Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: AmTrust is here to support our agents and policyholders with helpful resources during these uncertain times. All functions are operating as usual, so please contact us via the normal channels for claims, payments or any issues.

How the CARES Act Helps Small Businesses

Topics: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Lawmakers reached an agreement on the largest economic stimulus in modern history. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on Friday, March 27 and will deliver much needed economic relief to workers and businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The CARES Act includes:
  • $301 billion for direct payments to individuals and families
  • $349 billion in small business loans
  • $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits
  • $500 billion in loans to businesses
  • $150 billion for state, tribal and local governments
  • $340 billion in supplemental spending, including $117 billion for hospitals and veterans' care
  • $221 billion in tax benefits for businesses
The CARES Act will offer help directly to small businesses and their employees through loans and enhanced unemployment benefits.


Small Business Resources 

The CARES Act offers a variety of programs and initiatives designed to assist small businesses during these uncertain times. These programs and initiatives include:
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) LoansProvide capital to cover the costs of retaining employees, such as for salary and wages, healthcare benefits, sick time, retirement benefits and more. Small businesses that are interested in applying for PPP Loans should contact an SBA Lender that they have an existing banking relationship with. Click here to learn more about PPP Loans. 
  • ​Small Business Debt Relief Program: Allows for forgiveness of a portion of PPP loans. SBA lender will forgive the principal amount that a lender reasonably expects a borrower will expend during the 8-week period beginning on the date of origination for the loan on the sum of certain (a) payroll costs, (b) mortgage interest, (c) rent obligations and (d) utility payments.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Emergency Economic Injury Grants (EEIG): Provide loans and grants to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19.
  • Training and Counseling: Resource partners such as local Small Business Development Centers, Women's Business Centers and Minority Business Development Agency’s Business Centers may receive extra funds to help support small business owners with free counseling and low cost training regarding COVID-19. 
While the stimulus bill is managed at a federal level, states are offering various coronavirus resources for small businesses as well. State governors continue to update the public each day, with announcements that are impacting both small businesses and the employees they serve.

To learn more or to apply for assistance, please visit the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website:, or review a sample application by clicking here.

Unemployment Benefits for Workers

With small businesses experiencing business disruptions because of shelter in place orders and social distancing rules, many face difficult decisions when it comes to their workers. Millions of workers have already applied for unemployment benefits over the past few weeks. The stimulus package provides federal funding for expanded unemployment benefits coverage and increased benefits available to individuals whose job or ability to work was impacted by COVID-19.

The stimulus package expands unemployment benefits by providing:
  • An additional $600 in weekly benefits until July 31, 2020.
  • Up to 39 weeks of regular unemployment benefits for unemployment occurring between January 27 and December 31, 2020.
  • Benefits to workers who are not traditionally eligible, such as the self-employed or independent contractors (such as freelancers and gig workers). 
With $250 billion in funding for expansion of unemployment benefits, it's the largest increase ever.

​AmTrust is Here for Our Small Business Insureds

AmTrust created a library of resources regarding the coronavirus and funding resources to help you small businesses, agents and others stay informed, safe and healthy. For more information about our small business insurance solutions, please contact us today.


This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal, tax or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is accurate, appropriate or suitable for any specific business, tax or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business, tax and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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