Additional Resources & Tips

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

emergency grants

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.

Learn more

COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund Available

artist relief fund

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.

Learn more

Professional Beauty Association

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.

Learn more

Lowe's-LISC Partnership

rural business

As part of our continuing commitment to elevate our impact in rural America, LISC has teamed up with Lowe’s to award Rural Relief Small Business Grants to small business owners in rural locations across the country. Grants of $20,000 are available to help rural small businesses meet their most urgent needs.

Although the latest round is closed, you can sign up below to receive updates for when this program may reopen.

Learn more

Coalition to Back Black Businesses

amex back black

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.

Through the Coalition, American Express, Altice USA, AIG Foundation, Cummins, Dow, Stanley Black and Decker, 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 work together over the next four years to provide over $13 million in grants, training, and resources to empower Black-owned small businesses in distressed communities that have long been struggling with economic growth.

Check your eligibility and sign up to express interest in the next round of this program at the link below.

Learn more

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

workable

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

hootsuite

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

video conferencing

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.

 

Cybersecurity Concerns

IRS Scams

IRS Scam

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.

Report scam

DHS: Cyber Scams 

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.

Department of Justice

Dept 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: