Virginia small businesses are now eligible to apply for financial assistance due to the impact of the spreading coronavirus.
The Small Business Administration implemented a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration Thursday.
The EID loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue, according to elected officials.
“In the blink of an eye, small businesses across my district have been forced to confront unprecedented economic upheaval in the midst of a pandemic,” U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.-10th) said in a prepared statement announcing the SBA's decision. “I’m committed to doing everything in my power to help these businesses keep their doors open and their employees on payroll. Making federal SBA disaster loans available is an important — but not final — step to help small businesses in my district weather this crisis.”
The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the impact of COVID-19, congressional officials said.
The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. Businesses that have other means of credit are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments -- up to 30 years -- in order to keep payments affordable. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
Businesses can apply for disaster loans here. Small business owners can also contact their local Small Business Development Center or Small Business Administration field office for assistance; information on SBA resource partner sites can be found here.
Employees who have been laid off or lost hours due to coronavirus can find resources on available benefits via the Virginia Employment Commission here. Self-employed people are also eligible for benefits via a refundable income tax credit created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that passed earlier this month.
Up to $7 billion was also made available to SBA for disaster relief loans following the passage of the bipartisan Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
“We encourage any Loudoun County business experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak to apply. The money can help them weather the economic downturn and begin to plan for recovering from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus,” SBDC-Loudoun Manager Eric Byrd said in a prepared statement. “SBDC-Loudoun is committed to providing support and guidance to Loudoun’s small businesses as we work together to emerge from this difficult period.”
Byrd said SBA customer service representatives will also be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas, 76155.
The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18.