The SBA (Small Business Administration) has announced the COVID EIDL (COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster) Program loan, a low-interest, fixed-rate, long-term loan, intended to help eligible small business applicants overcome any negative financial effects brought on by the pandemic. The COVID EIDL Program loan, developed and managed entirely by the SBA, provides working capital to eligible small businesses for operating expenses. Unlike the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan, the COVID EIDL Program loan is not forgivable and must be repaid.
The maximum loan amount for eligible applicants is determined by a formula based on the business type and the date that operations began. Application instructions will contain an automated calculation. Applicants can apply for the COVID EIDL program loan directly from the SBA’s website.
Eligible small businesses and organizations may apply if they are:
- Small businesses and affiliates that have 500 or fewer employees or are defined as small per SBA size standards
- Sole proprietorships and independent contractors
- Cooperatives with 500 or fewer employees
- Agricultural enterprises with 500 or fewer employees
- Privately owned non-profits, including religious non-profits
Other assistance received through the SBA will not impact an organization’s eligibility or loan amount, as long as the other assistance did not fully compensate the economic injury.
The SBA has developed this loan program to help affected organizations meet normal operating expenses and working capital. Borrowers should use COVID EIDL proceeds to make regular payments for operating expenses and to pay business debt incurred at any time (including business credit card debt), payroll, rent/mortgage, utilities and other ordinary business expenses. Funds may not be used to expand the business.
Eligible small businesses and nonprofits may apply for the COVID EIDL program loan by December 31, 2021, though the SBA advises that applications be filed as soon as possible to accommodate processing time for approval.
For further details about the COVID EIDL loan, including terms and required documentation, download the SBA’s FAQs about the program.
SBA district offices and resource partners, such as the local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Women’s Business Development Centers (WBC), SCORE offices or Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) are on standby to help at no cost. Visit www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-locations to find your local field office. You can also contact SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800.659.2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.