It’s no secret that the recent COVID-19 outbreak (also known as the Coronavirus 2019) has disrupted our daily lives—and more than 30 million of America’s small businesses. From one small business owner to another, I’m right there with you. It’s an incredibly challenging time, and it’s scary at times.
But in the midst of our troubles, there is good news.
The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and nonprofits who are severely impacted by the coronavirus. You can use the loan to pay for:
These loans are available across all 50 states in the United States, and in American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The SBA is working quickly and directly with your state or territory’s Governor to make these loans available as soon as possible in your area.
The rates on these disaster loans are low—just 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. The repayment terms vary from applicant to applicant and are based on your ability to pay the loan back. All small business owners have up to 30 years to pay their loans in full.
Steps to apply for an SBA loan online:
As the owner of your business, make sure you’re the one to fill out the application form. If you can’t complete it yourself, choose someone with legal authority to sign on your behalf.
Gather all supporting documentation ahead of time. It’ll help you move through the process more quickly. In addition to your application, you’ll need:
Go to the SBA’s web site to download an application form .
Begin the application form. When asked why you need assistance, choose “Economic Injury (EIDL).”
Upload your finished forms online. You can also mail them directly to the U.S. Small Business Administration:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Rd.
Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243
Expert tip: Give yourself plenty of time to complete the paperwork. Chances are, many small business owners will be applying for loans all at once. This could cause the website to slow down or even crash. Try to stay patient along the way.
The SBA is working hard and fast to get money to your door, but it could take time given the number of businesses in need. Fortunately, it’s easy to check the status of your loan application by calling 1-800-659-2955 (TTY/TDD: 1-800-877-8339) or by emailing [email protected]
If you’re applying for a loan that’s more than $20,000 to $25,000, your lender could ask you for collateral. This might be your business’s property or another asset that a lender accepts as security for your loan. Your lender might also ask you to have business insurance that protects that collateral. But don’t worry; it’s important to know your loan won’t get rejected if you don’t have collateral.
If you don’t have business insurance, now’s the time to get a plan. You’ll want to consider getting:
One thing is certain, the coronavirus shut-down has made me realize how anything can happen quickly. It’s incredibly important to protect your business ahead of time. If you don’t have business insurance now, you should investigate getting a plan as soon as possible. Check out Simply Business’s online quote tool to investigate policy costs in just 10 minutes or less.
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My hope is that the SBA will be able to send out checks as soon as possible to all small busines owners in need. This is a time when, more than ever, you need cash to keep going. Hang in there and remember how resilient you are. After all, owning a small business isn’t for the faint of heart; it took strength and determination to get started. You already have the mindset to push forward, even now.
America needs you. Small businesses keep our economy going by employing Americans, and helping our communities thrive and innovate. The coronavirus is devastating, but it’s not the end of the story. As a small business owner, you have the grit to survive. I believe in you.
I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.