The above-linked research brief contains guidance for startups who are facing severe economic disruption as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
In summary, the CARES Act excludes venture-backed startups from their most valuable direct assistance programs - but the expansion of unemployment benefits allows employers to take meaningful cost reduction actions (such as pay/hour reductions and furloughs) that mitigate the financial impact to their workers.
In the past, layoffs were the primary tool to address cost reductions. Now, layoffs are only a tool of last resort when anticipating long-term economic impacts.
This is the product of 20+ hours of reviewing primary and secondary sources related to the CARES Act. Language from primary sources is used whenever it is succinct enough to be intelligible, and extensive links are provided to help readers research issues in more detail.
Drop me a line directly if you would like to discuss alternatives or implementation of any of these actions.