Business Resources

Sugar Hill Business Resource GraphicCOVID-19 Business Resources Guide

LAST WEB UPDATE: Tuesday, June 16, 2020
LAST PDF UPDATE: Friday, May 1, 2020

Downloadable Resource Guide PDF



Small Business Assistance Program

Gwinnett County is offering $20 million in federal CARES Act loans and grants for local for-profit businesses that have been hurt during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are intended to help businesses reopen their doors with such needs as deep cleaning facilities, modifying facilities to accommodate ongoing social distancing, restocking inventory, marketing to their clients, and/or paying staff in advance of reopening and achieving revenue.

Grants will be capped at $75,000 and loans will range from $50,000 to $200,000. Applications for the funds will be available June 30. Visit Gwinnett County’s Small Business Assistance Program to learn more.


The City of Sugar Hill remains committed to supporting small businesses during this unprecedented public health emergency and in the weeks to come. We fully recognize the economic impact of this event on your business, your staff, and you.

Please feel free to share this guide with other small business owners and contact us with additional resources or share a question.

Staff is available to answer any questions you have, now and in the future at at (770) 945-6716.

Coronavirus Response
City of Sugar Hill

The Sugar Hill City Council declared a Public Health State of Emergency on March 20th, 2020.

Declaration of a State of Emergency, while intimidating, is a decision that enables additional flexibility and functionality in a time of crisis, such as meeting by teleconference for City Council and Downtown Development Authority meetings.

Additionally, the declaration also ensures eligibility of the City of Sugar Hill for future resource and funding consideration for programs related to addressing the impact of the Coronavirus, including routing of federal, state, and regional funds that may be granted for distribution.

Since declaration of a State of Emergency, the City of Sugar Hill has taken several steps to protect public safety and health. A full timeline of all changes in operations and Executive Orders related to the Coronavirus can be found at

Support Small Business
The City of Sugar Hill maintains a webpage listing updates to operations for local businesses as well as ways for the community to continue to support you.

Visit the small business support page for examples of adapted business operations.

Not listed yet? Email Nadia Merritt ( with information about your continued operations including:

  • Online ordering opportunities
  • Gift card options
  • Special pricing
  • Other creative ways you’re staying open even when doors are closed

Economic Development Staff
The Economic Development Department exists to support business success in Sugar Hill. Contact Director Mercy Montgomery at ( or Downtown Coordinator Nadia Merritt ( or call or (770) 945-6716 for assistance with any questions related to business resources and assistance.


US Small Business Administration (SBA)
The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of resources, some related specifically to the Coronavirus pandemic as well as others available at other non-crisis times.

Relevant programs include:

  • Paycheck Protection Program
    • Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount. Payments will be deferred for six months and a portion may be forgiven if you maintain your workforce.
    • PPP AND EIDL Diagrams
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
    • Small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance of up to $10,000 and Economic Injury Disaster Loan for working capital loans of up to $2 million.
    • Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
    • All eligible business are strongly encouraged to apply online as soon as possible for consideration. The anticipated application review time is two to three weeks.
  • SBA Debt Relief
    • This program provides a reprieve to small businesses during the public health crisis.
    • The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
    • The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans
    • This program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

Visit the SBA Coronavirus Small Business Guidance Loan Resources page for more information about all the programs listed above as well as additional SBA resources that may be relevant.

Other Resources: Connect with free consultants at the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, the SCORE program, or Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs for assistance as you complete relevant applications, especially the EIDL program.

Comparison Chart: To asses all three SBA programs in a convenient diagram go to

University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center
The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center in Gwinnett is here to answer questions and help address concerns about the effect of the COVID-19 virus on business, cash flow, payroll, marketing, and more. They are a resource for up-to-date information on the latest on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program and are available to consultant. UGA’s SBDC has a dedicated page with an overview of all the SBA Small Business Relief programs.

Where to Find Out More:
To Schedule an Appointment: email or leave a message by calling 678-985-6820

SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Association that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their small businesses through their network of business mentors. The core service offering is the organizations small business mentoring program. In addition, SCORE offers free and low-cost educational workshops each year, both online and in-person.

Where to Find Out More: North Metro Atlanta Score 
Coronavirus SBA Loans and Business Assistance: SCORE Coronavirus SBA Loans
Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub: SCORE Coronavirus Business Hub

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE)
ACE has emerged as a leader in responsive and innovative small business financing in Georgia. For small companies in a vulnerable stage of growth, ACE makes loans with generous repayment terms and affordable interest rates. ACE provides coaching & connections to help make your business a success while using their service.

Where to Find Out More: Ace Loans

ACE Women’s Business Center
The Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Women’s Business Center understands the needs of small businesses, both start-ups and existing businesses. They know what it takes to successfully obtain small business funding, the challenges small businesses face, and the knowledge and experience to provide the training and support small business owners need to be successful.

Where to Find Out More: ACE Loans WBC

Georgia Department of Community Affairs
The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is taking measures to offer a period of relief for small businesses currently using a DD RLF loans or SSBCI loans. If a borrower on DD RLF loans or a lender on SSBCI loans, DCA will consider request for either 3-month loan deferral payments or interest only payment on a case-by-case basis.

Where to Find Out More: Department of Community Affairs 
State Small Business Credit Initiative: Community Economic Development Funding Programs State Small Business Credit Initiative SSBCI

GoFundMe has announced that they are offering $500 matching grants to any eligible small business that raises at least $500 through a GoFundMe campaign. The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative is intended to support our local businesses facing financial loss. Make a difference today by donating or starting a fundraiser.

Where to Find Out More: Go Fund Me Small Business Relief Fundraiser

MainVest, a crowdfunding platform, announced its new Main Street Initiative: a $2,000, zero-interest, 120 day loan for restaurants or other brick and mortars affected by the shutdown. If you have an existing brick & mortar business that has been negatively effected by the COVID-19 outbreak and you launch a capital raise on Mainvest, you may be eligible for the loan.

Where to Find Out More: MainVest’s Mainstreet Initiative

If you are a Square customer, Square Capital supports eligible businessess with loans between $500 – $250,000. Square created an easy application, simply Log in to your Dashboard to see if your business has a loan offer. All loans are subject to credit approval. Applying won’t affect your credit score. If approved, your business loan is deposited in your bank account. Pay off your loan with convenient automatic deductions from your Square daily card sales.

Where to Find Out More: Square Up Capital

Intuit QuickBooks is seeding this initiative with up to $1 million through a fund and employee-directed contributions. If you are a QuickBooks customer with personal and business credit history and revenue of at least $50,000 over the past 12 months, you may be eligible for a loan up to $100,000. Applying won’t affect your credit score. Intuit QuickBooks is also offering free webinars about how to generate and build support during COVID-19.

Where to Find Out More: Quickbooks Intuit Capital
Small Business Funding: Quickbooks intuit Small Business Help

Facebook Small Business Grant
Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. The grant is spread over the 30 countries they operate within. The program can help with rent cost, workforce, connecting with customers, and cover operational cost.

Where to Find Out More: Facebook Business Boost Grants


The James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation recognizes the dire situation the food and beverage community is in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind they are launching a fund that will be gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to Restaurants, bars, and other independent food and beverage operations.

Where to Find Out More: James Beard Blog Relief Fund


With the current impacts the economy, Kabbage launched an online hub to help boost sales for U.S. small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a system which businesses can sell gift cards to consumers for use at a later date. Customers can search for businesses by industry or location to show their support.

Where to Find Out More: Kabbage Help Small Business

Paypal has a payment solution for small businesses, whether you sell from a website, a retail location, a social media page, or even a tent at a farmer’s market. Using Paypal to process payments includes no contracts, no minimums, and no setup fees to start processing transactions. Paypal has a 2.7% merchant fee per US Swipe and 3.5% plus $0.15 for keyed sales. You only pay when you get paid. A PayPal Business Account also offers tools to help keep businesses organized and on-track.

Where to Find Out More: PayPal US Merchant

Gwinnett Magazine
Gwinnett Magazine, knows how vibrant and strong the Gwinnett County community is and knows it is largely because of the efforts our small businesses. The Coronavirus Pandemic is not something most were prepared for but Gwinnett Magazine is here to take action. We want to help out, so we’re rolling out a program this week offering free publicity for your business. They are keeping clients informed and circulating the news on all the creative ways businesses are serving clients through this crisis is going to be important.

Where to Find Out More: Gwinnett Magazine Small Biz 


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has made substantial changes to sick and FMLA leave for businesses and employees. The DOL will continue to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. The FFCRA pertains to employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Where to Find Out More: Department of Labor Agencies Pandemic FFCRA Questions 

The Georgia Department of Labor updated their policies in response to the development of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The new polices makes it a swifter process to apply for unemployment benefits and can be completed online.
It is the employer’s responsibility to file a partial claim on behalf of their workers if the employers reduced the number of hours worked or no work is available for a short duration in time.

Where to Find Out More: Department of Labor Georgia Blog New Information Filing Unemployment Partial Claims and Reemployment Services


Online Learning & Webinars

Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce: The chamber is in business for business offering virtual networking & educational webinars. For More Details Go To:Gwinnett Chamber Events

Georgia SBDC: Offers webinars discussing different business resource by region and has downloadable planning worksheets to help chart your financial course of action. For More Details Go To: and Gwinnett is region 3.

Georgia Department of Transportation: GDOT has a recording an online webinar for small business owners interested in learning about business opportunities with GDOT. Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), small business owners and veteran-owned small businesses will have the opportunity to learn about State Funded projects in the Northeast Georgia region. For More Details Go To:

Regions Bank: Hosting a series of webinars regarding financial wellness. Three examples include How to Bank Without Visiting a Branch, Your Credit Report, and Managing Your Money. For More Details Go To:

Lynda (Now LinkedIn Learning): Learn software, creative, and business skills to achieve your personal and professional goals. For More Details Go To: Lynda

Gwinnett County Public Library Digital Resources: Learn a new skill such as web design, coding, language, and more. Lynda can be access via GCPL Digital Resources.
For More Details Go To: Gwinnett County Public Library Digital Resources

Most professional industry organizations are offering webinars and online resources specific to their industry as well.

Georgia Main Street Associations Webinar: Covid 19: Small Business Resources Recording

How to Set Up and Online Shop

YouTube has a number of vloggers who have experience in a specific to their industry as well.

  • Digital marketing & social media consultant Erika Conleay and graphic & web designer Erica Neubauer have teamed up to give you an overview of how to build a successful online store. Erika Conleay will review how to write an effective product description, how to stage photos, and what online platforms to consider given your product needs. Erica Neubauer will provide step-by-step instructions of how to set up an online shop using Shopify and SquareSpace and provide some recommendations for WordPress. To watch the video go to: NewTown Macon How to Set Up an Online Shop

Articles & Media

Blogs, Websites, Journals, and More