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How to apply for federal disaster loans through the US Small Business Administration if you're a small business owner

Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2million are available. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 for private non-profit organizations

CLEVELAND — Ohio has been accepted into the federal Small Business Administration's (SBA) program, offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses in the state that are suffering substantial economic loss as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

As requested by Governor Mike DeWine, SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by President Donald Trump, to declare a disaster and make this program available in Ohio.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21, 2020, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced on Friday.

"Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” Carranza said.

Eligibility for these Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on each business that applies. 

“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. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing," Carranza said.

The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses, and 2.75 for private non-profit organizations. 

SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. 

Individuals who are deaf or have difficulty hearing may call (800) 877-8339. 

For those who would prefer to submit a hard-copy application, completed forms should be mailed to:

U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Ohio small businesses with federal disaster loans," Carranza said.

"We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)."

The U.S. SBA is the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government. 

The organization's mission is to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

For complete details on SBA, visit www.sba.gov.

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