  • Eligible entities include:
    • A business with not more than 500 employees
    • Private nonprofits
    • A cooperative with not more than 500 employees
    • A tribal business concern, and
    • ESOPs with not more than 500 employees or
    • an individual who operates under a sole proprietorship, with or without employees, or as an independent contractor
  • Eligible grant recipients must have been in operation on January 31, 2020.

How do I know if my business is a small business?

  • Please visit to find out if your business meets SBA’s small business size standards. You will need the 6-digit North American Industry Classification Code for your business and your business’s 3-year average annual revenue.

My private nonprofit is not a 501(c)(3). Is it still eligible for an EIDL and a grant?

  • Yes, if you are a private non-profit with an effective ruling letter from the IRS, granting tax exemption under sections 501(c), (d), or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or if you can provide satisfactory evidence from the State that the non-revenue producing organization or entity is a non-profit one organized or doing business under State law.
  • However, a recipient that is principally engaged in teaching, instructing, counseling, or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting, or primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities is not eligible to receive an EIDL.
  • If you are uncertain whether you qualify, please consult with legal counsel to determine whether your organization meets program criteria.

Has my county been declared a disaster for the purposes of the EIDL grants and loans?

  • Yes, the entire state of Florioda has been declared an economic disaster, giving small businesses and other eligible entities access to emergency resources.

What other criteria can the SBA Administrator use or not use to determine if my business is eligible for EIDL in the stimulus?

  • The Administrator may approve an applicant based solely on the credit score of the applicant and cannot require an applicant to submit a tax return or a tax return transcript for such approval.
  • The Administrator can also use alternative appropriate methods to determine an applicant’s ability to repay.
  • Additionally, the Administrator will waive any rules related to a personal guarantee on advances and loans of not more than $200,000 during the covered period (the period beginning on January 31, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020) for all applicants.
  • The Administrator will also waive the requirement that an applicant needs to be in business for the 1-year period before the disaster, except that no waiver may be made for a business that was not in operation on January 31, 2020.
  • The Administrator will also waive the requirement that an applicant be unable to obtain credit elsewhere.

What can I use the grant and EIDL for?

  • The grant may be used to cover the following:
    • Providing paid sick leave to employees unable to work due to the direct effect of the Covid–19;
    • Maintaining payroll to retain employees during business disruptions or substantial slowdowns;
    • Meeting increased costs to obtain materials unavailable from your original source due to interrupted supply chains;
    • Making rent or mortgage payments; and
    • Repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.

If I get an EIDL loan, can I also apply for a PPP loan?

  • Yes.
  • A business that receives an EIDL between January 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 as a result of a COVID-19 disaster declaration is eligible to apply for a PPP loan or the business may refinance their EIDL into a PPP loan.
  • In either case, the emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000 would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the payroll protection plan.
  • However, you cannot use your EIDL for the same purpose as your PPP loan. For example, if you use your EIDL to cover payroll for certain workers in April, you cannot use PPP for payroll for those same workers in April, although you could use it for payroll in March or for different workers in April.

How long are EIDL grants available?

  • January 31, 2020 – December 31, 2020. The grants are backdated to January 31, 2020 to allow those who have already applied for EIDLs to be eligible to also receive a grant.

I am unfamiliar with the EIDL process, can anyone help me apply?

  • Yes, SBA resource partners are available to help guide you through the EIDL application process.
  • You can find the nearest Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center, or SCORE mentorship chapter at

Where can I apply for EIDL and the grant?

Where should I go for more information?

Counseling and Training

Does the stimulus package that Congress recently passed contain access to counseling and training?

  • Yes. If you, like many small business owners, need a business counselor to help guide you through this uncertain time, you can turn to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center (WBC), or SCORE mentorship chapter. These resource partners, and the associations that represent them, will receive additional funds to expand their reach and better support small business owners with counseling and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. T
  • here will soon be a joint platform that consolidates information and resources related to COVID-19 in order to provide consistent, timely information to small businesses. To find a local resource partner, visit
  • In addition, the Minority Business Development Agency’s Business Centers (MBDCs), which cater to minority business enterprises of all sizes, will also receive funding to hire staff and provide programming to help their clients respond to COVID-19. Not every state has a MBDC. To find out if there is one that services your area, visit

Do I have to pay for counseling and training through Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Women’s Business Centers (WBC) and Minority Business Development Centers (MBDC)?

  • Counseling is free and training is low-cost with these partners. The additional funds that Congress provided will help keep this possible. Mentorship through SCORE is always free.

What is a SBDC?

  • SBDCs are a national network of nearly 1,000 centers that are located at leading universities, colleges, state economic development agencies and private partners. They provide counseling and training to new and existing businesses. Each state has a lead center that coordinates services specifically for that state, which you can find by clicking the link above.
  • To find out more about SBDCs, visit

What is a WBC; is it only for women?

  • WBCs are a national network of more than 100 centers that offer one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance and mentoring to entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics.
  • In addition to women, WBCs are mandated to serve the needs of underserved entrepreneurs, including low-income entrepreneurs. They often offer flexible hours to meet the needs of their diverse clientele.
  • To find out more about WBCs, visit

What is SCORE?

Who do MBDCs serve?

  • MBDCs are a good option for minority-owned businesses (including those owned by Black, Hispanic, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and American Indian business owners), especially those seeking to penetrate new markets — domestic & global — and grow in size and scale.



Nabil Freij

Nabil Freij

Nabil worked for several large and small companies in varying engineering and management positions including founding and running a small business from 1996 to 2019. A problem solver and entrepreneur, he draws from his various technical and management skills to streamline business processes and operations, minimizing costs and maximizing profitability. Skilled in all aspects of running a small business including Finance, Operations, Marketing, Sales, IT and HR. Author of Enabling Globalization, he is trilingual and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University, an MS from Brown University, and an MBA from Bryant University.


Tom Garove

Tom Garove

Tom retired in 2013, after a 40-year career with General Motors Corporation. Starting as a college co-op student, Tom held management positions in auto assembly and Executive positions in dealer field management, finance, customer relations and contact center management. Tom completed his career at GM with a six -year assignment in Shanghai where he established GM’s dealer network plan in China. Following his retirement, he was recruited by Jaguar - Land Rover to return to Shanghai to assist in establishing the dealer network plan for the new Jaguar-Land Rover - Chery joint venture. Tom’s knowledge base also includes marketing, finance, call center IT, franchise administration, accounting, and creating business plans. He holds a BA degree in Industrial Administration from Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) in Flint, Michigan.


Barry Portugal

Barry Portugal

Barry retired after 36 years as president of a health care industry management consulting firm. His has worked with hospitals, healthcare systems, and large physician groups to develop operational, strategic and financial aspects of their organizations. Barry’s expertise is helping clients develop and implement strategic business plans and marketing plans; as well as identifying opportunities for performance improvement in existing businesses. He has extensive experience in getting to the heart of complex operational, organizational, and financial issues necessary to grow his client’s businesses. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration from the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania.

CARES Act Update April 29
Small businesses that could not secure funds from the March 27th CARES Act programs can learn about the additional funds approved by Congress on April 24th and how they can secure these funds.
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