Business loans, grants, and relief programs

Small Business Employee Vaccination Grant

The new Small Business Employee Vaccination Grant received $500,000 in federal CARES Act funds as part of Utah’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. It provides reimbursement to Utah small business employers that pay employees for time off to either receive a COVID-19 vaccine or recuperate should they experience side effects after their vaccination.

The grant offers employers funds to provide paid time off for employees who are otherwise not eligible for paid time off. The grant may be used for both full-time and part-time employees.

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Tax Credits for Paid Leave

Requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act became voluntary in 2021. If you’re still providing compensation to employees who miss work because of COVID-related illness to themselves or family members, you can still claim the tax credit associated with the Act to get reimbursement through September 2021.

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Employee Retention Credit (ERC)

The Employee Retention Tax Credit allows companies which were either partially or fully shut down in a quarter or experienced a revenue decline of more than 20 percent in any quarter of 2021 (or 50 percent in any quarter of 2020) compared to 2019 to receive a generous (up to $7,000 per employee per quarter in 2021) tax credit against the payroll taxes owed. This tax credit is not a loan or grant and no payment is required.

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Paid Leave Credit

Extends through September 2021 the availability of Paid Leave Credits for small and midsize businesses that offer paid leave to employees who may take leave due to illness, quarantine, or caregiving. Businesses can take dollar-for-dollar tax credits equal to wages of up to $5,000 if they offer paid leave to employees who are sick or quarantining.

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Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP)

The Emergency Capital Investment Program was created to encourage low- and moderate-income community financial institutions to augment their efforts to support small businesses and consumers in their communities. Under this program, up to $9 billion will be provided in capital directly to depository institutions that are certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or minority depository institutions (MDIs) to, among other things, provide loans, grants, and forbearance for small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and consumers, especially in low-income and underserved communities, that may be disproportionately impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The American Rescue Plan Act provides additional COVID-19 relief for small businesses through Small Business Administration programs.

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Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

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COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EICDL)

This program provides funding to small businesses and non-profit organizations currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue related to COVID-19.

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Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program provides emergency assistance for eligible venues.

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SBA debt relief

SBA provides a financial reprieve to existing borrowers during the pandemic.

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Research and Development Tax Credit

According to Small Business Incentive Consulting Services, the federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit has been a part of the tax code since 1981, rewarding businesses in a wide variety of industries for making improvements to their products, processes, or techniques. The credit is designed to encourage industry to invest in research and development activities including but not limited to design, development, engineering, experimentation, trial and error, process improvement, software development and improvement, quality assurance and more.

This wage-based credit is intended to stimulate research and development activities among businesses through tax incentives which can provide an immediate source of cash to manage effects of COVID-19. The credit is calculated based on the wages of the employees that are performing the qualifying work, making it the most valuable tax incentive available to businesses. Cash can be recovered from all open tax years (current open years are 2018, 2019, and 2020). Eligible entities include business with a minimum gross revenue around 500K, pay income tax, and in the following industries (medical, construction, HVAC, engineering, architecture, manufacturing, chemicals, dentistry, and start-ups)

The Research and Development Tax Credit remains one of the best opportunities for businesses to substantially reduce their tax liability.

Common questions about R&D Tax Credit available here and here.

The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act

The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act is a $325 billion aid package providing additional assistance to the hardest-hit small businesses, nonprofits, and venues struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The act provides funding for a second round of forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and nonprofits experiencing significant revenue losses, implements programmatic improvements to PPP, funds grants to shuttered venues, and enacts emergency enhancements to other U.S. Small Business Administration lending programs.

Business owners and nonprofit organizations should subscribe to the SBA Utah District Office newsletter and follow them on Twitter to stay current on the new programs. They’ll provide real-time updates and information. You may also contact the Utah District Office at (801) 524-3209 or by email at

Loans, grant and relief programs

PDF Fact Sheets for Reactivating Business


The President signed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion aid program to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Click here to learn how the CARES Act will benefit you.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Congress is actively working to get additional funding appropriated, and the Utah Congressional Delegation is actively involved in those efforts. We fully expect Congress to act to appropriate additional funding while recognizing that this delay in funding is putting additional pressure on small businesses. 

Please note that the SBA’s Express Bridge Loan and Debt Relief programs are still accepting applications. This is a developing situation and we will keep our readers updated as funding potentially comes back online.

For more information, visit the SBA website. For any questions or requests for assistance, Utah businesses are encouraged to reach out to the rapid response team here.

Here’s a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help your small business through the process and view this interactive map to show the aid available to small businesses on a state-by-state basis

  • A top-line overview of the program can be found here.
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found here.
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here.

The application for borrowers can be found here.

Request an appointment with the Utah Small Business Development Centers here.

Internal Revenue Service

March 30, 2020 — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. Learn more here.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

U.S. Department of Labor

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its first round of guidance on how to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) effective April 1, 2020.  

U.S. Department of Treasury

U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)

Utah’s EDA Revolving Loan Fund Grantees: 

  1. Five County Association of Governments: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, and Washington:
  2. City of Orem:
  3. Six County Association of Governments: Millard, San Pete, Sevier, Juab, Piute, and Wayne:
  4. Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments: Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan:
  5. Uintah Basin Economic Development District: Duchesne, Uintah, and Daggett:
  6. Mountain West Small Business Finance: Salt Lake City:

          U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service 

          For U.S. companies that produce goods or services for export, the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) is authorized to reduce user fees and services by up to 100% for U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises and economic development organizations, and by up to 50% for large U.S. companies. Reduced fees will be provided until September 30, 2020. For more information, click here.

                Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM)

                On March 12, 2020, EXIM underscored its strong support for new initiatives to inject liquidity into the market and give maximum financing flexibility to facilitate sales of U.S. goods and services abroad during the COVID-19 crisis. Please see below a list of opportunities available to small businesses with additional flexibilities. If you have any questions, please reach out to

                Extension of Payments  

                  EXIM Short Term Credit Standards (Updated as of 5/1/2020)

                  U.S. Customs and Border Protection to Temporarily Defer the Deadline for Import Duties, Taxes, and Fees

                  U.S. Commercial Service

                  U.S. Department of Agriculture

                  Utah Department of Heritage & Arts

                  Through its seven divisions, the Department of Heritage & Arts is committed to providing resources regarding COVID-19 volunteer initiatives and economic relief funds to the nonprofit sector. We particularly strive to focus on supporting our multicultural and diverse community of residents in Utah and the Navajo Nation, and we encourage businesses to contact our staff if we can provide any guidance in building and nurturing these inclusive relationships.

                  Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity

                  Following Gov. Cox’s leadership, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity has marshalled its resources to help in all aspects of economic impact resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The agency maintains the state’s Resources for Business on and has a COVID-19 devoted webpage on its site.

                  U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

                  Salt Lake Chamber

                  Salt Lake County

                  Summit County

                  Utah County

                  Wasatch County & Mountainland Association of Governments

                  World Trade Center Utah

                  Ogden City’s Emergency Loan Fund

                  Ogden City’s Emergency Loan Fund is available to help Ogden companies immediately affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Learn more here.