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Applying for an SBA Disaster Relief Loan — What You Should Know

covid-19 Mar 26, 2020

By: The MAIA Team

We all know what’s going on right now and how badly it’s affecting small businesses across the country. 

And we’re acutely aware of how many of you as school owners are struggling and fearful, not just for your own livelihoods, but for those of your employees as well if you have any. 

To help combat that fear, we wanted to give you some good news in the form of resources available to ease the burden on your small business.

On March 17th, the federal government revised the criteria for the availability of disaster relief loans available through the Small Business Administration (SBA). 

Under the new criteria, loans are available statewide following an economic injury declaration, whereas previously, funds were only available on a county-by-county basis.

SBA Disaster-Relief loans are low-interest working capital loans designed to help small businesses in disaster-affected areas to meet their financial obligations such as payroll, fixed debts, accounts payable, etc. 

Some things to know:

  • They offer up to $2 million in assistance
  • Interest rate of 3.75%
  • Repayment term is determined on a case-by-case basis based on each borrower’s ability to repay (with a maximum term of 30 years).

 

You can download the necessary forms online at the SBA website.  They then allow you to upload those forms directly rather than mailing in: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ 

I've got the forms.  Now What?

There are a lot of forms to fill out, and it’s going to appear quite daunting.  There are some additional resources available for assistance, though.

The SBA has dedicated help available for this process:

In addition to the SBA, each state has its own Small Business Development Center (SBDC) that will be able to help businesses in that state with navigating the SBA disaster loan program. 

You can enter your zip code into the search box on the site linked below, and that’ll give you the contact info for the closest branch.

https://americassbdc.org/small-business-consulting-and-training/find-your-sbdc/

When you navigate to the website for your branch, you’ll be able to register for counselling.  We surveyed a few of the sites, and in most cases there’s a register, sign up for assistance, register for counselling or some similarly titled button on the home page.  But in some cases, that link is deeper on the site and can usually be found fairly easily. 

If you’re having difficulty registering, you can call the main number for the SBDC in your area, and they’ll be very happy to help get you the correct information.  The sole purpose for the existence of the SBDC is to help small businesses in a large number of capacities, including helping them to apply for assistance such as this.

MAIA is also putting together a landing page to consolidate as much information on these resources as possible, so be on the lookout for that in the near future.

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