The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today announced updated guidance for COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program applicants to better serve small business owners in need, while funding remains available.
Since its inception, the COVID EIDL program, a federal disaster relief loan designed to better serve and support small business communities still reeling from the pandemic, especially hard-hit sectors such as restaurants, gyms, and hotels, has approved nearly $300 billion in relief aid. Specifically, the following updated guidance is being provided:
“The COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs still have billions of dollars available to help small businesses hard hit by the pandemic. More than 3.8 million businesses employing more than 20 million people have found financial relief through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans,” said Patrick Kelley, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. “Key enhancements have been made to the loan program that will help our nation’s businesses recover and get back on track.”
In September, Administrator Guzman announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Key changes announced included:
Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply. Visit www.sba.gov/eidl to learn more about eligibility and application requirements. The last day that applications may be received is Dec. 31, 2021. Applications received by Dec. 10 for Supplemental Advance will be processed in the order received and the SBA cannot guarantee processing of all applications by Dec. 31. All applicants should file their applications as soon as possible to allow for processing. For additional information on COVID EIDL and other recovery programs, please visit www.sba.gov/relief.
Small business owners may call SBA’s Customer Service Center 1-833-853-5638 (855-440-4960 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov for additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Abbreviated hours will be observed during the Thanksgiving holiday (closed on Thanksgiving Day; open Friday, Nov. 26 – Sunday, Nov. 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST). Multilingual representatives are available.
Small business owners may also contact SBA’s Resource Partners by visiting www.sba.gov/local-assistance.
In addition to the policy enhancements, the SBA has invested in optimized processes and increased capacity to improve the customer service experience for applicants. Directed by Administrator Guzman to swiftly and drastically enhance COVID EIDL, the revamped management team implemented new processes and performance management such as prioritizing personnel for COVID EIDL and increasing the average number of application decisions made. The SBA accelerated daily processing of loan increases from close to 2,000 applications to more than 37,000 applications daily. Loan officer productivity also went from 1.86 applications per day to 15 applications per day. As a result of these increased loan review rates, the 600,000+ loan increase backlog has been cleared and new applications are processed immediately. At the same time, and to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that need COVID EIDL funding most, the SBA increased fraud controls and is working in collaboration with the SBA Inspector General to closely monitor the program.
All business owners that have received previous loans through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), or Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) may still benefit from COVID EIDL. To learn more about the application process, visit www.sba.gov/eidl.
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