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We're Here for You American Electric Power is committed to the health and safety of our customers, communities and employees as we closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more


We'll move forward together

As we begin to recover from the effects of COVID-19, we’re here to help you renew and restart, so when your doors swing open you’ll stand strong. Whether you’re a sole proprietor or employ scores of colleagues, we can help find the right AEP payment assistance plan and guide you to the programs offered by the Small Business Administration that fit your needs.

See the programs below or call one of our regional Business Solutions Centers:

Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses

Federal Resources

The federal government offers relief to businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. Provided through organizations like the Small Business Administration (SBA), these programs help maintain your operations.

The Paycheck Protection Program – part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act – is a Small Business Association (SBA) loan program intended to help small businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • There is no cost to apply.
  • SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
  • You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any participating bank or credit union through June 30, 2020.

Small businesses in operation on February 15, 2020 with less than 500 employees whose principal residence is the U.S. (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries. Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers.

The maximum loan amount is your monthly payroll cost times 2.5, up to $10 million. Loans have a maturity of 2 years and a 1.0% interest rate. Loan payments will be deferred for six months. No personal guarantee or collateral is required. There are no fees.

The funds can be used for:

  • Payroll, wages, commissions or similar compensation
  • Payment for vacation, parental, family, medical or sick leave
  • Payment for the provision of employee benefits
  • Payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation
  • Mortgage interest payments
  • Rent and lease payments
  • Utilities

Yes, with the right planning, your loan can effectively be a grant. The amount of forgiveness can be up to the full principal and any accrued interest. The loan can be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. No more than 25% of the forgiven amount can be used for non-payroll costs and salaries above $100,000 are excluded. Forgiveness is based on the business maintaining or restoring employment and wage levels by June 30, 2020, and is reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

SBA has released a loan forgiveness application to calculate the amount of eligible forgiveness. The borrower should complete the form and submit to their lender.

View application

You can apply for a loan directly through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or participating bank or credit union through June 30, 2020.

  • Contact your bank and inquire if they are participating.
  • Download a copy of the PPP borrower application form to see the information that will be requested when you apply. You will also need payroll documentation and other documents as required by your lender.
Find a lender Learn more

The SBA reopened its Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to farmers and agricultural producers on May 4, 2020. Although farmers were excluded from EIDL eligibility in earlier program rounds, Congress approved $60 billion in additional funding for the program on April 23 to allow farmers to apply for aid.

  • There is no cost to apply.
  • The program offers emergency loan advances of $1,000 per worker, up to $10,000 total, which can be received as soon as three days from application. These grants are not required to be repaid.
  • The loan advances and low-interest loans are offered directly through the SBA to eligible agricultural businesses on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.

Agricultural businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including sole proprietorships, are eligible. Agricultural businesses include businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and the raising of livestock, aquaculture as well as all other farming and agricultural-related industries.

The SBA issues the EIDL loans directly at a low-interest rate (not to exceed 3.75% for small businesses) for up to $2 million and a maturity of up to 30 years, depending on need. The first year of payments are deferred. Approval is based on the applicant’s credit score. Collateral is required for loans over $25,000. Personal guarantees are required for loans over $200,000.

EIDL loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other costs including utility payments.

Yes. Emergency advances of $1,000 per worker, up to $10,000 total, can be requested and received as soon as three days from application submission. These grants are not required to be repaid, even if the applicant is ultimately denied a loan by the SBA.

Applicants can apply directly with the SBA.


The CARES Act includes several changes to taxes and tax policies in order to ease the burden on businesses impacted by COVID-19. These changes include:

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit - Small businesses may be eligible for refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers to employees from March 12, 2020 to January 31, 2021. The credit is available to employers whose (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19 related shut-down order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year.
  • Advanced Tax Credits for Paid Leave - The CARES Act allows employers to receive an advance tax credit for required paid sick leave (under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) instead of having to be reimbursed.
  • Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes - Employers and self-employed individuals may defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax they otherwise are responsible for paying.
  • Net Operating Loss Modifications - The provision relaxes the limitations on a company’s use of losses. Net operating losses (NOLs) are currently subject to a taxable-income limitation, and they cannot be carried back to reduce income in a prior tax year. The provision also temporarily removes the taxable income limitation to allow an NOL to fully offset income. These changes will allow companies to utilize losses and amend prior year returns, which will provide critical cash flow and liquidity during the COVID-19 emergency.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce – provides extensive resources and relief information for small businesses.
  • SBA Express Loan – The CARES Act increases the maximum SBA Express loan—a loan whose application SBA will process in 36 hours—from $350,000 to $1 million through December 31, 2020.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loan – This allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. It can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying and waiting for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.    
  • SBA Debt Relief – As part of SBA's debt relief efforts, it will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – The IRS has established content to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. The federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15 to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed.
  • SCORE A resource partner of the SBA, SCORE is offering free, personalized assistance to help small businesses adapt their business models, navigate financial challenges and get help in applying for SBA disaster assistance loans.
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – SBDCs are local offices sponsored by the SBA to help small businesses that are offering extensive help to small businesses throughout America.
  • Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) – EXIM is offering a number of relief measures and financing flexibility for exporters, including a bridge financing program, supply chain financing guarantee program and a working capital guarantee program.
  • Department of Agriculture– The Department of Agriculture offers loan guarantees for rural businesses.
  • Commercial Programs – Some lenders are offering loan payment deferment or discounted loan programs to small businesses. Check with your business’s bank about your options. Also, several corporations are offering small business assistance programs, including Facebook’s Small Business Grant Program.

State and Local Resources

Help may be available through your state or local agencies. Select an operating company to see regional information on COVID-19.