Atmosphere’s guide for small businesses applying for Federal Relief Loans

April 6, 2020


If your business is struggling because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, here is a helpful guide on what small businesses need to know and how to apply for a loan and get back on track.


The $2.2 trillion dollar COVID-19 relief bill has passed.  The CARES Act is specifically designed to help bring economic relief for businesses due to the loss of revenue during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

Atmosphere is built to help businesses succeed.  In this time, we have drawn up a helpful guide on how small businesses can apply for a low-interest loan.

What is in the bill?

Along with money set aside for millions now unemployed, within this act are two important loan programs for small businesses; The Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Paycheck Protection Program

  • The Paycheck Protection Program offers loans up to $10 million with an interest rate of 1.0%.  This program is specifically designed to help businesses cover payroll, rent and utility costs during the pandemic.  Businesses qualify to borrow 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs (salaries, commission, bonus, tips, vacation, medical, sick leave, severance, state / local payroll tax, health care, retirement and insurance benefits) from 2019.  
  • PPP is 100% backed by the government and is available for ALL small businesses (defined as 500 employees or fewer) provided they have been in business since February 15th, 2020. Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible if their individual locations employ less than 500 workers. Independent contractors and sole proprietors will be eligible to apply on their own.
  • Important to note that much of the loan from PPP is forgiven if funds are used on approved expenses in the eight weeks following loan origination. This includes payroll, rent and utilities. The forgivable portion of the loan is subject to changes if employee headcount aren’t terminated or wages decreased.  
  • Any amount not forgiven will be repaid over 2 years. Payments will be deferred for 6 months.
  • Sample PPP loan application here.  Businesses can begin submitting now through any qualified SBA lender.  See the SBA website if you need help finding a lender.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

  • The EIDL is a government-backed loan program that guarantees your loan with a bank.  This program offers loans up to $2 million to replace any short-term loss due to the pandemic.
  • This loan comes with a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and a 2.75% interest rate for nonprofits.  This is also based on a 10-year term.
  • With this program, businesses can receive $10,000 within 3 days of applying for the loan.
  • You can apply for an EIDL here.

Resources for Workers

  • The Bartender Emergency Assistance Program provides grants for hospitality workers who have been laid off or lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CORE Gives grants support for food and beverage workers with children who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 Virus.
  • Rent Assistance provides a full list or organizations that can help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic pay rent.
  • The One Fair Wage Emergency Fund provides cash assistance for restaurant workers, delivery drivers, service workers and other tipped employees impacted by the COVID -19 pandemic.
  • The U.S. Bartenders Guild has provided state by state resources for workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources for Businesses

  • Give Local is a list of restaurants offering gift cards sales while their doors are closed in an effort to defer costs during the pandemic.
  • The James Beard Foundation is gathering donations from diners and corporate companies to give out small grants for independent businesses.
  • The Dining Bind Initiative is a program which seeks to bring in immediate cash in exchange for future restaurant purchases.  This program will allow diners to buy discounted restaurant gift cards (bonds) to be redeemed depending on how that restaurant decides to honor the bond.   This program is available for all restaurants.
  • Southern Smoke Foundation is accepting donations as well as distributing funds to restaurants and employees who apply.

Additional Resources

Stronger together

These are unprecedented times.  We stand behind all of our retail customers and thank you for your strength and partnership during this pandemic.  Atmosphere was founded to help you succeed and when the dust settles and the fog clears, we will be here to continue offering our free platform to help entertain your customers and drive sales.

In this together,
-Team Atmosphere

Recent Blog posts

Back to Business: Reopening Safely

June 30, 2020

Black Entrepreneurs Matter

June 11, 2020