The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved bids for “disaster” status, meaning thousands of businesses across the Tri-state area may qualify to receive federal aid in the form of Economic Injury Disaster Loans for losses due to COVID-19.
The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Bradford, Erie, McKean, Pike, Potter, Susquehanna, Tioga, Warren and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania; Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Sussex in New Jersey; as well as the entire state of New York. The contiguous counties of Fairfield and Litchfield in Connecticut; Berkshire in Massachusetts; Addison, Bennington, Chittendon, Grand Isle and Rutland in Vermont have also been approved.
Approval means businesses can apply for federal disaster loans of up to $2 million. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for private non-profits is 2.75%. Small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises may also be qualified for assistance.
Generally, this type of loan is available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact of an economic disaster without hardship. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments (up to a maximum of 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.
Learn more about how you can get assistance from the SBA. Loan applications can be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://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.