By Bernie Dixon

We are all getting inundated with information about assistance from the Small Business Administration. In short, the Cares Act signed into law last week among other sections, includes a Paycheck Protection Program. Any business in operation on February 12, 2020 with no more than 500 employees is eligible. Certain nonprofit organizations, sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed individuals may also qualify. Small businesses may start applying on April 3. Here is the link to the application as of April 1.

As guidance from the SBA has been constantly shifting, please keep in mind that this site may be updated frequently.

Our partners at Trusted Counsel provided the following specific guidance when calculating the “average monthly payroll” for your company.

Evelyn Ashley writes: Please make sure when you are calculating your “average monthly payroll” that you focus on the guidance that defines what is included in payroll costs in addition to the guidance in the application form:

  • Salary, wages, commissions, or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee);
  • Employee benefits including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payments required for the provisions of group health care benefits including insurance premiums; and payment of any retirement benefit;
  • State and local taxes assessed on compensation; and
  • For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee

Here’s a link with the specific advice on what data to compile.
What Happens Next – includes excellent information on data to compile.

The American Banking Association released the following fact sheet for borrowers that you may find helpful. Download here

I wanted to share this information with you quickly. Small businesses can start applying starting April 3, 2020. Independent Contractors and Self-Employed Individuals will be able to start applying starting April 10, 2020.

The demand for assistance under the CARES Act will be heavy. Now is the time to engage with your attorney, bank, or SBA lender. Please ensure that you act promptly.
Play to win through this time.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and thereby the information and recommendations provided in this document should not be considered legal advice and should not substitute for legal advice. Please consult your own legal resources for specific guidance. If you do not have legal resources, please reach out and we will connect you with our legal partners at Trusted Counsel. Or you can connect with them directly at

Bernie P. Dixon is Founder and Chairman of Launchpad2X, a founder-to-CEO accelerator training program for women entrepreneurs. Find her on LinkedIn.