Sole Proprietor Stabilization Grant Program - Round 2 - FAQs: updated 4/6/2021

Sole Proprietor Stabilization Grant Program

Round 2

Frequently Asked Questions, last updated 4/6/2021

Getting Ready to Apply

Do I need Internet access to apply?

Do I need an email address?

Do I need a DUNS number to apply?

How do I get a DUNS number?

Does it cost anything to get a DUNS number and how long does it take?

Eligibility

Who is eligible for this grant?

What can businesses use the grant funds for?

What does it mean to be in good standing with the State and Federal Government?

Should I still apply for this grant if I received a PPP or EIDL loan, or some other federal or state aid?

Do I need to have at least $24,450 in net profit?

Does my business have to be incorporated?

Are owners of commercial real estate eligible to apply?

Please explain household income eligibility.

Grant Application Process

How do I apply for this grant?

Is there a paper application?

When can I start?
When is the grant deadline?

Can I apply after the deadline?

What if I don’t have all the information that’s needed for the application?

Can I partially fill out the application and return to it later?

What happens after I submit my application?

Grant Application Content

What is my physical address?

Can I still apply if I don’t have a Vermont Driver’s license or state-issued photo Vermont ID?

Does it matter if my mailing address is different than my physical address?

How will I show that I had gross revenue of at least $24,450?

Do I have to give you copies of my taxes?

What if I never filed taxes for my business?

What if I have not yet filed my 2020 taxes?

Do I need to submit my complete tax return, or just Schedule C?

What will I need to show expenses?

If my business is in my home, can I use my mortgage payment or utilities as a cost?
If I provide demographic information, will that impact my eligibility for this grant program?

What will happen if more information is needed after I submit my application?

Application Assistance

Can I get help applying for the grant?

Is there a number I can call for assistance on applying for this grant?

Post Award

How soon can I expect to receive the grant?

Will information about my grant be released publicly?

Is there a time limit on when I can spend the grant?

Is this grant award considered taxable income?

General


Is there a maximum grant amount?
How is the grant calculated?
What happens if more eligible businesses apply than there are available funds for grants?
Are there other COVID-19 grants available from other state agencies?
Where can I find additional resources that may be available for my business to help with the
economic downturn from COVID-19?


Questions Received During Webinar (4/1/21)

Application Procedures

General Grant Questions

Sole Proprietor Eligibility

Financials (Remember: business revenue eligibility criteria are distinct from household income eligibility criteria.)

Duplication of Benefits

Grant Application Software

Taxes

DUNS #

Eligible Expenses


Who is eligible for this grant?

To qualify, you must be a bona fide business entity at the time of shutdown in the State of Vermont and defined as a sole proprietor.

 

Sole Proprietor is defined as someone who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself, or as a Partnership or alternative business structure, and does not have W-2 employees regardless of how they are set up for tax purposes.  For example, S Corps and Partnerships (such as a 2 person team) that do not have W-2 employees would be eligible. The owner(s) of the enterprise must be a Vermont resident.  No more than 2 households can make up a Partnership or an S-Corp.

Businesses must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:  

  1. Be from a Low to Moderate Income household per federal guidelines, which is defined as having a household income of 80% or below the area median income for your county. (At the beginning of the application, we help you figure out whether you meet the income guidelines. Unemployment checks count toward household income. Stimulus checks do NOT count toward household income but must be disclosed in the “Duplication of Benefits” section of your application.)  For Partnerships or S-Corps with 2 owners who live in separate households, one of the owner households must meet this household income criterion.
  2. Be a Sole Proprietor that does not issue W-2s to any employees
  3. Be a for-profit entity, providing goods or services to clients
  4. The owner(s) of the enterprise must be a Vermont resident
  5. Have a physical establishment in Vermont
  6. Be in good standing with the State of Vermont and Federal Government on State / Federal Income Taxes  
  1. Demonstrate annual gross revenues greater than $24,450 ($11.75 X 2080 hours = $24,440) for the single business that will receive this grant (this is based on the State of Vermont Federal Minimum Hourly Wage as of January 2021)
  2. Be able to document past or expected eligible expenses of no more than ten (10) items totaling the amount of the grant award, no less than $100 / each
  3. Be able to show that paying these expenses is a hardship due to loss of income between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 because of COVID-19  
  4. Have been legally established prior to or as of March 15, 2020
  5. Not be listed under the excluded business types (see below), and not be a subsidiary enterprise or franchise

 

Excluded Business Types

The following business types are excluded from participating in this program:

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Do I need internet access to apply?

Yes, applications are only online.

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Do I need an email address?

Yes, if there are problems with your application we will communicate by email. You will also need an email address to apply for a DUNS number.

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How do I apply for this grant?

The application is only available online; the URL  is https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com. You will be required to set up a user account with a password.  This will allow you to save the application and return to fully submit or provide additional information.   Technical assistance recordings and contact information are also available at that website.

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When can I start?

The online grant application opens April 5, 2021.  If you do not already have a DUNS number, apply for one immediately; you can do this before April 5th. It usually takes about 48 hours, but can sometimes take up to 30 business days, to get your DUNS number - so apply early at https://www.dnb.com. If you have questions about how to apply for a DUNS number, there is a video tutorial at: https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com/help-center-1 

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When is the grant deadline?

The application closes May 26, 2021 or sooner if the grant amount is fully subscribed.

Do not wait until the last minute to submit.

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How do I get a DUNS number?

Go to https://www.dnb.com/ and look under the D-U-N-S Number tab. If you have questions about how to apply for a DUNS number, there is a video tutorial at: https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com/help-center-1 

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Does it cost anything to get a DUNS number and how long does it take?

No, and it may take up to 48 hours. Apply for the DUNS number immediately if you do not have one.

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Do I need a DUNS number to apply?

Yes.

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What if I don’t have all the information that’s needed for the application?

Get a DUNS number first if you have not done so. While waiting for that, gather the remaining needed information and documents. The application cannot be submitted without the required information. You will be able to stop, save, and return to continue working on the application if needed.  All required fields will be noted in the application with a red *.  

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Can I partially fill out the application and return to it later?

Yes.  You will be required to set up a user account with a password.  This will allow you to save the application, exit the application, and then return to provide additional information and submit when you are finished.

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Is there a paper application?

No.

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Can I get help applying for the grant?

Training videos  for how to apply and a Help Center are accessible at: https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com 

 

If English is not your native language, assistance can be provided. Contact information for requesting translation services is available at: https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com 

This FAQ will be updated often so check back for any updates prior to asking a question.

Eligibility questions that are not answered in this FAQ should be emailed as follows:

For applicants located in the counties of Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Orange, Orleans, and Windsor, email the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission at

CDBG-CV@trorc.org

For applicants located in the counties of Addison, Bennington, Lamoille, Rutland, Washington, and Windham, email Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation at CDBG-CV@brattleborodevelopment.com

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Is there a number I can call for assistance on applying for this grant?

No. If we find errors in your application after you submit, we may follow up with you by phone as needed.

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Is there a maximum grant amount?

Each grant will range from $1,500 to  $10,000.

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How is the grant calculated?

We will review the expenses you’ve submitted and the other funding sources that you’ve already received. If the expenses you’ve submitted are eligible and have not already been covered, then those expenses are reimbursable under this grant. For each other funding source you’ve received, we will ask you to assign business expenses to show how/if the money was spent If you have assigned some of your grant expenses to your aid, your grant amount will be reduced.

When calculating grant amounts, we round down to the nearest $100.

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What can businesses use the grant funds for?

The covered period for this program is 3/1/20 - 3/31/21 or 13 months. Only enter expenses that the business incurred during this timeframe; in other words, services must have been provided or goods purchased between March 2020 and March 2021. For example, a bill you received in March 2020 for electric service used in February 2020 is NOT eligible.  If you have eligible bills that have not yet been paid, identify those for us in your application, and we can work with you to pay them.

Please only include expenses of $100 or more. Monthly bills (such as utility bills) should be reported as a lump sum. Annual expenses must be prorated to exactly match the grant period.

Eligible Expenses Include but are not Limited to:

  1. Business rent or mortgage, property taxes, utilities, cable/internet, IT services, insurance, vehicle (but NOT mileage or regular maintenance)
  2. Business marketing/advertising, graphic design, website development or maintenance, and other software requirements (such as Zoom)
  3. Business postage and delivery costs
  4. Business merchant transaction fees
  5. Business supplies/inventory/equipment (this includes equipment needed to pivot towards online offerings or remote work)
  6. Office equipment supporting remote work
  7. Covid-related signage and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  8. Business legal and professional services
  9. Professional fees and licenses
  10. Business debt payments (various conditions apply)
  11. Pivot Projects (non-routine costs that you have paid to change your business model/operations to function more safely and effectively in the pandemic). To reimburse construction/remodeling projects, we generally need to do federal environmental clearance; check with us for more information on that process.

Many home based sole proprietors use an allocation percentage for expenses related to a home-based business. We can reimburse business portions of household bills if we have supporting documentation of the appropriate percentage in your tax returns or in a letter from your accountant.

Certain future expenses (incurred after 3/31/21) are eligible for reimbursement; in most cases, those costs need to be related to adapting your business to COVID-19. Check with us if you have a question about a particular future expense.

Ineligible Expenses Include Anything Related To:

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Is there a time limit on when I can spend the grant?

For more information on the time period during which a cost must have been incurred in order to be eligible for reimbursement, see What can businesses use the grant funds for? 

To comply with federal regulations, you must deposit your check (or if your bills haven’t yet been paid, pay your vendors) within 10 days of receiving your grant award check.

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What does it mean to be in good standing with the State and Federal Government?

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What will happen if more information is needed after I submit my application?

You will be contacted by email so make sure the email you enter into the application is correct. Make sure to check email regularly, including your spam folder.

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Should I still apply for this grant if I received a PPP or EIDL loan, or some other federal or state aid?

You may, but you must show an unmet need of at least $1,500 . (In other words, you must be able to document at least $1,500 in expenses that have not already been covered by other funding sources.)

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What happens if more eligible businesses apply than there are available funds for grants?

Grants will be awarded from completed applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

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What happens after I submit my application?

 You will receive an email notification confirming your submission. Our team will begin reviewing your application and will be in touch with you to discuss next steps.

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How soon can I expect to receive the grant?

We cannot guarantee a specific delivery timeline because this is a first-come, first served program and your award can’t be made until your documentation is complete. We will do our best to let you know when your application is up for review.  Note that access to these funds could take between 5 - 7 months.    

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Will information about my grant be released publicly?

To apply you must consent to public release of information. This gives the grant administrators access to all of your records but does not make your financial or personal information public. We may release the business names of awardees publicly.

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Are there other COVID-19 grants available from other state agencies?

Please visit https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/economic-recovery-grants for more information. We recommend signing up for ACCD’s newsletter for announcements: https://vermont.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ff50346b45ae607c4e55c01ec&id=73312ef76e 

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Where can I find additional resources that may be available for my business to help with the economic downturn from COVID-19?

https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business

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How will I show that I had gross revenue of at least $24,450?

The most likely way will be either tax filings as a business or on Schedule C on your tax return. Gross revenue of at least $24,450 in 2018, 2019, or 2020 makes you eligible; please show all years you are able to. Businesses only in operation for part of 2020 must provide an explanation as to why an annualized income would have been at least $24,450.

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Do I need to have at least $24,450 in net profit?

No, just at least $24,450 in gross annual revenue.

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Can I apply after the deadline?

No.

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Does it matter if my mailing address is different from my physical address?

No.

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What is my physical address?

It is the numbered address of where your business is located. It may be your home address if you work out of your home.

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Do I have to give you copies of my taxes?

Yes, complete tax forms must be uploaded as filed.  Provide only your Federal Income Taxes, we do not need your State of Vermont Tax Filings.  It is highly recommended that you black out all but the last four digits of your Social Security Number prior to upload. If the social security numbers are not redacted, uploaded documents are still protected from unauthorized download by the application system itself.

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What if I never filed taxes for my business?

If you have never filed taxes as a business or as part of your personal taxes, you are not eligible.

Your business had to be legally established prior to March 15, 2020.

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Does my business have to be incorporated?

No.

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What will I need to show expenses?

For each expense you would like reimbursed under this grant, you will be required to provide an invoice (bills, receipts, rental agreements, etc.) and proof of payment (credit card, bank statements or canceled check images). For expenses you have not yet paid, you can pay the vendor and show us proof of payment or we can work out paying the vendor directly on your behalf.

Bookkeeping accounts such as QuickBooks are not acceptable proof of invoices or payment.

If you are making a pdf of an invoice record that you are accessing online, please capture the entire document, including the address of the website you’re using.

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If my business is in my home, can I use my mortgage payment or utilities as a cost?

Many home based sole proprietors take the IRS standard deduction or use an allocation percentage for expenses related to a home-based business. We can reimburse business portions of household bills if we have supporting documentation of the appropriate percentage in your tax returns or in a letter from your accountant.

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If I provide demographic information, will that impact my eligibility for this grant program?

The demographic information you provide (race) will not have an effect on your eligibility; however, the income information you provide will impact your eligibility. To qualify, your household income must be 80% or below the area median income for your county. (Note: unemployment checks count toward household income.)

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Are owners of commercial real estate eligible to apply?

If you are a sole proprietor without any W2 employees, and you are not an excluded business type, you are eligible for this program.  

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Do I need to submit my complete tax return, or just Schedule C?

You must submit your complete Federal Tax Return, including all relevant schedules and forms as filed with the IRS. Submit each year's entire return as a single PDF. Please do NOT submit your State of Vermont Tax Returns.

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Can I still apply if I don’t have a Vermont Driver’s license or state-issued photo Vermont ID?

If you don’t have either form of ID, you must submit:

  1. One alternative document proving your Vermont residency (for example, a voter registration card, a tax bill, lease, or utility bill)

      AND

  1. One alternative document proving your business is located in Vermont (for example, a lease, tax bill, or utility bill that shows your business address)

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What if I have not yet filed my 2020 taxes?

No 2020 tax documentation will be required if your application is reviewed before the federal filing deadline. If you file for an extension on your 2020 taxes, provide us with a copy of the extension request you filed. If you did not file by the deadline and you did not request an extension, your award will not be processed until you provide us with a copy of an extension, return, or workout agreement with the IRS.

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Is this grant award considered taxable income?

Any grant award may be considered taxable income and you will receive a 1099 for the funds at the end of this tax reporting year. Each business should consult with its tax professionals to determine whether the grant award is considered taxable income.

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Will this video be available after the webinar?

A link to the video recording can be found at https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com/

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How do I create a pdf of my driver’s license?

If you have a scanner, you can use it to produce a pdf image of your license. Alternatively, you can take a picture of your driver’s license with your phone and then convert the file format to pdf. If you need assistance with file conversion, contact your grant administration team.

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What is the total funding amount for Round 2?

Funding for Round 2 of this grant program is $1.6 million. Individual grants to sole proprietors range from $1,500 to $10,000.

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When funds run out for this program, will there be an immediate posting on the website notifying us that funds have run out?

BDCC and TRORC will update their applications as soon as we can to let new applicants know that the funds have currently been reserved, but that you are still free to apply - funding may free up if previous applicants’ grant amounts change during application review.

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Am I eligible if I don’t have a physical setting (I go to my clients’ homes or business)?

Yes, as long as you live in Vermont, are registered as a business and file your business taxes accordingly, we can consider you a home-based business.

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Can a non-profit apply for this grant?

This grant is for for-profits only.

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I had W-2 employees in the past, but not currently. If I had W-2 employees on payroll during only part of the pandemic, am I eligible for this program?

You are NOT eligible for this program if you had W-2 employees on payroll on or after 3/1/20.

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Can a single-owner LLC with no W-2 employees apply for this program?

Yes, if you meet all other eligibility criteria.

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Are S Corps without employees eligible?

Yes, if you meet all other eligibility criteria.

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Is a registered hemp company considered "cannabis" related? If there is Vermont-grown hemp-derived CBD in some products, does that exclude eligibility?

Hemp production is an eligible business activity.

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I have teenagers who work part-time for me. Does this disqualify me for this grant?

If you issue them W-2s then you are not eligible for this grant. If you do not issue them W-2s and meet the other eligibility requirements, you may apply.

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Are S Corps required to have owner-issued W-2s in order to be eligible for this program?

No.

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Is an LLC eligible if one member meets the household income criteria, but the other doesn’t?

If the owners all live in the same household, then your combined gross income must meet the income eligibility requirement. Check out the income test tool on the homepage of our website. If the owners live in different households, only one household’s income information is factored into the income eligibility criteria calculation. We will require both households to report their income information, however.

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My business is a transportation company. Most of my business starts in Vermont and goes to other states. Am I eligible to apply?

As long as you meet the other eligibility requirements, you may apply.

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In which year must my business make over $24,450?

Either 2018, 2019, or 2020.

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For household income limit requirements, does unemployment count toward income?

Yes.

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Do you have an eligibility chart identifying the income eligibility thresholds by household size?

Please refer to the income eligibility tool on the homepage of our website.

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I receive a W-2 and a 1099 as a self-employed proprietor. Are both considered for financial eligibility?

When determining whether you meet the household income eligibility criteria, you must calculate gross income for all members of your household. When determining whether you meet the business revenue criteria, refer to your annual gross revenue/sales.

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Please explain household income eligibility.

To be eligible for this program, you must be from a Low to Moderate Income household per federal guidelines, which is defined as having a gross household income of 80% or below the area median income for your county. At the beginning of the application, we help you figure out whether you meet the income guidelines. You can also check using the income eligibility tool on our website. Unemployment checks count toward household income. Stimulus checks do NOT count toward household income but must be disclosed in the “Duplication of Benefits” section of your application. Grants and loan dollars only count toward your household income if you used them to pay yourself a salary. For more information about what is considered household income, refer to: https://tax.vermont.gov/individuals/household-income 

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In the household income eligibility tool on the website, why does it ask you to multiply your income by 2?

Household income criteria consider income for a 12-month period. We ask you to calculate 6 months (January - June OR July - December) of gross income in 2020, then multiply by 2 in order to estimate an annualized gross income.

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Do you use the same year to determine if your business made over $24,450 AND if you are eligible under household income?

To be eligible for this program, your business must have had gross annual revenue of at least $24,450 in either 2018, 2019, or 2020. To determine whether you meet the household income criteria, total the gross income of all members of your household living in and supporting the same household for six months of 2020 (January - June OR July - December), then multiply that number by two. Use the income eligibility tool on our website to see if you qualify as low-to-moderate income.

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If most members of our household were getting unemployment due to Covid, but one of us still had a job that puts us over the household income limit, are we eligible?

Unfortunately, the household income calculation includes everyone in your household, so you would not be eligible to participate in this program.

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In determining household income eligibility, do you consider gross or net income?

Gross income.

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What if you’ve been legally established for a few years, but didn't become full-time until last year? My business income between June 2020 and the end of the year was $22,000. Would I still be eligible?

Please email us to discuss your specific situation. Be prepared to share gross revenue figures for the first half of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.

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My business is currently closed. I normally have an annual revenue of $29,000, but that is currently zero due to COVID changes I need to make in order to reopen. Am I eligible?

If in 2018, 2019, or 2020, you earned gross revenues / sales in excess of $24,450, and if you meet all other eligibility requirements for this program, you are eligible to apply.

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What if our gross business revenue is up from 2019, but we have had to go to significant expense due to COVID; would we still be considered eligible?

Remember that there are 2 types of income we look at in our eligibility criteria. For business revenue, you must show that you had gross revenue of at least $24,450 in 2018, 2019, or 2020. For household income, consider gross income of all members of your household and use the income eligibility tool on our website to see if you are eligible.

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It seems like it is a lot of work to put expenses together. Is there a way to calculate if we will have an unmet need?

A rough, “back of the envelope” method is to total all of your business expenses incurred between 3/1/20 and 3/31/21, and then subtract the total amount of financial assistance you’ve received due to COVID-19. If the result is significantly higher than $1,500, then there’s a good chance that you have sufficient unmet need to be eligible for this grant program, but our grant administration will need to review your expenses in detail to confirm the actual amount of unmet need.

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How does receiving CDBG-CV Round 1 funding affect us? Are we still eligible?

As long as you meet the new eligibility requirements, you may apply. We will be looking at your application very closely to make sure there aren’t any duplications of benefits.

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Has the threshold changed for Round 2, as compared to Round 1?

There are some threshold and eligibility changes that can be found on the website: https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com/.

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What are duplications of benefits?

A duplication of benefits occurs if you claim that a particular business expense (for example, your April 2020 electric bill) was paid for by more than one source of financial assistance. Duplication of benefits is prohibited. So, for example, if you received an EIDL loan and a town emergency grant back in 2020, then you can’t claim to have paid your April 2020 electric bill using EIDL money, and then paid the same bill again using your town emergency grant. The same goes for this new grant that you’re applying for; you can’t use these grant dollars to cover expenses that have already been covered by previous financial assistance. In the grant application, you will be asked to identify the business expenses covered by the financial assistance you’ve already received.

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Can I receive this grant and unemployment at the same time?  

Yes, you can.

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Can I apply if I already received a women/minority-owned business grant from the state?

Yes, if you meet all the other eligibility criteria and you can still demonstrate unmet need.

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If I received a PPP or EIDL loan, can I apply?

Yes, if you meet all the other eligibility criteria and you can still demonstrate unmet need.

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I took out an SBA loan; does that count as household income even though I am making payments?

If you used all or part of your SBA loan to pay your salary (or owner draw), the amount that you paid yourself does count toward household income.  

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What if we received an EIDL loan and returned some of it?

In the application, when you’re asked to report the EIDL award amount, you should enter the amount of the loan that you kept, and then upload support for the original amount you received as well as support showing the remaining funds were returned.

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I received a small loan from my credit union at the beginning of COVID to help me pay bills while we were looking for/waiting for COVID help. Does that count as COVID funding?

Yes. In your application, you will need to disclose the funding source, how much you received, and what you used the funds for.

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What if I received unemployment as the result of a loss of a part-time job, lost because of COVID, which was unconnected to my business? (I never claimed unemployment for my business).

In the application, you are required to disclose the amount of unemployment you have received as a result of the pandemic. However, unemployment will not affect your unmet need calculation.

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Do we need to document how every grant or loan was spent in 2020? Even small grants and loans?

Yes, you will need to disclose the funding sources, how much you received from each, and what you used the funds for.

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Why do PPP and EIDL loans impact the unmet need calculation?

It is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirement.

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Do we report the ReVTA as a grant if we did not receive the money as the vendor did, but received the services?

No, you will only need to include ReVTA if you received funds as the vendor.

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Have you updated your systems to handle Adobe pdf folders yet?

We are using a different software for Round 2. Contact us if you have any trouble with uploads. We recommend creating single pdf files whenever possible.

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Can I use the same account from Round 1?

Since we are using a different software, you will need to create a new account.

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If someone owes back federal and state taxes, are they eligible for this grant?

If you can demonstrate that you have an approved workout plan and are making the payments, then you can apply for this grant program, so long as you meet all other eligibility requirements.

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How do I email tax forms 1040, as there are so many pages?

You will not be emailing tax forms; instead, you will be uploading the return as a pdf file into the application. If you have any difficulties with creating or attaching pdfs, there is a help box on each page of the application for you to contact either BDCC or TRORC.

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Do we need to submit personal taxes to verify household income? What if I file my business taxes separately from my personal taxes?

If you file your business taxes as part of your personal tax return, then you must submit your complete federal tax return, as filed.  If you file your business taxes separately from your personal taxes, then you will be asked to provide your business tax returns for the past few years as well as your most recent personal tax return  (in its entirety, as filed).

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My business taxes are filed as part of my personal taxes. How do I separate out the business component? Do you just want Schedule C?

You will need to provide your complete Federal income tax return, which will include both personal and business-related information. Make sure that you provide the full return, as filed.

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Do you want all 10+ pages of each of those tax returns scanned?

You will need to upload complete Federal tax returns as filed.

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Is there a tutorial on how to get tax forms to you?

Check out the tutorials in our Help Center, especially the Application Walk-through: https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com/help-center-1

If you still have questions, email us.

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What is a DUNS number?

A DUNS number is available from Dun & Bradstreet, which assigns unique numeric identifiers to businesses. Once you have a DUNS Number for your business, you will not need to apply for another one for that business. To apply, visit: https://www.dnb.com/duns-number.html

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Why is a DUNS required?

It is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirement.

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Can I start the application before receiving a DUNS Number?

You can start the application process without a DUNS #, but you will not be able to submit it.

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Are you required to have an EIN number to get a DUNS Number?

No, you do not need to have an EIN number.

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Does the Pivot Project have to be COVID-related?

Certain future expenses (incurred after 3/31/21) are eligible for reimbursement; in most cases, those costs need to be related to adapting your business to COVID-19. Check with us if you have a question about a particular future expense.

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Can you clarify how a pivot project can meet the 3/31/21 deadline if we’re submitting vendor proposals for work that hasn’t been completed yet?

Reimbursement costs must be incurred from 3/1/20 to 3/31/21. Pivot project costs can be incurred after 3/31/21.

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Can a Pivot Project be to help start a new product under the current business, to help bring in more money?

Yes.

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What about invoices from independent contractors?

If the invoice is for an eligible business expense, then it can be reimbursed.

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Is business insurance an eligible cost?

Yes, but we will need to confirm the type and dates of coverage.

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Can we use the money to pay employee wages?

No. Wages for your business’s owners and employees are not an eligible business expense.

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Can I use tools as an expense and should I put all those receipts together?

Yes, tools are an eligible business expense. When you have multiple receipts for the same types of expenses, please group them together into a single pdf file.

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Do invoices have to be paid already?

No. If you have eligible bills that have not yet been paid, identify those for us in your application, and we can work with you to pay them.

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We are an S Corp., and we have outstanding invoices from independent contractors hired to perform development, and project management. Can we be reimbursed for those expenses?

Yes, if the invoices are for eligible business expenses.

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Can you request funds for covid-related business expenses AND a pivot project?

Yes. You can have one or the other, or a combination.

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Could buying a laptop to be more remote based be a pivot project?

Yes.

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Would a lease for equipment purchase be eligible for the total equipment cost - or just the down payment and monthly payments made from  3/1/20 to 3/31/21?

The down payment (if it was incurred within the eligible time period) and the required monthly payments from 3/1/20 to 3/31/21 would be eligible. This grant can only cover the amount required by the lease during the March 2020 - March 2021 period; excess payments are not eligible.

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Does the vendor you want to use need to be on the list that was used for Round 1?

This question sounds like it pertains to a different program. There is not a list of approved vendors for this grant.

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Do the vendors we use have to be located in Vermont?

No. You need to reside in and have your business located in Vermont. The vendors you use do not have to be from Vermont.

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Can I use the grant to go back to school to add another component to my current business?

Yes. You will be required to provide proof that you’ve completed your course / training.

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Can I use this grant for equipment purchases?

Yes. Review our list of eligible expenses.

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Does a QuickBooks statement of expenses work?

You cannot use reports or statements from QuickBooks as invoices or proof of payment.

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I generally don’t have invoices. My clients pay me by check as our sessions end.

This grant will not cover loss of wages.

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