Right now, our entire country is experiencing economic hardship, and those who are hit hardest are our local businesses and small startups. They are the heart of our community and life in Birmingham. These are a few resources to support them (startups and business specific resources are below)

#BHAMSTRONG: The center for requesting help for both individuals and businesses, is fueled by private, public, and civic leadership to facilitate the flow of accurate information and ensure an agile, resilient, and collaborative response to COVID-19 in our community. Learn more here.

Support Birmingham small businesses and their workers by donating to these funds or purchasing gift cards to be used at a later date:

Donate to the Community Foundation BhamStrong Fund

InstaGift Birmingham

Local Distancing

Resources for startups and small businesses

Contact REV Birmingham who is offering providing information and online coaching sessions for small businesses. REV and partners are also hosting online workshops to support small businesses, listed here.

Join the Magic City Tech Slack channel

TechBirmingham will be hosting a webinar series on issues around HR, remote work, how to maintain company culture through distance. The series will start on Tuesday, March 24 from 12-1 p.m. Register here.

Payroll tax credit information: (details found here )

Startups and small businesses are eligible to apply to up to $1.25 million or $250,000 per year for 5 years in credits to offset the FICA portion of their payroll tax. 

You don’t have to be a high tech or life sciences company to apply for the credit if you meet the criteria below you can apply for the tax credit.

To be eligible, a company must meet some requirements:

  1. Have less than $5 million in gross receipts for the credit year
  2. Have no more than five years of gross receipts
  3. Business activities are intended to resolve technological uncertainty that exists at the outset of the project or initiative, related to the capability or methodology for developing or improving the business component or the appropriate design of the business component
  4. Business activities rely on hard science, such as engineering, computer science, biological science, or physical science;
  5. Business Activities relate to the development of a new or improved business component, defined as new or improved products, processes, internal-use computer software, techniques, formulas, or inventions to be sold or used in the taxpayer’s trade or business; and
  6. Business Activities substantially all constitute a process of experimentation involving testing and evaluation of alternatives to eliminate technological uncertainty.

Additional notes:

For tech companies: If you have a mobile app, a cloud-based web app or an e-commerce site, this payroll tax credit was designed for you and you should apply if you fall into either of those categories.

For small businesses: Qualified small businesses (QSB) can use the R&D tax credit to offset the FICA employer portion of their payroll tax. A QSB is defined as a business with less than $5 million in annual gross receipts and having gross receipts for no more than five years

If your business has no revenue yet, you can still apply for the credit. 

You can claim this credit retroactively, and you can get help filing an amended tax return to claim the R&D credit for previously filed Income Tax returns (past 3 years), but you cannot take the PATH Act R&D credit on an amended tax return.

Talk to your accountant and payroll provider about getting the credit. They can get the IRS paperwork started right away and filed immediately.


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