In response to the continued Covid impact – namely the Delta Variant – the Small Business Administration has revamped its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The EIDL borrowing limit is increased from $500,000 to $2 million.
If you already received an EIDL, you can ask for an increase. New borrowers can also apply.
EIDL Loan Cap Expanded to $2 Million Due to COVID
The EIDL program retooling includes 24 months of deferment. Also, borrowers can use the money where needed, such as to pay down higher-interest business debt.
The SBA is ready now to start receiving new applications. The program has more than $150 billion in funds available.
There’s a “companion” EIDL Targeted Advance and Supplemental Advance grant program (up to $15,000).
What SBA Adminstrator Isabella Casillas Guzman says:
“The SBA’s COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program offers a lifeline to millions of small businesses who are still being impacted by the pandemic.
Our mission-driven SBA team has been working around the clock to make the loan review process as user-friendly as possible to ensure every entrepreneur who needs help can get the capital they need to reopen, recover and rebuild.”
Details on Key SBA changes to the EIDL Loan
Increasing the COVID EIDL Cap. The SBA will lift the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying debt.
Implementation of a Deferred Payment Period. The SBA will ensure small business owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination so that they can get through the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
Establishment of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window. To ensure Main Street businesses have additional time to access these funds, the SBA will implement a 30-day exclusivity window of approving and disbursing funds for loans of $500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 will begin after the 30-day period.
Expansion of Eligible Use of Funds. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
Simplification of affiliation requirements. To ease the COVID EIDL application process for small businesses, the SBA has established more simplified affiliation requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
How to apply for an EIDL COVID Loan
Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply. Visit www.sba.gov/eidl to learn more about eligibility and application requirements. The last day that applications may be received is December 31, 2021. All applicants should file their applications as soon as possible.
“The COVID EIDL eligible uses of proceeds have been expanded to include payments on all forms of business debt,” said small business expert Melinda F. Emerson (www.succeedasyourownboss.com). “This includes loans owned by a Federal agency (SBA) or a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC).”
“In addition, the proceeds may be used to make monthly debt payments, deferred interest payments, and pre-payment of business debt; however, pre-payments will not be permitted on any debt owed by a Federal Agency,” she added. “This ruling will allow loan proceeds to be used for debt that was incurred before and after submitting the COVID EIDL loan application.”
For additional information on COVID EIDL and other recovery programs please visit www.sba.gov/relief. Small business owners may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov for additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Multilingual representatives are available. Small business owners may also contact SBA’s Resource Partners by visiting www.sba.gov/local-assistance.
Application Process and Fraud Control Enhancements
In addition to the policy enhancements, the SBA has invested in optimized processes and increased capacity to improve the customer service experience for applicants. Directed by Administrator Guzman to swiftly and drastically enhance COVID EIDL, the revamped management team implemented new processes and performance management such as prioritizing personnel for COVID EIDL and increasing the average number of loan application decisions made. The SBA accelerated daily processing of loan increases from close to 2,000 applications to more than 37,000 applications daily. Loan officer productivity also went from 1.86 applications per day to 15 applications per day. As a result of these increased loan review rates, the 600,000+ loan increase backlog has been cleared and new applications can be processed immediately. At the same time, and to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that need COVID EIDL funding most, the SBA has increased fraud controls and is working in collaboration with the SBA Inspector General to closely monitor the program.
All business owners that have received previous loans through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), or Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) can still benefit from COVID EIDL. To learn more about the application process, visit www.sba.gov/eidl.