Small Businesses May Be Eligble for Coronavirus Impact Loans

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Money in the form of loans may be needed by local small businesses dealing with an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus. (FILE PHOTO)

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf announced Thursday that businesses and nonprofits across the entire Commonwealth that have been impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

That information was shared in an email from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Lehigh University as well as in a Facebook post by Northampton County Emergency Management Services.

“We are incredibly grateful that the SBA recognized the urgency of this situation and granted our request so quickly,” said Wolf in a news release. “I encourage our businesses and non-profits to look at the SBA resources available to them and take advantage of this opportunity for financial assistance during this time of uncertainty.”

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans can provide up to $2 million in assistance as well as economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue many are experiencing due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the related shutdown.

The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

The interest rate for the loans is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere and 2.75 percent for nonprofits. Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible.

The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Businesses may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired) or by e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded at SBA.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using an Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ela. Completed applications should be returned to the local DLOC or mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to return economic injury disaster loan applications is Dec. 21, 2020.

Application for a loan does not guarantee approval, and financial qualifications are still necessary for a successful application.

For more information, visit the SBA’s website.

The Lehigh SBDC offers no-cost, one-on-one, confidential consulting sessions.

For more information or to schedule one, click here.

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