Can the federal CARES Act help me pay my rent?

The recently enacted federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) provides for two main types of assistance to help small businesses meet their needs during the pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance (“EIDLs”).

The PPP provides federally guaranteed loans to most businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees that were in operation on February 15, 2020. Businesses may use the PPP proceeds to pay rent and utilities, as well as payroll. Loan proceeds used to pay payroll, rent and utility expenses during the 8 week covered period may be forgiven if spent on allowed expenses. For any amounts not forgiven, the maximum term is 2 years and the maximum interest rate is 1 percent. More information about the PPP on the SBA website.

EIDLs provide a quick infusion of cash to help similar businesses and nonprofits cover rent and utilities, as well as payroll and other expenses. The SBA will make the loan advance of up to $10,000 available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. EIDLs are for amounts up to $2 million. Interest is 3.75% and the loan period is up to 30 years. Apply through the SBA website

These federal loans are not available for cannabis businesses, but it is available for other businesses, including alcohol-related businesses.

You can find local assistance.

Senator Wyden’s Office has more information about these programs at its COVID-19 Small Business Relief Q&A.

Show All Answers

1. What should I do if I can’t pay the rent for my small business?
2. Can the federal CARES Act help me pay my rent?
3. Does Oregon’s “no evictions” order apply to commercial leases?
4. Can I negotiate a change to my lease?
5. Why would the property owner be willing to negotiate changes to my lease?
6. How do I approach negotiating with the property owner?
7. What are some terms that I can consider offering the property owner?
8. If I am able to reach an agreement with the property owner, can we just agree over the phone?
9. I can’t pay rent and can’t reach the property owner. Should I send them a letter explaining? Is that enough to forestall an eviction in the future?
10. What if I already missed a rent payment and the property owner sent me a default notice?
11. Am I still responsible for paying rent if I have to close my business?
12. Will a “Force Majeure” or “Impossibility” clause get me out of the lease?
13. What if my lease states that I have to be open during certain days and hours?
14. What if the property owner wants to cancel my lease because the location is good and they think they can get more money from another tenant?
15. What if I have to declare bankruptcy?
16. If I am a month-to-month tenant, how does this impact my lease?
17. I do not know if I have a lease (or can't find a copy of my lease). What should my next steps be?
18. Where can I find more resources?