Disaster Preparedness Economy Finance

COVID relief: Time is ticking away for EIDL but we have some other options

Small business owners only have until Dec. 31 to apply for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the $10,000 Targeted EIDL Advance cash grant. Applications up until that deadline will continue to be processed until the agency’s money runs out, according to the SBA.

While these SBA programs are winding down, many small business owners are still struggling. About 35% of these businesses could not pay their rent on time in November, up 3% since October, according to a survey by Alignable. For minority-owned businesses, 49% said they could not afford November rent. Also,, 40% of retailers are also behind on their rent.

But there are grant and low-interest loan programs for small businesses. We collected a few of the options and will add more as we come across them.

  • The Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund is a $53 million low-interest loan program build by nonprofits to make loans of up to $100,000 and provide free business support to small businesses and nonprofits across the South. As of mid-November,  the SOAR Fund had delivered $11 million to nearly 250 small businesses, with three-quarters (79%) of loan recipients identifying as a woman or a person of color. Almost half (49%) of SOAR loans have gone to Black-owned businesses. Nearly 90% of the loans went to businesses with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.So far,90% of the loans going to businesses with 10 or fewer full-time employees. More here.
  • Black Girl Ventures has partnered with Reimagine Main Street and a network of organizations across the country committed to serving and lifting up small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Backing Black Business grant program is aimed to award a total of $2 million in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to more than 200 Black women entrepreneurs. More here.
  • The Inclusive Backing grant program funded in part by American Express in partnership with Main Street America will offer $1.65 million across 250 grants of $5,000 each to small-business owners in older or historic commercial districts across the country. The priority will go to businesses disproportionally impacted by the pandemic. More here.
  • Walmart  is offering grants of $250 to $5,000 for eligible nonprofits, local government agencies, schools or faith-based organizations that aim to help the community. Organizations can apply until the end of 2021. More here.
  • America’s Seed Fund is a decades-long grant program powered by the National Science Foundation. The National Science Foundation grant program is open to early-stage companies that need to prove their technology and find their market potential. The grant program gives out roughly $200 million per year to eligible businesses. More here.
  • Southern Cultural Treasures is a $6 million program set up to help Black-, indigenous- and people-of-color-run arts organizations across the South. It will provide 12 to 15 organizations with grants of up to $300,000 distributed over three years, as well as grants of $7,500 to help achieve stabilization and future growth. Applicants need to send a letter of intent by Dec. 10. More here.
  • Private equity firm KKR is offering grants of up to $10,000 to select businesses in communities across the country. The focus is on businesses that are pivoting as a response to the pandemic, are operated by historically underrepresented groups or are providing important community services. Businesses must have between 5 and 50 employees and have less than $7 million in annual revenue. More here.

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