Note: apply for PPP asap before funds run out!
By now, we should all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t only infecting humans, but also deeply harming the once robust economy of the United States, hitting small businesses, like campgrounds and RV parks, particularly hard. Owners and managers are in real need of financial aid with the hope of saving their businesses and families while asking themselves, “How the heck are we going to get through this? And who can we look to for help?”
Though the near future isn’t entirely certain, let’s keep calm and keep on finding practical and creative ways to keep our campgrounds and RV parks going strong and learn where and how to get assistance directed to small businesses at federal and state level.
In this post, we’re going to lay out the four most popular government aid programs available to small businesses. And with our campground’s interests at top of mind, we recommend applying as soon as possible before funding runs out.
The Paycheck Protection Program
The most important help right now would come in the form of the Paycheck Protection and Health Enhancement Program, a federal relief program intended to provide small businesses forgivable loans, providing their workers employment during the COVID-19 crisis.
Although the money for this program ran down pretty quickly, don’t panic. You still have time to get your hands on an up to $10 million loan for your business that you may not have to pay back! This is thanks to a new wave of a $300+ billion package approved last week by the US Senate to replenish the funds and help more small businesses, like campgrounds and RV parks.
It’s likely that all (or almost all) private RV parks and campgrounds would be eligible (If your business has less than 500 employees, you can get a one-time loan of up to $10 million). You’ll need to have a Taxpayer or Employer Identification Number (EIN/TIN) to apply.
The SBA Economic and Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance
This is a federal loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) that would provide a loan of up $10,000 to small business, to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they’re experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees, including sole business owners, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals affected by the financial infection caused by the invisible enemy.
Veteran organizations and private non-profit organizations can also apply. The bad news is that at the moment, the SBA isn’t taking new applications, as this specific program ran out of funds. Nevertheless, we suggest to keep checking their websites so you can be among the first to apply when money is restocked!
SBA Express Bridge Loans
This is a loan you can apply for right now for a quick fund of up to $25,000 if you’re in a current financial relationship with one of the SBS Express Lenders. Like the other loans, this one provides vital help for small businesses like RV parks and campgrounds. A key benefit to this loan is that it’s available quickly and can be used as a ventilator for your business while you wait for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program to begin distribution of their brand new $300 billion package.
The SBA Debt Relief Program
We call this one the ‘breathe again’ program as it gives eligible small business owners relief of any outstanding debt contracted with this federal agency, under the umbrella of any current 7(a), 504, or microloans for a period of six months! The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of those current debts and those issued prior to September 27, 2020.
Just to clarify, the 7(a) is the standard loan program of the SBA to both, maintain or grow a small business. The 504 program is an economic development one directed at programs aimed at growth and job creation.
In addition to these federal programs, financial aid, and Pandemic Relief funds, small private RV parks and campground business owners may want to take advantage of the similar versions offered at state levels, via each state’s small business administration (which eligibility and amount of loans may vary according to their own rules). We encourage you to also do some digging even beyond that since there are opportunities for loans, grants, and relief via private organizations.
As you can see, even though right now things are pretty tight, to say the least, RV parks and campgrounds can still catch a breath, stay afloat, or even thrive with the help of a financial ventilator, while you focus on keeping your families, friends, and campers safe.
For now, stay strong, stay optimistic, and be ready for when all those baby boomers and millennials currently quarantining in their urban homes are ready for new outdoor adventures in nature!
Download a PDF of the different programs you can apply to, along with links to their applications, tips for applying, and where to get some help!