Many have been asking about the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Loan Program.
Here is what we know: The Federal Emergency Declaration last week activated the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL). We expect the program to cover the entire state, and not just counties where individual have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Governor Kay Ivey and her team at the AL Department of Commerce, in coordination with SBA’s District Office (in Birmingham), submitted the information required to request an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance declaration on Tuesday evening.

Upon receipt of the request from the Governor, SBA will issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. It can take 24-48 hours for SBA to process that application and activate the online application form for residents on Alabama. Until that happens, companies in Alabama cannot apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Please note: the EIDL is a loan – and is not a grant. You should discuss the EIDL and other recovery strategies with your SBDC Business Advisor to ensure that you are taking all necessary steps to secure the viability of your business through the economic and social disruption caused by this disease and actions taken to prevent its spread.

Learn more about the EIDL application process, and other steps that you can take to address the disruption caused by COVID-19. Free Webinar, Thursday, 3/19 at 2pm.

When approved, Alabama’s Small Businesses will be able to go to SBA.gov and make a request for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) online. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

Information as of 18 March 2020, 2PM

Small business owners can apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million to counter canceled events, reduced hours / closed stores, and sick leave. The small business financial assistance was part of an $8.3 billion emergency aid package that the Senate passed on 5 March 2020, which is expected to be signed into law. SBA issued a press release regarding the COVID-19 Disaster Loans on 12 March 2020.

Supply chain disruptions and decreasing sales for industries like tourism and entertainment have already impacted small businesses. Retail businesses and restaurant owners are concerned about not having enough staff to keep doors open — and having to pay sick leave without bringing in revenue.

What is an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)?

EIDLs provide eligible small businesses (and certain nonprofit organizations & agricultural cooperatives) up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Loan proceeds can only be used for working capital necessary to enable the business or organization to alleviate the specific economic injury and to resume normal operations. Interest rates for EIDLs are statutorily set at 4% per annum or less and can have maturities up to 30 years. Unlike other SBA loan programs, SBA directly funds these loans.

EIDLs are available only to businesses and private and nonprofit organizations that are located in a declared disaster area, have suffered substantial economic injury, are unable to obtain credit elsewhere, and are defined as small by SBA size regulations.

How to get a disaster loan

If your business’s daily operations have been affected by the coronavirus, you can apply for a loan directly through the EIDL program. Applications are available on the SBA Disaster Assistance Loan website. To apply, set up an account, fill out the application, along with a signed and dated IRS Form 4506-T, which gives the SBA permission to access your tax data from the IRS.Business owners can reach out to the SBA for more information about this program by calling 1-800-659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Will a Disaster Loan actually help my business recover?

That is a good question. Before you get started with the EIDL application process, you may want to talk with one of our Business Advisors or Capital Access Team members to discuss the pros and cons of using debt to cover short term losses. Will your future cash flows cover the debt?

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