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What you need to know about the SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Businesses are getting creative. They are finding alternate sales, delivery channels and ways to do business that they’d never dreamed of before. However, there’s a limit to how much income some businesses can generate during this crisis, if any. Businesses need emergency help with payroll, rent, and operating expenses. Banks, Credit Unions, and Community Financial Institutions are working hard to try and meet the demand for financial support, but it’s not enough. The US Small Business Administration’s Disaster Assistance Loans are going to provide a much-need bridge for many businesses right now.
Here are the basics about the Emergency Loans from the SBA:

The US Small Business Administration’s Emergency Injury Disaster Relief Loans (EIDLs) are for working capital. Its purpose is to help small businesses so they can meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations.

To apply, use this link to do so directly with the SBA. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

There is no cost to apply and no obligation to take funds offered. Funds come from the U.S. Treasury.

The SBA recommends applying as soon as possible. Supporting documentation can be submitted to raise the request and reduction of loan amounts can be made if loan amount requests change.

The interest rate for small businesses is 3.75%, 2.75% for nonprofits.

Credit Requirements:

  • Acceptable credit history
  • Demonstration of ability to repay
  • Applicants must be physically located in a declared county AND be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Loans over $25,000 require collateral. However, SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral. Real estate can be taken as collateral when it is available.

Loan terms are to a maximum of 30 years.

Loan amounts area maximum of $2,000,000. Economic injury determines the amount of each loan therefore the SBA, less business interruption insurance and other recoveries determine this.

Those who have not complied with previous SBA loans may not be eligible for EIDLs.

It is important to check with other agencies offering disaster relief funding so you can see how different funding mechanisms may affect eligibility.

For more information, please go to

Business Impact NW is gathering resources for small businesses in these difficult times. Meanwhile, we are continuing to offer loans and technical assistance to our clients. Check out our calendar for coaching and classes offered virtually.

About the author

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Greta Stough
Director of Development and Communications at Business Impact NW

Greta Stough is the Director of Development and Communications at Business Impact NW. She has a passion for sharing the work we do here in compelling ways. Prior to joining Business Impact NW, Greta operated her own consulting business, The Cabra Group, for over a decade, focusing on nonprofit development, community planning, grants and fundraising. Prior to that she was the Director of Development for the Suquamish Tribe. She has an undergraduate degree from Oberlin College. She did graduate work in Planning at NYU, living for five years in Brooklyn and enjoying diverse food, culture, and music. Greta enjoys hiking, cooking for her family, classic film, and playing with her English Cocker Spaniel, Scooter.

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