This section includes additional resources and tips for both businesses and non-profits. Please be careful when seeking additional grant funding, as sadly there are many willing to scam others during trying times.
Alternative Grant Sources
Emergency Grants for CT Arts Organizations
The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA), with funding allocated through the CARES Act, is providing emergency funding for non-profit arts organizations that have been adversely impacted by the (COVID-19) pandemic.
These grants are intended to retain jobs and support arts organizations as they endure economic hardships caused by modified, cancelled, or forced closure of operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will be carried out through one-time grants to eligible non-profit arts organizations. Grant amounts range from $1,500 to $3,000.
For details and to apply, please follow this link.
COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund Available
To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grant-makers have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States.
Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19.
For details on who qualifies and to apply, please click here.
Professional Beauty Association
With generous support from industry partners, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and PBA Charities have created a new fund to help the industry during this unprecedented crisis.
The PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are unable to work due to COVID-19. The funding, if awarded, is intended to be emergency aid for short-term immediate needs such as food and bills.
Click here for more information and the application.
Lowe’s has partnered with LISC to provide $55 million in emergency grant assistance for small businesses. $30 million will be dedicated to minority-owned or women-owned small businesses and he remaining $25 million will be dedicated to rural businesses who may face additional hardships. Eligible small businesses may receive up to $20,000 through this program.
Round 6 of this program is now open. You can apply on LISC’s website until September 7.
Learn more about this small business relief program on LISC’s website.
Facebook is providing Black-owned businesses with the opportunity to apply for a grant to help them with operational costs. These funds can be used to help pay rent or mortgage, payroll, operational expenses, and community support.
In order to apply, you must be a majority Black-owned for-profit business that has been operational for over one year and have experienced difficulties because of COVID-19.
You can learn more about the requirements and how to apply here.
Coalition to Back Black Businesses
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses was formed to support Black small business owners as they work to recover from COVID-19 in the upcoming years.
American Express, in partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Business League, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Walker’s Legacy, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will provide $10 Million in grants and additional support.
You must apply by September 21, after which time 280 applicants will be selected as finalists with others placed on a waitlist.
Learn more about this opportunity and the requirements here.
Free Products, Tools, & Resources
Please note while we ensure the tools and resources we share are legitimate, our sharing them does not imply endorsement of any of the companies offering them. They are curated based on needs under current conditions.
Workable is helping companies that are able to hire during this time by making its video interviewing software free for all customers. Conduct job interviews virtually on this user-friendly platform.
HR professionals and business owners can also access Workable’s library of COVID-19 response content to help manage personnel during this time.
Hootsuite is one of many tools referred to as a “Social Media Management System” or tool. It helps you keep track, manage, and coordinate posting to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in one easy dashboard. It can enable you to monitor what people are saying about your brand and help you respond instantly.
Small businesses and nonprofits can access Hootsuite Professional for free until July 1, 2020. After that, you can switch to the free version if you can’t afford the Professional one. It has less features, but still allows you to post/schedule posts for up to three social media accounts.
Alternatives to Zoom & Webex for Smaller Teams
Microsoft is offering six months of Microsoft Teams, its communication and team collaboration platform, with Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
For more casual and smaller meetings, Skype offers meetings for up to 50 people for free, without requiring an account to sign in. The one drawback to Skype is its security, as it is not end-to-end encrypted.
If you have a small team, you may also want to consider Google Hangouts. The free version is offered with every Gmail account and can host up to 25 participants, with 10 individuals visible at a time.
As you might all be aware, under the CARES Act signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be delivering economic impact payments to eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018.
In order to avoid falling victim to fraudulent individuals either impersonating or claiming to represent the IRS, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration offers the following tips to taxpayers:
- The IRS will generally first contact people by mail – not by phone – about tax related matters.
- If the IRS does contact you by telephone, they will not insist on any pre-payment using an iTunes card, gift card, prepaid debit card, money order, or wire transfer, in order to receive economic impact payments.
- The IRS will also never request personal or financial information by e-mail, text, letters, or any social media.
If you do receive a call or e-mail from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a pre-payment or for your personal or financial information in order to receive economic impact payments connected with the Coronavirus pandemic please report it at the link below.
DHS: Cyber Scams
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
CISA encourages individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions.
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
- Review CISA Insights on Risk Management for COVID-19 for more information.
Department of Justice
Be aware that criminals are attempting to exploit COVID-19 worldwide through a variety of scams. There have been reports of:
- Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud.
- Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.
- Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.
Criminals will likely continue to use new methods to exploit COVID-19 worldwide.
If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home though a number of platforms. Go to: