As we highlighted last week, the District of Columbia's COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (the Act) created a $25 million dollar Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program to provide much-needed relief to distressed nonprofit organizations in the District. We want to remind all eligible nonprofits that the application deadline for the Microgrant Program is TODAY, Tuesday, March 31 at 6:00 PM. Nonprofit applications are available here.
The Act's Microgrant Program authorizes the mayor to issue a grant or loan to a District nonprofit that "demonstrates . . . financial distress caused by a reduction in business revenue due to the . . . public health emergency." Nonprofits may spend grants issued under the program on employee wages and benefits, operating costs including taxes and debt service, and repayment of loans obtained through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The initial $25 million recovery microgrant fund is available to nonprofits that have their main office located in Washington, D.C. and are registered with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). Nonprofits must also not be a national or global organization, meaning their services do not extend beyond the DMV region (except for arts and cultural nonprofits). The District's recently updated guidance—available at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/dc-small-business-recovery-grants—recommends that to apply, applicants have ready their federal employer identification number (EIN), payroll or roster of employees and their states of residence (dated for the week prior to March 11, 2020), 2018 Form 990, 2019 and 2020 (January to March) profit and loss statements, supporting documentation for potential revenue in April 2020 (such as proof of cancelled contracts or revenue-generating events), and a schedule of liabilities. The District's grant and loan program is in addition to the SBA's Disaster Assistance Loan Program, which opened to District businesses on March 17, and in addition to any relief in the federal CARES Act that was enacted on Friday and summarized here.
The District's public health emergency declaration is currently in effect through April 24, and the Act is effective as of March 11 until at least June 9, 2020. As the first few weeks of the national crisis have shown, the landscape of relief opportunities for nonprofits harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to evolve rapidly. Venable LLP's COVID-19 Taskforce is consistently monitoring federal, state, and local legislation for additional new opportunities to keep nonprofits on stable footing during this uncertain and tumultuous period.