Thank you, Chris,

Finding the $ figure for art/studio supplies for that 12-month period is way easier! I can do that in 5 minutes.

To add to the info you’ve included (as an FYI to everyone on this list): I spoke with a customer service rep at the SBA and was told that the $10,000 can be used for ALL mortgage, insurance, property tax, and utilities costs. For me, since I have a home studio/office, it means I can use the funds for not only the portion of these expenses that apply to my business and are listed on Schedule C but ALSO for the personal portion also. This is a game changer in the best way.


On Apr 3, 2020, at 9:43 AM, Chris Gralapp <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi all,

I have applied for the forgivable $10K loan advance , based on information we have been getting via the AMI HUB.
For Lynette, this from a prominent and very business savvy AMI member, on our listserv:

"My accountant said to put my deductible cost of art/studio supplies under the cost of goods section."

and another very informative post:
the government is trying to quickly grant the small business economy with cash to keep it from folding while they get their paperwork in line for larger loans. Most of us (whether independant or employed with less than 500) qualify for these resources. There is only a certain amount available, so we are being encouraged to apply now. You can always turn it down later (or commit to less).

The direct link for the EIDL Loan application is a "pre-application" for larger loan. It's very simple. Be sure to select the box for "I would like to be considered for an advance of up to $10,000." Followup with SBA or other lender later for a larger loan IF YOU WANT IT. They are not requiring the initial $10,000 to be repaid. If you later apply for a larger amount... the interest rate is capped at 4%.

Read the post from Cynthia that breaks down the 3 options for aid: "Summary of Resources Available to Visual Artists under the CARES Act"

Look at this page for guidelines of what the initial grant (disaster loan) has to be spent on:    (scroll to CARES Act SBA Loan FAQ  under calculator)

These grants may be used for: 

  • providing paid sick leave to employees unable to work due to the direct effect of the COVID–19; 
  • maintaining payroll to retain employees during business disruptions or substantial slowdowns;   
  • meeting increased costs to obtain materials unavailable from the applicant's original source due to interrupted supply chains; 
  • making rent or mortgage payments; and 
  • repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses

These grants do not have to be repaid. 

And finally legally vetted info from Bruce Lehman, counsel to the American Society of Illustrators Partnership, to which AMI belongs, has this rundown for  several forms of relief for us:

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Normally, self-employed individuals are not covered under state-operated unemployment compensation programs as the premium for unemployment compensation insurance is paid by an employer. However, the emergency legislation covers self-employed persons who lose their income. The new legislation expands eligibility to include anyone who is: 

"self-employed, is seeking part-time employment, does not have sufficient work history, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment under State or Federal law...."  

Under this provision of the CARES Act, a self-employed person will receive the weekly payment that their state normally provides under unemployment compensation insurance plus $600. The benefit lasts for up to 39 weeks. The applicant for unemployment compensation may self-certify that he or she is otherwise able to work and available to work except for their unemployment or because they have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus, are unable to reach their place of employment because of the Covid-19 virus or are caring for someone with the virus. 

To participate in this program a freelancer or self-employed artist needs to apply through their state's unemployment office. In most cases this can be done online. The following URL from the U.S. Department of Labor contains information and has a menu option that will link you to your state office.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

EIDL loans are normally used in the case of natural disasters such as a hurricane. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees may borrow up to $2 million under the program. However, the CARES Act extends the EIDL program to self-employed individuals and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees who have suffered economic loss as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The program is administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Anyone falling into these categories may apply for loan "advance" of up to $10,000 for the purpose of maintaining payroll, meeting increased costs to obtain materials, or making mortgage or rent payments. There is little paperwork and the applicant can self-certify that he or she meets the criteria. The SBA is supposed to provide the loan advance within three days of application. 

While these advances are called loans, repayment is waived if the applicant uses the money for the enumerated purposes.  Information about applying for an EIDL advance, including a link to an online application, may be found on the SBA website at

If an applicant also applies for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, separately provided in the CARES Act, the $10,000 advance will be deducted from any loan under that program. 


Chris Gralapp, MA, CMI, FAMI
Medical/Scientific Illustration


On 4/3/2020 9:02 AM, Lynette Cook wrote:
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Thank you, Chris. Yes, I think I’ll have to make an educated guess.

Marj, I’m applying for the EIDL loan (as per the CARES Act/COVID-19 relief). Many of the rest of you may qualify for this also and might want to look into it. (I’m unsure whether I’m allowed to give more info based on the parameters of what financial topics we can discuss on this list, though will be happy to do so if I may.)

The form requires that I list COGS for the period of 2-1-2019 - 1-31-2020. So this is not for insurance, inventory, or tax purposes. I’ve never had to calculate COGS before in my 35 years of being sole proprietor of my freelance/self-employed business. But I have to do it now!


On Apr 3, 2020, at 8:49 AM, Marjorie Leggitt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

All, is it just me or am I just clueless about COGS? Is this only for S-, C-corps or an LLC? I’m not seeing anything about this for Sole Proprietor. 
Leggitt Design

On Apr 3, 2020, at 9:39 AM, Chris Gralapp <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


I think it is OK to make an educated guess, and ballpark it--that's what I did--I have a feeling that there won't be too many questions asked. But that's just me! 

Chris Gralapp, MA, CMI, FAMI
Medical/Scientific Illustration


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