The Small Business Relief Initiative and Fund FAQs

Learn everything you need to know about the Small Business Relief Initiative and the Small Business Relief Fund. Here you’ll find all the information needed to navigate this combined relief effort by GoFundMe, Yelp, Intuit QuickBooks, GoDaddy, and Bill.com. Make your contribution to help more small businesses receive grants.

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What is the Small Business Relief Initiative?

The Small Business Relief Initiative was started by GoFundMe to help small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower their communities to rally behind them. GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp, Intuit QuickBooks, GoDaddy, and Bill.com to provide small business owners with the financial support and resources needed to continue running their businesses during and after the coronavirus crisis.

As part of the Small Business Relief Initiative, GoFundMe, Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, GoDaddy, and Bill.com have each donated to the Small Business Relief Fund. GoFundMe.org, the charitable and advocacy arm of GoFundMe, started the Small Business Relief Fund to benefit small businesses. Supporters can donate to the Small Business Relief Fund, which will issue $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. More partners will be announced in relation to this initiative at a later date.

Not a small business owner, but want to help? Donate to individual small businesses fundraisers for those affected by coronavirus, or start a GoFundMe.

  • How does the Small Business Relief Initiative work?

    Small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis can sign up on GoFundMe to start a fundraiser to benefit their small business. Local community members are able to search small business relief fundraisers on GoFundMe to find favorite small businesses they’d like to support. If a small business raises $500 on their GoFundMe and meets eligibility criteria listed below, they may be considered to receive a $500 matching grant from the Small Business Relief Fund.

  • What businesses are eligible to receive a grant from the Small Business Relief Fund?

    To be eligible for a grant from the Small Business Relief Fund, the business needs to meet the following requirements: have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic; be independently owned and operated; not be nationally dominant in its field of operation; intend to use funds to either help (a) care for its employees/workers or (b) pay ongoing business expenses; raise at least $500 for the business through its own GoFundMe fundraiser, which fundraiser it started because of the COVID-19 pandemic; and have no fraud reports made against it. Only one grant per business. All business fundraisers and grant recipients must comply with GoFundMe’s terms of service. To read more see here our terms of service.

    That said, any business, as long as it complies with our terms of service, can start a GoFundMe.

    If a fundraiser has already been created and is benefitting a small business negatively impacted by COVID-19, please follow these steps to be considered for a grant:

    • Make sure you add the hashtag #SmallBusinessRelief to your fundraiser story
    • Fill out this form to confirm your small business
    • Raise $500 from your friends, families, and other connections
    • Be sure the business owner is set up to receive the funds from the fundraiser, if you’re not raising money for your own business. Select the “Withdraw” option in the GoFundMe dashboard to make sure this is set up

    If you have not yet started a fundraiser for your small business, search small business relief fundraisers to find and claim your fundraiser. If you are unable to find your fundraiser, then sign up on GoFundMe to start a fundraiser now. Then, please also:

    • Make sure you add the hashtag #SmallBusinessRelief to your fundraiser story
    • Fill out this form to confirm your small business
    • Raise $500 from your friends, families, and other connections
    • Be sure the business owner is set up to receive the funds from the fundraiser, if you’re not raising money for your own business. Select the “Withdraw” option in the GoFundMe dashboard to make sure this is set up

    Note: All fundraisers will need to meet the above eligibility requirements to be considered for a one-time $500 matching grant from the Small Business Relief Fund.

  • How can I be considered for a grant if I already have a GoFundMe?

    For small business fundraisers started outside of the Small Business Relief Initiative, you can still be considered for a matching grant. First, confirm your fundraiser meets the eligibility requirements provided above. Then, please also:

    • Make sure you add the hashtag #SmallBusinessRelief to your fundraiser story
    • Fill out this form to confirm your small business
    • Raise $500 from your friends, families, and other connections
    • Be sure the business owner is set up to receive the funds from the fundraiser, if you’re not raising money for your own business. Select the “Withdraw” option in the GoFundMe dashboard to make sure this is set up
  • I’m a small business owner, what other help is out there for me?

    Read about seven other ways to get help through government aid, private grants, and more

  • Are any businesses prohibited from receiving a grant from the Small Business Relief Fund?

    Yes, the following businesses and types of businesses are prohibited:

    • Businesses that don’t meet GoFundMe’s terms of service will not be eligible for a grant. For example, gun shops would not be eligible for the grant
    • No large businesses are eligible, meaning businesses that are not independently owned and operated, and/or nationally dominant in the field of operation for that business
    • Franchisees and chain businesses
    • Only one grant is allowed per business, regardless of location.
  • I’m not in an area with mandated business closures for coronavirus. Is my business eligible?

    Yes. These offers apply to eligible businesses even in cities and states without mandated closures, provided, however, that such businesses must be able to certify that they were, in fact, negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    For example, if a taco stand in Miami Beach, Florida lost spring break visitors because New York was shut down by the government mandate, then that taco stand could still be negatively impacted by a government-mandated closure, even if the mandate was not issued by the State of Florida, where the taco stand resides.

  • Am I eligible if my business is located outside of the US?

    No. Right now, we are focusing on a nationwide rollout within the United States. We are hoping to expand the Small Business Relief Initiative to incorporate international businesses in the future.

Small Business Relief Fund Grants

  • How much can each small business potentially receive?

    Grants will be no more than a $500 match for each qualifying applicant, until the Fund is depleted.

  • Why are grants limited to $500?

    We understand that millions of small businesses are experiencing a tremendous financial need right now, and we want to be able to help as many of them as possible. To do this, we’ve limited the grants to $500.

  • How are the grants disbursed?

    GoFundMe.org will make donations to the selected fundraisers and businesses that meet the eligibility requirements. Grants will be disbursed only to the fundraisers of qualified businesses, on a first-come basis. When the Fund is depleted, then grants will stop. 

  • When and how will the donations and matching funds be paid to me?

    Funds will be paid out to the bank account that you link to your GoFundMe fundraiser. It can take 1-7 business days to verify your account. Once the funds become available, all verified donations held within the account will be automatically sent at the frequency that you choose (daily, weekly, monthly) and will be delivered to your bank account in 2-5 business days. If you need assistance setting up withdrawals on your GoFundMe, please read How to Withdraw Money.

  • How quickly does GoFundMe.org disburse the funds?

    Provided the business meets all criteria, GoFundMe.org hopes to start making grants to qualifying fundraisers within a matter of days. After a selected business receives its grant, withdrawals may take another 2-5 business days to arrive into the designated bank accounts.

  • What if I raise less than $500 on my GoFundMe?

    If you raise less than $500, you can still claim the donations made by supporters to your GoFundMe, but you are not eligible for a matching grant from the Small Business Relief Fund.

  • What happens when there are more businesses than there is money in the fund?

    Each qualifying fundraiser is eligible for a matching grant of $500 from GoFundMe.org. If there are more businesses than there is money in the Fund, the grants will stop. Indeed, GoFundMe.org shall continue making grants to qualifying businesses until the entire Fund is depleted.

  • How will I know if I’m one of the businesses that receives a grant?

    If your business receives a $500 matching grant from the Small Business Relief Fund, you will see a $500 donation to your fundraiser with the donor name “GoFundMe.org”. A banner will also appear on your fundraiser. You will also get an email notification when the $500 grant donation is made to your GoFundMe, as long as your notification settings to receive emails from GoFundMe are turned on.

  • What are the tax implications of these donations?

    There should be no tax implications because you have established that you are a small business negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, GoFundMe.org will not require any goods or services to result from the grant; instead it is provided to you as a gift. That said, we cannot provide you any tax advice as everyone’s situation is different and tax rules change from time to time. We recommend you speak to a financial advisor.

  • How much does GoFundMe make on each fundraiser?

    GoFundMe has a 0% platform fee and relies on the generosity of the community through voluntary tips. 

    GoFundMe does enable donors to give us a voluntary tip so GoFundMe can provide quality customer service, trust & safety protections, and social fundraising technology. Our credit card payment processing fees are industry standard, which means that when you donate to a fundraiser, only the credit card processing fees (2.9% + $0.30 per donation) are deducted from what is sent to businesses. For fundraisers started by Yelp, Yelp does not get any portion of the donations.

  • How much has been raised on GoFundMe to date related to COVID-19?

    Communities have come together to raise more than $60 million on GoFundMe for people impacted, businesses forced to close, and organizations on the ground helping. For more information, please read this letter from GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan.

  • How can I request that my fundraiser is added to the Small Business Relief centralized hub?

    Any existing small business fundraiser started prior to the Small Business Relief Initiative can update their fundraiser description with the hashtag #SmallBusinessRelief to be considered for the Small Business Relief centralized hub.

  • Can a donor opt-out of giving a tip?

    Yes. Tipping is optional. We are very grateful to everyone who chooses to help fund our service.

  • If someone picks the tipping option by mistake, can they get a refund?

    Yes. GoFundMe always offers best-in-class service and this will be covered by our refund policy.

Answers about fundraisers created by Yelp

If you are a small business with a fundraiser started through Yelp, please read the Yelp FAQ.

 

  • What are the eligibility requirements to receive a Small Business Relief Fund grant if a fundraiser was started for my small business through Yelp?

    If a fundraiser was started for your small business through Yelp, it (a) must be in the United States, (b) must have claimed its business on Yelp by March 22, 2020, and (c) must have five or fewer locations. Additionally, businesses must (d) be listed in at least one of the following categories.  

    In addition, to be eligible for a grant from the Small Business Relief Fund, the business needs to meet the following requirements: have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic; be independently owned and operated; not be nationally dominant in its field of operation; intend to use funds to either help (a) care for its employees/workers or (b) pay ongoing business expenses; raise at least $500 for the business through its own GoFundMe fundraiser, which fundraiser it started because of the COVID-19 pandemic; and have no fraud reports made against it. Only one grant per business. All business fundraisers and grant recipients must comply with GoFundMe’s terms of service. To read more see here our terms of service.

    That said, any business, as long as it complies with our terms of service, can start a GoFundMe.

    If a fundraiser has been started on a business’s behalf through the Yelp integration, here are the steps required to be considered for a grant:

    • Fill out this claim form
    • Raise $500 from your friends, families, and other connections
    • Be sure the business owner is set up to receive the funds from the fundraiser, if you’re not raising money for your own business. Select the “Withdraw” option in the GoFundMe dashboard to make sure this is set up

    Any unclaimed donations remaining on a fundraiser created through Yelp will be refunded to donors.

  • Which small businesses are eligible for the Small Business Relief Fund through Yelp?

    To be eligible, businesses must: (a) be in the United States, (b) have claimed their business on Yelp by March 22, 2020, and (c) have five or fewer locations. Additionally, businesses must (d) be listed in at least one of the following categories: Restaurants, Food, Nightlife, Beauty/Spas/Salons, or Active, though some exceptions apply; (d) have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (e) be independently owned and operated and not nationally dominant in their field, and (f) intend to use funds to either to help care for their employees / workers or pay ongoing business expenses.

  • My business is not in the Yelp categories listed. Am I eligible?

    No, only businesses in the categories listed are eligible to be part of the Initiative through Yelp. However, even if the business is not in the Yelp categories listed, if the business still meets the other criteria, it may get more information about the Fund by creating a GoFundMe fundraiser and adding the hashtag #SmallBusinessRelief.

  • How do I claim a fundraiser that has been started for my small business through Yelp?

    To claim your GoFundMe, go to the fundraiser that has been created on your business’ behalf through Yelp, scroll to the bottom of the fundraiser page and find the blue button that says: “Own this business? Claim here”. Or, fill out this form to claim your fundraiser. You will be asked to verify your identity by submitting your email, name, and a picture ID.

    Any unclaimed donations remaining on a fundraiser created through Yelp will be refunded to donors.

  • I do not want a fundraiser started for my small business. How do I opt-out?

    To opt-out of the GoFundMe that has been started for your small business through Yelp, please select the “opt-out” option in the claim form. If a business does decide to opt-out, any donors will be refunded in full.

  • What if I don’t want to accept donations, but someone donates before I can opt-out?

    If you do not wish to accept any donations, you can fill out this form to opt-out of your fundraiser. If you do decide to opt-out, the donors will be refunded.

  • Can I edit the details of my fundraiser?

    Yes. If you started your own fundraiser, sign in to make any edits you would like.

    If a fundraiser was created for you through Yelp, reach out to GoFundMe through this claim form and the team can help transfer ownership of the fundraiser to you. Once it has been transferred, you can make changes to details like your goal amount and your fundraiser title.

  • I already had a fundraiser for my business and I also had one created for me by Yelp. How do I combine them?

    Fundraisers can’t be combined. Instead, you should move forward with just one fundraiser and ensure the fundraiser meets the eligibility requirements to be considered for a matching grant.

    To close a fundraiser created for you through the Yelp integration, please select the “opt-out” option in this form.

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