Starting immediately, Agency extends additional relief to small businesses
WASHINGTON – Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, directed the Agency to provide additional deferment of principal and interest payments for existing COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program Borrowers for a total of 30 months deferment from inception on all approved COVID EIDL loans. The extended deferment period will provide additional flexibility to small business owners impacted by the pandemic, especially those in hard-hit sectors managing disruption with recent variants, as well as recent supply chain and inflation challenges amid a growing economic recovery.
Since its inception, the COVID EIDL program, a federal disaster relief loan, has allocated more than $351 billion in relief aid to 3.9 million borrowers, including to the smallest of small businesses from historically underserved, disadvantaged communities.
“Though our small business owners continue to power a historic economic recovery under the Biden-Harris Administration, we must continue to do everything in our power to meet our small businesses where they are with resources to ensure they can recover and thrive,” said SBA Administrator Guzman. “This extended principal and interest deferment will provide financial relief to millions of small business owners – particularly those hardest-hit by the pandemic and related marketplace challenges – so they can continue to pivot, adapt, and grow.”
Key information regarding deferment:
In September 2021, Administrator Guzman announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Key changes announced included:
Application Process and Fraud Control Enhancements
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 applications decisions made. At the time, the SBA accelerated daily processing of loan increases from close to 2,000 applications to more than 37,000 applications. 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 was cleared, and new applications were 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.
Further Details for SBA Customers
Borrowers with questions can call SBA’s COVID EIDL Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-833-853-5638 (borrowers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability can dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov for additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Multilingual representatives are available. Small business owners may also contact SBA’s Resource Partners by visiting www.sba.gov/local-assistance. For additional information on COVID EIDL, please visit www.sba.gov/relief.
|About COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans
In response to COVID-19, small business owners, including agricultural businesses and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and territories were able to apply for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The purpose of EIDL is to provide financial assistance for small businesses to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers 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. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.