As COVID-19, or the coronavirus, spreads across the country, many small businesses are beginning to face serious financial impacts. In an effort to aid small businesses that are being forced to temporarily shut down due to COVID-19, the U.S. Small Business Association is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to replace short-term lost revenue. If you own a small business that is suffering from serious economic injury as a result of COVID-19, read on to learn more about the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan and how it can help your business.
What Is The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan?
The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan is a loan available to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations to help make up for short-term economic losses caused by COVID-19.
Small businesses can apply for disaster-assistance loans of up to $2 million. This money can be used to pay debt, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. The interest rate on the loan is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans are different from normal SBA loans because they are direct loans from the SBA and they have up to a 30-year term.
Who Is Eligible For An SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan?
Small business owners with fewer than 500 employees in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
There is no total cap on how many loans or how much money can be given to small businesses that apply. Each qualifying business can apply for up to $2 million to aid economic losses.
The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Approval Process
Before a small business can be issued an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, a state’s or territory’s governor must first submit a request to the SBA. Once it receives the request, the SBA will use its authority to coordinate with the state’s or territory’s governor to issue a request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance. After a declaration is made, the application process for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan will be made available to small businesses affected within the state. According to the SBA, it takes about 5 days for review and 3 weeks for the receipt of funds once the loan is approved.
Remember that, like any loan, credit history, collateral, cash flow, age of business, debt load and industry are all factors that determine loan approval.
How To Apply For An SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The SBA recommends that small business owners apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan using the online loan application.
For additional information about the application, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at (800) 659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@SBA.gov.
If you are in need of additional resources as a small business owner, there may be other loans you can apply for you can apply for. It’s also important that you continue to keep your employees, your customers, and yourself healthy. The SBA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have compiled resources that can further help small business owners affected by COVID-19. Read on to learn about how your small business can receive assistance financially and with its daily operations.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
If your small business has an urgent need for cash that can’t wait for a decision on your SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, you might be able to qualify for an SBA Express Bridge Loan.
The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses with established relationships with SBA express lenders to borrow up to $25,000. These loans can help small businesses recover from temporary loss of revenue, and they have less paperwork and a fast turnaround. SBA Express Bridge Loans must be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
If you have more questions related to an SBA Express Bridge Loan reach out to your local SBA district office.
Other Financial Assistance For Small Businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration is working hard to provide products and resources to small businesses affected by COVID-19.
If you are still looking for ways to get access to capital, the SBA encourages small business owners to get in contact with their lending partners and learn more about loan programs that might be available to them.
Further Guidance For Small Businesses
If you are still struggling with day-to-day operations as a small business leader due to the effects of COVID-19, here is further guidance for you to follow.
The CDC strongly recommend employers implement these strategies at work:
- Stay informed with updates from the CDC about COVID-19 and how to stay safe and healthy at work.
- Encourage sick employees to stay at home.
- Separate sick employees.
- Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand washing hygiene.
- Perform routine cleaning at work.
- Advise employees to take certain precautions before and after traveling.
- Prevent discrimination in the workplace.
- Have employees notify their supervisor if they have a family member who is sick or was potentially exposed to COVID-19.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of possible exposure while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
As a result of COVID-19, the SBA warns small business owners of common issues they might encounter. These issues include:
- Limited access to capital
- Workforce capacity
- Inventory and supply chain shortfalls
- Facility remediation and cleanup costs
- Insurance coverage issues
- Changing market demand
- Marketing problems
Connect with your local SBA district office for resources if you are experiencing any of these issues or have more questions about business operations affected by COVID-19.