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Small Business Administration offers disaster assistance loans

March 25, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Delaware small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza recently announced.

SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act recently signed by the president, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. John Carney March 16. The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Delaware; contiguous counties of Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Wicomico and Worcester in Maryland; and Gloucester and Salem in New Jersey.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Delaware small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19,” said Carranza. SBA customer service representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of COVID-19 since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza. “These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.”

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of COVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private nonprofit organizations is 2.75 percent.

SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Loans are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

For more information, go to www.disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, call 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.