Virus declaration opens business loans potential

The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared seven counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore a disaster area, thereby making available financial resources for small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The seven counties are: Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, and Worcester.

Under a SBA disaster declaration, businesses can apply for low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital if they are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to help overcome temporary loss of revenue.

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.

Additionally, SBA offers these loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years.

To minimize economic disruption to the nation’s 30 million small businesses, U.S. Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza issued revised criteria for states or territories seeking an economic injury declaration related to Coronavirus.

The relaxed criteria will have two immediate impacts:

  • Faster, Easier Qualification Process for States Seeking SBA Disaster Assistance. Historically, the SBA has required that any state or territory impacted by disaster provide documentation certifying that at least five small businesses have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of a disaster, with at least one business located in each declared county/parish. Under the just-released, revised criteria, states or territories are only required to certify that at least five small businesses within the state/territory have suffered substantial economic injury, regardless of where those businesses are located.
  • Expanded, Statewide Access to SBA Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses. SBA disaster assistance loans are typically only available to small businesses within counties identified as disaster areas by a Governor. Under the revised criteria issued today, disaster assistance loans will be available statewide following an economic injury declaration. This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to Coronavirus.

For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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