The $2.2 trillion stimulus bill signed last week by President Donald Trump will provide billions in aid to small businesses.
The Small Business Administration will oversee several programs to provide loans and capital to keep businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic afloat.
One of the largest programs will start taking applications on Friday, the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program.
Beware of Scammers
“There are people who are looking for opportunities to profit off of the anxiety of our small business owners.” — SBA District Director Dawn Golik
With billions at stake, SBA District Director Dawn Golik warns local businesses to be wary of scammers.
“Unfortunately, while the situation has in many cases, brought out the best in our community, it has brought out on occasion the worst in our community,” Golik said. “There are people who are looking for opportunities to profit off of the anxiety of our small business owners.”
Some signs to watch out for, according to Golik:
— Unsolicited contact from someone claiming to be from the SBA.
— Legitimate emails will come from a “sba.gov” address. Beware of “sba.com” or “sba.org.”
A Look at the Various Programs
Here is an overview of the various programs, as described by the SBA:
Paycheck Protection Program
Perhaps the largest of the relief efforts, most businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.
“This program provides forgivable loans that among other things, businesses can use to cover rent and payroll, which are the biggest expenses for many small businesses,” Golik said.
Businesses are required to keep workers or hire them back. There are no fees for applying, nor is collateral or a personal guarantee necessary.
Nonprofits and veteran organizations can also apply.
Loans could be as large as $10 million.
Golik said businesses should apply directly to an SBA lender.
More guidelines on how program will be implemented and how to apply will be available Friday at the SBA website.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance
From the SBA:
“Small business owners are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million (with a 3.75% interest rate) to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.”
Loans can be repaid over a period of up to 30 years.
SBA Debt Relief
“The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.
“Under this program, SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
“The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.”
SBA Express Bridge Loans
“Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
“Terms: Up to $25,000; fast turnaround; will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan.”