According to Maine Public, Congress' 350 billion dollar economic rescue package is now active. Small businesses can now apply for the Paycheck Protection Program which could potentialy provide a loan that can convert into a grant that doesn't need to be paid back.

The program is retroactive from February 15th and runs through June 30th. It does not require a personal guarantee or collateral. A small business is 500 employees or less.

Starting on April 10th independant contractors and those who are self employed will also be able to file for the Paycheck Protection Program.

There are some rules if you want the free loan:

  • It must be spent on payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities for the first 8 weeks of the loan.
  • At least three quarters must got toward payroll.
  • If you have laid off employees the loan can still be forgiven if you hire them back by June 30th.

Get all the information at the U.S. Small Business Administration website.