States and cities are stepping up to help businesses survive. Here are the best funding programs nationwide to help you pay rent, keep employees, and restructure your debt.

States and cities are stepping up to help businesses survive. Here are the best funding programs nationwide to help you pay rent, keep employees, and restructure your debt.

Small business owner

  • States and city governments are offering millions in loans and grants to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • California's IBank is offering up to $50,000 in direct loans and loan guarantees for companies with fewer than 750 employees, while Maryland is granting $100,000 to manufacturers that can quickly pivot to make personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical needs items.
  • Most applications are submitted online and require basic business information as well as proof of how business revenue declined due to COVID-19.
  • This piece will be updated as new information becomes available.
  • Click here fore more BI Prime stories.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the lives and operations of millions of American business owners, more state and local governments are offering funding programs to help companies stay afloat.

These resources are independent from the federal loans and grants for small businesses offered through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. For the most part, these programs are meant as a stopgap to help business owners keep the lights on while they wait to hear back from federal aid applications. Local initiatives include loans, grants, and business loan guarantee programs, which mitigate financial risk to lenders who authorize more loans to distressed businesses.

Business owners looking for relief can find out which resources are available on their state's website. Business Insider has also collected a national list of state and local funding programs currently available below.

While the goal is to make the process simple for business owners to apply directly online, there could still be some hiccups, in part due to increased demand.


Business owners experiencing hardship need to use this time to be very aggressive and not let the process discourage them, said Vicrum Puri, cofounder and CEO of Lina, a startup that provides on-demand office space and support for health practitioners in New York. Puri registered five times to set up an account before he was able to apply for the New York City Small Business Continuity Loan Fund.

"Reach out to your banks, reach out to your representative and exhaust all the options for city, state, and federal aid," he said, noting private lending options from larger institutions should also be considered. "Cut costs wherever you can. If that means don't pay your rent, then don't pay your rent until your landlord comes around." (Puri is currently renegotiating Lina's rent obligations.)

The availability of state and city funding programs changes rapidly. For instance, Puri applied for NYC's relief fund in early April, but the program is no longer accepting applications at this time.

Here are 15 state and local funding programs helping small businesses survive, listed alphabetically.

Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email and tell us your story.

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.