Disaster Preparedness Finance

COVID-19: Florida small businesses can now apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Florida small businesses that suffer financial losses from the coronavirus pandemic may qualify for up to $2 million in relief from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBA announced on Wednesday that small businesses in all 67 counties of Florida adversely impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for disaster loans.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA is offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the Coronavirus.

“I am encouraging all small businesses located in Florida to visit the SBA Disaster Assistance website and submit your application today,” said SBA South Florida District Director Victoria Guerrero. “While there, you will find information on how to contact our customer service team who can answer any disaster-related application questions. You can also reach out to one of our many resource partners for application assistance.”

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in economic assistance to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue resulting from the disaster. 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, Guerrero said.

Interest rates offered are as low as 3.75% for businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

Loan amounts are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition. Repayment terms are up to 30 years. Guerrero said SBA disaster loan applicants should prepare at least two years’ worth of financials to demonstrate the extent to which the pandemic has depleted cash flow.

To apply, visit the SBA Disaster website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

South Florida’s SBA office has been inundated with inquiries over the past week, In media reports, Guerrero said it could take three weeks or more for the SBA to approve or deny loan applications from small businesses. Businesses in need of immediate financial assistance can apply for a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, which offers short-term, no-interest loans of up to $50,000.

MORE RESOURCES: Florida SBDC at FIU has compiled a comprehensive list of resources to help you navigate these challenging swan days. FIND IT HERE (UPDATED).

UPDATE: Here are some practical tips small businesses can take now. FIND THEM HERE.

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