Frequently Asked Questions

Business Owners

Who is the Resilience Fund for?

The Resilience Fund - Sierra serves small business owners in the Truckee and Lake Tahoe region who’ve been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is designed to help businesses that have been impacted by the forced closures, so we discourage businesses who are still fully operational or who have already received significant relief funds from federal programs from applying at this time. The current maximum loan amount is $25,000.

Resilience Fund loan proceeds are to be used exclusively on overhead, payroll and other business expenses, to generate new revenue or jump-start operations, to assist in recovery, and purchase PPE as required. The program is not intended to supplement personal expenses or for home-based businesses without significant overhead or for second home rental businesses such as Airbnb. The loan is designed for small businesses with fewer than 25 employees and priority will be given to businesses with employees who have brick-and-mortar retail, restaurant and storefront operations.

On the other side of the current economic crisis, the fund will serve as permanent loan infrastructure for the small business community to help them grow, expand and thrive. 

Who is Eligible for the Loans

Eligible businesses must have a physical service presence (retail, restaurant or service with a store front) in the Truckee and Lake Tahoe region. Businesses must have been in operation as of March 1, 2020 with a solid business model and be able to show operating cash flows at the time of the shut down or forced closure. Current business financial statements are required to be submitted for review as part of the final application process. Priority will be given to businesses that can prove the funds will help them reopen AND provide sufficient evidence of ability to repay. 

Loan qualification will be based on the following scoring criteria:  
  • Financial operating cash flow & strength of business prior to COVID-19
  • Ability to repay considering operating cash flow and other debt obligations  
  • Re-opening operations plan in place including social distance guidelines
  • Financial feasibility and sufficient explanation of revenue & expense projections 
  • Physical storefront or service location (home based businesses not prioritized at this time)
  • Proactive efforts to reduce ongoing operating costs such as rent negotiation 
  • Number of jobs provided in the community

Is there anything I need to do to qualify for funding?

We require that you maintain communication with your business stakeholders including your coach, bank, landlord and investors. We can provide consultants to help navigate difficult conversations and create a plan moving forward.  

How does it work?

Business owners who’ve incurred or project to incur financial hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic simply apply online for assistance. Once the application is submitted, a panel of local business experts will review and reach out to coordinate. 

How do I apply?

Visit and click the “Request Assistance” link. If you have any questions during the application process or need more information, please feel free to email and a team member will respond as quickly as possible. 

Who will review my application?

A loan committee composed of community volunteers from the finance, banking, small business and public sectors will review all eligible applications. 

What can the funds be used for?

As of now, the maximum loan amount is $25,000. Funds can be used for reasonable business purposes including toward expenses incurred from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting closures. Eligible use of funds need to relate to growing existing operations or assisting in recovery. This can include paying for staff, rent, capital improvements, replenishing lost inventory - essentially, expenses to gain capacity to survive the current crisis and begin recovery. 

Funds are not to be used for subsidizing home mortgages and basic essentials, as there are other programs designed to help in those situations. Second home rental businesses such as Airbnb operations are not eligible for funding.

Will the funds need to be paid back in a certain timeframe?

Typical loans will be a 5-year term at 2% with a 6-12 month deferral depending on business need. Loan terms can be shorter and there is no prepayment penalty.

Can I get a loan through the Resilience Fund more than once?

Yes, the Resilience Fund is designed to provide rural communities with a loan platform for ongoing economic growth. Once the immediate crisis has subsided, apply for additional capital to make improvements to your model - this is a longstanding business resource supported by the community. 

How long will it take to get money if I’m approved?

The beauty of the Resilience Fund is that it works with local investors and business resources to deliver assistance fast. Typical Resilience Fund loans will be administered within 7 days of approval.  

Why can’t I get further in the application process?

The Resilience Fund accepts applications in waves and will process applications based on available funding. Once you’ve submitted your initial contact information you will be sent a follow-up extended loan application form if there are funds available for dispersal at that time.  


Is there a minimum investment amount?

Anyone can invest in the Resilience Fund to support their community. Donations of any amount can be made directly through the website and we draft loan contracts with accredited investors. 

Who am I giving my money to?

You are not “giving” away your money, you are investing in your community. Donations are accepted to help offset underwriting, administrative and counseling costs. This is an investment in the future health and sustainability of the local economy. 

Where does my money go after investing?

Monies will be deployed as soon as eligible borrowers are qualified. Your money will be deployed into the community to help small businesses.

Can I pull my money out at any time?

No, your money will be loaned into the community to help small businesses thrive. If a hardship occurs and you need your money back, a special consideration can be made if the fund is not fully expended at the time of your request.

Can I reinvest into the loan?

Absolutely! We envision growing this fund to grow our community. By reinvesting in the fund, you are reinvesting in your community. 

Is my donation or loan considered a donation to a charity?

Donations are considered a tax deductible donation to a 501(c)(3) private non-profit. Donors will receive tax information from Sierra Business Council.

Investments from accredited investors are considered loans subject to specific guidelines. The loan is exempt from registration with the SEC under Rule 506(c) promulgated under Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933.


Who can be a coach - how much and what kind of experience is necessary?

Coaches with the Resilience Fund are expert professionals in their own field. They are here to maintain close communication with small business owners, consult on business strategies and planning both during closures and once the crisis has subsided. 

What are the responsibilities of a coach?

Coaches are responsible for understanding their clients’ business and making themselves available to provide their guidance and resources to small business owners. Coaches help determine plans of action during business closures, communication strategies for working with stakeholders in their clients’ business, and helping their clients facilitate the necessary next steps to be successful. 

Is this a paid position?

Resilience Fund coaches are also investors in their communities. Rather than making monetary contributions to the fund, they invest their time, energy and network of resources to help fellow business owners thrive. Resilience Fund coaches are volunteers supplemented by experienced business counselors from the Sierra Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network. SBDC counselors primarily focus on cash flow aspects of the business. 

What is the time commitment of a coach?

Coaches and their clients will work together to establish a game plan as well as a communication schedule. This is a synergistic relationship; coaches have valuable insight and experience to share as well as a vested interest in the wellbeing of their rural communities economic health.