With many individuals and businesses struggling because of the coronavirus it seems like a new government program is coming out every week. Between federal programs and specific state programs it's hard to keep track of it all! This week New Hampshire has started a new program for self-employed persons. The program is called the Self Employed Livelihood Fund (SELF) Grant, and will be accepting applications through July 17th. Here's what you should know about this program and whether you, or someone you know, might qualify.
Who qualifies for the grant?
What's unique about this New Hampshire business relief program compared to others is that it is just for self-employed businesses. Specifically, business where there are no employees. To qualify, for this definition, NH does not consider independent contractors as employees for grant purposes. Other qualification factors include1:
Must be a for profit-business
Principal place of business must be in NH
Have been in operation for at least one year before July 17, 2020
Anticipate a loss of gross receipts from 2019-2020 due to COVID 19
Gross receipts in 2019 of less than $1,000,000
Not currently in bankruptcy
Not have permanently ceased operations
Not have been awarded a Main Street Relief Fund Grant
Some businesses are also excluded from the program. These include1:
Franchises or national chains
Farmers, growers, or maple producers
Elementary or secondary schools
Institutions of higher education
Hospitals or other healthcare providers
How much is the grant?
The state of New Hampshire will use a formula to determine the grant amount. It takes into consideration 2019 gross receipts, estimated 2020 gross receipts, and unemployment compensation already received by the self-employed person. The full formula can be viewed on New Hampshire's Governor's Office FAQ page.
The total amount of the grant cannot exceed $50,000. It's important to note that you will be required to report your business income at the end of the year. If it is more than what was estimated you may be required to return some of the funds.
Grants will be issued sometime after the closing period of July 17th. New Hampshire will provide more details about this after the deadline.
What can the funds be used for?
Unlike other government programs that have come out of the pandemic, there are no restrictions as to how the funds can be used. New Hampshire defines the grant as "no strings attached." Of course, it is expected that the business will use the funds for operational costs.
Will the grant be publicized?
Yes. Businesses that receive a SELF grant will be publicized. This includes the business name, address, and grant amount. If you do not want this information to be public you should NOT apply for this grant.
How do you apply for the SELF grant?
Applications are now being accepted at the Self Employed Livelihood Fund website. You would simply click on the link below to file an application. You will then go through various prompts to agree to the terms of the potential grant, and to provide information about your business for qualification purposes. Once again, the window to apply for this grant is short. Applications began on July 7th, and will end at 4:00pm on Friday July, 17th.
With so many government programs coming out to assist with the coronavirus it's hard to be abreast of every new program. There will almost certainly be more programs that come out to assist other business and individuals as time goes on. This latest program is designed to assist self-employed businesses in NH with no employees, but the deadline is coming up fast. If you, or someone you know, may qualify for this additional assistance we encourage you to apply and share this information with them.