During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce created a guide to help small businesses, independent contractors and other related business personnel prepare to file for a coronavirus relief loan under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to a press release issued by the Washington, D.C.-based organization.

The U.S. Chamber’s Coronavirus Small Business Guide (available at uschamber.com/sbloans) outlines the steps small businesses should take to prepare to access much-needed funds to help keep their workers on the payroll during this disruptive period. Further guides will be developed as the CARES Act is implemented.

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is working with state and local chambers across the country to provide businesses with the information they need to stay afloat and keep people employed during the pandemic,” said Suzanne Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “This comprehensive guide ensures small business owners fully understand what aid is available to them and how to access those funds as quickly as possible. We remain committed to ensuring no family or business goes bankrupt due to financial hardships associated with the coronavirus.”

Additionally, to help small businesses, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce compiled an interactive map to show the aid available to the public on a state-by-state basis (click here https://tinyurl.com/wtyb2zy for additional information).

In March, Congress passed the CARES Act which allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small businesses that maintain their payroll during this emergency. Furthermore, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payroll during the crisis.

The U.S. Small Business Administration posted additional guidance (https://tinyurl.com/uon96cm) about the Paycheck Protection Program to its website in April, including a sample application.