COVID-19: Business & Economic Support

by | May 15, 2020

Stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 business and economic news impacting child care workers, early childhood small businesses and communities. 

May 15, 2020

  • NE child care providers among the top claimants for unemployment benefits: The Nebraska Department of Labor reported that child care workers were the fourth highest source of initial unemployment claims by profession in the state between March 21 and April 25, in the most recent issues of Nebraska Workforce Trends. This not only represents the vulnerability of the child care industry to major disruptions like the COVID-19 emergency, but also further illuminates a serious obstacle to Nebraska's economic recovery efforts. As child care professionals temporarily or permanently shut their doors due to financial hardship, we can expect the declining availability of child care services to complicate efforts to re-mobilize working parents across a wide range of Nebraska industries in the months ahead.
  • Lincoln Chamber of Commerce connects local businesses with sources of protective gear and supplies: The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce launched a new website to help local businesses obtain face masks, hand sanitizer and other supplies during the during the COVID-19 emergency. The site indicates the products by type, costs by order size, turnaround time, contact information and other details. Producers of these items may use the website to apply to have their products listed
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans to be limited to agribusiness: After temporarily halting new applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) on April 15, the Small Business Administration has announced that EIDL and EIDL Advance relief will be limited to U.S. agricultural businesses moving forward. The SBA cited limited funding and high demand for economic relief. Applications submitted prior to April 15 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 



May 8, 2020

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Webinar: Suzanne Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will host a business recovery webinar on Thursday, May 14 at 10 a.m. in conjunction with the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Omaha Chamber of Commerce. The webinar will highlight responsible reopening strategies for Nebraska businesses of all sizes. Register at
  • Updated List of Nebraska Support Programs: We updated our list of community-driven programs that support Nebraska families, businesses and nonprofits who are impacted by COVID-19 to include new initiatives in Chadron, Fairbury, Holt County and Sidney. As our hometowns continue to navigate the pandemic, consider how to support the local businesses, families and nonprofits that keep your communities thriving. See the latest update.
  • EIDL Loan Guidance: SBA Nebraska issued guidance to businesses that have applied for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program: If you've applied and your number starts with a “2,” your application is incomplete. Once your application is completed, your EIDL number will begin with “3.” Complete your application at



April 27, 2020

  • Additional PPP Funding: The U.S. Small Business Administration resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications on Monday, April 27 due to additional funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The agency will continue processing applications that are already in the queue through approved lenders on a first come, first served basis. For more information, visit or contact your local bank.
  • Federal Financial Assistance: Child Care Aware of America has put together an overview, “Cash Options for Providers During Coronavirus Pandemic,” which provides specific guidance to providers and CCR&Rs on federal financial assistance and where they can go for help.
  • McCook COVID-19 Business Survey: The McCook Chamber of Commerce and McCook Economic Development Corporation partnership have created a local COVID-19 survey for business owners. They plan to use the data gather to inform local, state and national officials on the situation in McCook and develop local strategies for recovery. If you own a business in the McCook area, take the survey:



April 21, 2020

  • Business Podcasts: The Committee for Economic Development has released two podcasts to help child care centers and family home child care providers weather the COVID-19 crisis and support economic viability for their businesses in the short and long-term. Both feature a panel discussion with early childhood financing experts Heidi Hagel-Braid of First Children's Finance; Louise Stoney of Opportunities Exchange and Alliance for Early Childhood Finance; and Grace Reef of the CED. Find the podcasts and additional resources at
  • Updated List of Nebraska Support Programs: We updated our list of community-driven programs that support Nebraska families, businesses and nonprofits who are impacted. As our hometowns continue to navigate the pandemic, consider how to support the local businesses, families and nonprofits that keep your communities thriving. See the latest update.



April 17, 2020

  • PPP Program Not Accepting Applications: The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on Thursday it was no longer accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs related to COVID-19 after the agency reached the program's $349 billion lending limit. As of Monday, approximately 21,000 PPP loans worth $3.2 billion were approved in Nebraska. The group is urging Congress to pass additional small business relief. During his April 17 daily press conference, Governor Ricketts noted that Nebraska had the highest percentage of PPP loans in the nation.
  • First Five Nebraska continues to monitor coronavirus relief efforts for early childhood programs and providers and will provide you with the most up-to-date information as its released.



April 14, 2020



April 6, 2020

  • Guidance on Faith-Based Organizations: The ​SBA issued guidance today clarifying that all faith-based organizations impacted by COVID-19, including early childhood programs, are eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, without restrictions based on their religious identity or activities, to the extent they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the CARES Act. Read more about the guidance.



April 3, 2020

  • The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program is now open for applications for small businesses and sole proprieterships. The program provides forgiveable loans up to $10 million to small businesses left financially distressed by the coronavirus pandemic. Loans are being issued on a first come, first served basis, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Contact your local financial institution to apply for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program or go to to learn more. Applications for self-employed and 1099 workers will be open on April 10.
  • CLASP created a helpful fact sheet on Forgiveable Loans for Child Care Providers through the CARES Act. Download the fact sheet.
  • NDOL partnered with Representative Don Bacon to livestream the Unemployment Insurance application process. Visit our FAQ to watch the video.



April 2, 2020

  • Communities across Nebraska are establishing community support funds for businesses, nonprofits and individuals impacted by COVID-19. Check out our list of Community Assistance Programs, which we'll continue to update as the pandemic evolves.
  • Check out the latest podcast from the Small Business & Entrepeneurship Council about immediate relief available through the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program, who qualifies, how to apply and loan forgiveness. Senator Marco Rubio, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, is the guest. Listen to the podcast. See SBE Council Coronavirus Resources.



April 1, 2020

  • The Business Resiliency Resource page of the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) is available to assist child care businesses as they respond to COVID-19. The NBDC's business consultants can provide one-on-one, confidential consulting with the following:
    • Help small businesses rethink their operations as they adapt to the current environment
    • Conduct a cash flow analysis and advise owners on how to preserve cash during this crisis
    • Provide assistance with disaster loan applications
    • Learn more about NBDC's Business Resiliency resources.



March 31, 2020



March 26, 2020

  • The Emergency Response Program, a new initiative created through a partnership between NMotion, gener8tor, and the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, has been created to help small businesses, startups, freelances, and nonprofits that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Support is available to providers who classify as small businesses, including sole proprietors with no formal business organization. With the program, participants will be provided access to a free, week-long webinar series featuring experts in the following areas:
    • Applying for SBA-eligible programs;
    • Civic, philanthropic and state emergency relief resources;
    • Employment law experts to help navigate the changes required by the new laws;
    • Federal emergency relief programs; and
    • Mental health and wellness resources for small business owners.
    • Register by Wednesday, April 1 at The program will take place April 6-10.



March 25, 2020

  • The Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce has set up a Kearney Area Emergency Relief Fund to help community members suffering from hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Approved applicants are eligible for up to $500 every 30 days.  Learn more at
  • The Heartland United Way and Greater Grand Island Community Foundation have created the COVID-19 Community Compassion Fund to help area organizations and individuals. Criteria for accessing funds is still being established, will include support for critical services, and possible direct assistance to families. Learn more at
  • The Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), a program of the Center for Rural Affairs, is an available lending resource for small businesses, including in-home child care, for-profit and certain non-profit child care centers, that are experiencing a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. REAP is implementing an Express Loan that offers expedited funding of up to $7,500 for new borrowers and up to $10,000 for return borrowers. Business owners with emergency credit needs can apply at the Center for Rural Affairs, or contact REAP at 402-687-2100 or

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