Frequently Asked Questions for Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program
Updated BEGAP Award Formula (as of 9/21/23)
Q: Why is the BEGAP award for businesses and nonprofits that suffered less than $1 million in physical damage, going from 20% of their net uncovered damages with a cap of $20,000, to 30% of net uncovered damages and no cap?
A: The cap was instituted as part of the BEGAP launch to make sure that the program cast a wide net and no one was left behind. After combing through hundreds of applications for seven weeks, DED determined that getting rid of the cap and increasing BEGAP award amounts will help businesses who need it the most.
Q: Can you share an example of what this change means in real dollars?
A: Let’s say Business ABC suffered $280,000 in damages. Under the old formula, ABC’s award was capped at $20,000. Under the new formula, the cap doesn’t apply and the award is 30%, so ABC receives $84,000.
Q: We already received payment for 20% of our net damages. Now that the BEGAP formula has changed to 30%, how do we get that extra 10%?
A: You need to do nothing. You will automatically receive payment for the difference between the amount you already received, and the 30% of net damages. If your first payment was via ACH, your second payment will be as well. If you were paid via, check the first time, you will be mailed a second check.
Q: Does this formula change affect businesses that suffered more than $1 million in damage?
A: Yes. For businesses that suffered more than $1 million in net uncovered damages, the BEGAP formula no longer takes into account the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Vermont-based employees. Instead, those businesses are eligible for 20% of net uncovered damages with a cap of $500,000.
Q: Is a nonprofit organization that provides community service (such as education, a utility, health care facility, or emergency services), eligible for a BEGAP grant?
A: Nonprofits that provide community service are eligible for BEGAP only if they are denied a Public Assistance Grant from FEMA. Nonprofits that provide community service and received a Public Assistance Grant from FEMA are ineligible for a BEGAP award.
Q: Are landlords eligible?
A: Yes, commercial and residential landlords are eligible.
Q: Are home-based businesses eligible?
A: Damages to business assets are eligible. Damage to the home is not.
Q: Are businesses eligible that closed temporarily from the flood but have since reopened?
Q: Are houses of worship eligible?
Q: Is this grant funding available for individuals?
A: No, BEGAP grants are for businesses and nonprofits only.
Q: Which "business type” do I choose if my business fits into more than one category?
A: If your business falls into more than one sector category, please choose the one that your business operates the majority of the time.
Q: Is this grant for farms and agricultural businesses?
A: Yes, but if you are an agricultural business, please visit the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) web site for guidance before applying. If agricultural businesses have questions they can email: email@example.com.
Q: What if I am a sole proprietor/a landlord and don’t have an FEIN?
A: If you are a sole proprietor you will be prompted in the application to give your social security number (SSN) rather than an FEIN.
Documentation and supporting information
Q: You are asking for repair estimates, but I can’t get someone out to look at my property. What do I do?
A: An estimate from a contractor is preferable, but if it is too difficult to find one who is available, please use this Contractor Estimate tool. This tool is for BEGAP applications only.
Q: How do I estimate the cost of replacing lost inventory?
A: Either submit an itemized list of prices compiled by conducting your own research, a quote from your vendor(s), or a receipt for items you’ve already replaced.
Q: How do I estimate the cost of replacing damaged equipment?
A: Either submit an itemized list of prices compiled by conducting your own research, a quote from your supplier(s), or a receipt for equipment you’ve already replaced.
Q: Under “Flood Impact Details” you ask for the estimated loss of real estate. Do you want the value of the entire property or just the cost of what it will take to restore it to pre-flood condition?
A: We want to know the estimated cost of restoring the real estate to its pre-flood condition.
Q: Do the documents I upload need to be in a certain format?
A: Yes, they need to be one of the following formats: .pdf, .png, or .jpg. They system does not accept documents created in Word (.doc or .docx).
Q: Is there a limit to the size of a document I can upload?
A: Yes, each document can be no larger than 10 megabytes.
Q: Which types of insurance should I list?
A: List all relevant types of insurance
Q: How recent does a W-9 need to be?
A: We will need a W-9 that has been signed within the last 6 months.
Q: What if I haven’t heard back from my insurance adjuster?
A: Please upload the insurance documents and details that you do have and also indicate in the application when prompted whether you have specific flood coverage or not.
Q: What kind of documentation should I use to demonstrate proof of ownership?
A: Proof of ownership can be shown via a property tax bill, deed, or lease.
Q: Do I need to report all grants and donations my organization already received?
A: Because this grant program is to be used to restore or reopen your business, you will need to list the funds received for the same purpose.
Q: If economic injury is not being used to calculate a BEGAP grant award, why are you asking for it?
A: We are not reimbursing for economic injury and harm at this time, but we are collecting the information to aggregate data regarding overall impact.
Q: How do I calculate economic injury?
A: At this time we are asking for what your losses are, separate from the physical damage. For example: if your business is closed, what is the estimated monetary value you are losing in revenue each day? Of note: the Small Business Administration (SBA) defines economic injury as the amount of funds you need to stay current on all of your current obligations.
Q: I am a business with multiple physical locations.
A: Businesses with multiple physical locations will need to fill out an application for each location, with a maximum of up to 3 grants per business.
Q: How do I create an account with the state of Vermont to apply for a BEGAP grant?
A: Here is a how-to guide.
Q: Is there a deadline to apply?
A: Yes, the deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday, October 23, 2023.
Q: Is a BEGAP award taxable?
Q: What happens if a business or nonprofit is awarded a grant and ultimately isn’t able to reopen?
A: We are sensitive to the fact that for some businesses the concept of reopening is fluid, however, we are asking that only businesses that have a solid plan to reopen apply. This guarantees that funding is available for those that need it the most.
Q: How long will it take for businesses to get grant payments?
A: We estimate approximately 10-14 days from completion of review of the application until disbursement of funds.
Q: I need help applying. What should I do?
A: There is robust technical assistance available for those who need additional help. Reach out to the Vermont Small Business Development Center and/or a Regional Development Corporation near you. BIPOC businesses and nonprofits can also email The Vermont Professionals of Color Network at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Q: I have more questions. Who can I ask?
A: Ask the BEGAP team by sending an email to ACCD.BizFloodGrant@Vermont.gov
Q: How can I donate to BEGAP to support Vermont's business and nonprofit community?