SBA Opens Up Federal Disaster Loan Program to More Businesses

June 16, 2020

On Monday, the Small Business Administration began offering its Economic Injury Disaster Loans and advance grant programs to more types of small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, SBA had restricted applications to just agricultural businesses due to limited funds and high responses from applicants.

But “to meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a statement.

As of Sunday, 1.43 million loans had been approved for $95.6 billion through the EIDL program, CNBC reports.

In early May, SBA had limited loan amounts available in the program from $2 million to $150,000 due to the high demand. The emergency grant—which may be forgiven if borrowers meet the requirements—was also further dropped from up to $10,000 per business to $1,000 per employee per business.

The emergency disaster lending program for small businesses has not garnered as much attention as SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, another lifeline that has been distributing funds to help companies stay afloat from financial hardships brought on by the pandemic. Real estate professionals are among those who have been getting PPP loans.

As of late last week, 4.5 million loans had been approved in the PPP program for up to $512 billion. About $130 billion remains left for small businesses. Businesses have until June 30 to apply for a PPP loan.

Businesses can apply to the EIDL program through the end of the year.