Main street of St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
The EIDL program was designed to help businesses in declared disaster areas access the capital they need to stay afloat and repair damages caused by natural disasters. — Getty Images/DenisTangneyJr

Updated 9/10/21:

SBA announces significant enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program

The hard hit small business community will now be eligible for much needed additional financial assistance through several major enhancements that are being implemented as part of the U.S Small Business Administration’s (SBA) COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Effective immediately, applications are open for loans with borrowing limits of up to $2 million vs. the previous cap of $500,000. As part of the loan enhancements, repayments can now be deferred for 24 months from the date they were issued. Also announced, a 30-day exclusivity period during which loans of $500,000 or less will be reviewed, approved and distributed, allowing for easier and and more immediate access to a share of the estimated $150 billion in funds available for capital and operating expenses including payroll, equipment purchases and paying off debt. EIDL funds will additionally now be approved for pre-paying commercial debt and to alleviate federal business debt. A detailed outline of the key changes, important dates and guidance on how to apply is available on the SBA website. Note these changes apply to EIDL loans for COVID relief only. They do not apply to EIDL loans received for other natural disasters.

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In the wake of Hurricane Ida, business owners across the South and Northeast are facing an expensive path to rebuilding and recovery in an already-difficult economic landscape.

Fortunately, the U.S. Small Business Administration has emergency funds earmarked for such natural disasters. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program was designed to help businesses and nonprofits in declared disaster areas access the capital they need to stay afloat and repair damages caused by natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and fires, as well as civil unrest.

If your business has been impacted by a disaster like Hurricane Ida or the ongoing wildfires on the West Coast and has experienced uninsured damages and losses, here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the Small Business Administration.

How to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Step 1: Visit the SBA disaster loan website and find your declared disaster area.

The SBA’s disaster loan assistance page provides an overview of the loan application and how eligible businesses can use the funds. If you are located in a state that has been impacted by a disaster declared by the Small Business Administration, the President of the United States or the Secretary of Agriculture, you can find out whether your particular county or area is covered by a disaster loan here.

Step 2: Create an account and verify your identity.

If your business falls within the parameters of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, you may complete an online application. You’ll be asked to create a Login.gov account to securely apply for the loan, where you will need to verify your identity using the following:

  • A state-issued ID.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • A phone number on a phone plan associated with your name to receive a verification code.

Once you’ve verified your identity and personal details and secured your account, you may continue to the online application.

Note: Before entering any personal information, be sure you are on the real Small Business Association site at SBA.gov.

Step 3: Complete the online application.

To complete this step of the online application, you will need several pieces of information pertaining to your business handy, including:

  • The legal and trade names of your business.

  • Your Federal EIN number or Social Security number.

  • The date your business was founded.

  • The number of employees you have.

  • A personal financial statement.

  • Schedule of liabilities.

  • Your most recent federal tax return.

  • Relevant business insurance policy information.

Special COVID-19 assistance from the SBA

Throughout the pandemic, the SBA has also provided a special COVID-19 EIDL for small businesses across the country that have been financially impacted by shutdowns and other restrictions. Applications are currently being accepted and processed for eligible businesses and nonprofits that need up to $500,000 in working capital to meet normal operating expenses.

Here is the direct link to begin the loan application process: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.

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Published August 31, 2021