Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept walk-in clients?

Unfortunately, no. To book your appointment with a counselor or specialist please click here.


Is there a cost for your services?

Most trainings and workshops are free with a few offered at a nominal fee.  All counseling sessions are provided at no cost.


Can I receive support in developing my business plan?

Yes, we hold a variety of trainings to assist you in writing your business plans. We also provide 1:1 business counseling.


Additional Business Plan Resources:


I need a loan or a grant for my business. Can the WBC help me?

We do not offer direct funding. Please visit our resource page for available funding options.


I have questions about business taxes - Does the WBC offer support in this?

Yes, check out the tax resources below.  If you have a specific question, please schedule an appointment with our business counselor by clicking here.






COVID –19 Crisis and Aftermath:


What are some funding options for my small business during COVID-19?

Visit our resources page for an updated list of COVID-19 funding options.


What is an SBA EIDL loan and grant?


  • The EIDL grants are a new feature of the EIDL program. SBA EIDL loans are available for small businesses during a declared disaster that have suffered economic harm (link is external). The COVID-19 crisis has been declared an eligible disaster. The limit on these loans is $2 million. Under the CARES Act, applicants can receive a $10,000 advance on their EIDL loans from lenders which will be disbursed within three business days of applying. That $10,000 advance would be forgivable. EIDL loans can be used to provide paid sick leave to employees unable to work due to COVID-19, maintaining payroll, meeting increased costs due to supply chain disruptions, rent or mortgage payments, and repaying debt obligations.


  • Unlike other disaster loan programs, they do not require physical damage to a business.


Who is eligible for an EIDL?

  • Under the CARES Act, an EIDL is available to any small business or business with 500 or fewer employees (or an industry size standard above 500 set by the Administration) that experiences an economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. This includes sole proprietors, independent contractors, tribal businesses, and cooperatives.


  • A business must make a good-faith certification that it is suffering an economic injury due to the COVID-19 crisis.


Where do I apply for an EIDL?

The SBA has updated its EIDL application page to reflect the new streamlined process for COVID-19 relief, which you can find here.


As a restaurant owner, can customers still dine-in at my establishment during the stay at home order?

  • Washington, DC - Through April 24, restaurants, cafes, coffee/tea shops, bars, and other food service locations offering only, grab-and-go, and carryout can stay open.


  • Maryland – The order allows for restaurants to continue carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery services, and allows for eateries in health care facilities to remain open.



How does a business maintain their customer base if they can no longer have customers in the establishment?

  • Create an online platform so customers can order online.


  • Arrange deliveries through delivery apps.


  • Post messages through social media and the business website to keep customers abreast of business status and changes.


How do I pay rent if my sales decrease from COVID-19?

  • DC Council passed COVID-19 relief bill with rent freeze.


  • Apply for federal and state grant and loans made available to assist during COVID-19.


  • If in Maryland or Virginia communicate with your landlord that the business is having a hardship and negotiate the rental payment.


What are my options if I cannot afford to pay my staff?

  • Determine how many employees the company can afford to maintain.


  • For employees you cannot afford to maintain provide employees with a letter of resignation and instruct them to request unemployment.


  • Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program offered by the SBA.


What relief can small businesses get through the SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program?

  • The SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program loans (PPP loans) are intended to cover expenses for a business during any 8-week period between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. They can be used for payroll costs, rents, mortgage interest, and utilities.


  • Businesses can get the lesser of either 2.5x the average monthly payroll expenses they had for the year prior to the loan or $10 million dollars. When calculating payroll expenses, individual employee salaries are capped at $100,000 (prorated per month).


Who is eligible for a PPP loan?

Small businesses that meet current SBA requirements, any business with 500 or fewer employees, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and “gig economy” workers qualify for the 7(a) PPP loans.


Where do I apply for a PPP loan?

SBA 7(a) PPP Loans are disbursed by SBA-approved lenders. Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis, the Administration has given the Treasury and the SBA the ability to grant temporary “SBA-lender status” to lenders that do not currently participate in the program, in order to process and disburse more loans in a short period of time. The SBA does not itself issue the loans, but guarantees them to the lender. Download an application for the PPP program. Be aware that some banks will require their OWN form, and not the PPP form.


I’m self-employed, what loans can I apply too?

  • Paycheck Protection Loans are available to 501(c)(3)s, self-employed, sole proprietors and independent contractors.


  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees, sole proprietors and independent contractors.


I’m self-employed, can I apply for unemployment?

Self-employed workers may qualify for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act or if you run an S corporation and treat yourself as an employee.



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