Approval Unlocks Billions in Economic Recovery Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19.
On Thurs. March 19 Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced that Colorado’s application for the state to receive federal disaster area designation, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, has been approved. This means that Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek individual small business loans up to $2M as part of the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Small businesses throughout all 64 counties may seek SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans at www.choosecolorado.com.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt across our state. We are committed to protecting public health and safety and will continue fighting to ensure the pain that Colorado’s small businesses are feeling is limited,” said Governor Polis. “This critical designation allows small businesses in all 64 Colorado counties to seek federal recovery loans that can help them through this challenging time. I thank the Colorado federal delegation for their efforts to help unlock this assistance.”
The SBA Disaster assistance provides low-interest federal loans for working capital to Colorado small businesses that have realized economic injury from COVID-19. Funding was appropriated through the U.S. congressional Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Local Small Business Development Center Director Jamie Billesbach is cautioning central Colorado region businesses applying for the emergency loans to be patient. “Please note the online application is a Federal Small Business Administration system that has been altered to handle this new type of disaster with COVID-19,” she explains. “You may have difficulty getting on this site as Small Businesses nationally are trying to do the same thing.
The avalanche of applications isn’t just slowing the application site, it is causing ‘busy/site unavailable signals’. “The SBA knows that their system could be delayed in getting all of the counties in Colorado up online,” adds Billesbach. “What we were told is if you have trouble then try again later. AND, it can crash after you are online (the info you entered won’t be lost but you will need to log in again to finish).
“Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade is committed to helping our small businesses access these vital funds,” said Executive Director Betsy Markey. “Eligibility information, loan application links and emerging economic recovery resources can all be found at choosecolorado.com.”
Small businesses, private non-profit organizations, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises impacted by COVID-19 can seek federal loans to pay key needs such as fixed debts, payroll, and accounts payable.
Officials at the SBA say that SBA’s top priority is to assist businesses adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans can be the working capital lifelines they need to weather this difficult time.
“Small businesses are the fabric of our economy and their success is dependent on the ability to freely market products and services to communities across the state and world,” said SBA Regional Administrator Dan Nordberg. “Local small businesses are bearing the brunt of that impact and facing a severe decline in customer traffic.”
Applying on www.choosecolorado.com
The Federal Small Business Administration system has been altered to handle this new type of disaster with COVID-19 – the SBA Economic Disaster Loans for Small Businesses.
Tips for completing your SBA Emergency Disaster Loan Application:
- Applications need to be done online – there is no ability right now to process paper, so any processing of paper applications would be delayed.
- The SBA knows that the system could be slow due to high volume, as small businesses across all 64 Colorado counties try to get online to apply. It is asking for patience. Our local Small Business Development Center in Salida has been told that those having trouble should “take a break, then try again later”.
- If you are online completing an application and the system crashes, the info you entered won’t be lost but you will need to log in again to finish.
- The biggest thing you need to do when you do get online, is assign yourself a user name and password to access your application information. DO NOT LOSE THIS INFORMATION: if you do, you cannot get back in without starting all over.
The Colorado Small Business Development Center and your local Central Mountain Center have been asked to help support local small businesses with the process.
The Central Mountain SBDC team is here to help. Click here to schedule an free appointment.
- Applicants must meet the SBA requirements of a small business (500 employees or fewer)
- Businesses directly affected by COVID-19
- Businesses that offer services directly related to the businesses in the declaration
- Other businesses indirectly related the industry that are likely to be harmed by losses in their community (Example: Manufacturer of widgets may be eligible as well as the wholesaler and retailer of the product)
- Agricultural Enterprises: If the primary activity of the business (including its affiliates) is as defined in Section 18(b)(1) of the Small Business Act, neither the business nor its affiliates are eligible for EIDL assistance.
- Religious Organizations
- Charitable Organizations
- Gambling Concerns (Ex: Concerns that derive more than 1/3 of their annual gross revenue from legal gambling activities)
- Casinos & Racetracks (Ex: Businesses whose purpose for being is gambling (e.g., casinos, racetracks, poker parlors, etc.) are not eligible for EIDL assistance regardless of 1/3 criteria above
- Cannabis Industry
Credit History: Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA
Repayment: SBA must determine that the applicant’s business has the ability to repay the SBA loan
Eligibility: The applicant business must be physically located in a declared county and suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster, not due to a downturn in the economy or other reasons
HOW MUCH YOU CAN BORROW:
- Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million
- The interest rates for this disaster are 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years
- Eligibility for these working capital loans are based on the size (must be a small business) and type of business and its financial resources
HOW THE FUNDS CAN BE USED:
These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion. Funds cannot be used to pay down long-term debt.
WHAT IS NEEDED TO APPLY:
- Completed SBA loan application (SBA Form 5)
- Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T) for the applicant, principals, and affiliates
- Complete copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Return
- Schedule of Liabilities (SBA Form 2202)
- Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413)
- Income, balance sheet, and cash flow documents
OTHER INFORMATION THAT MAY BE REQUESTED:
- Complete copy, including all schedules, of the most recent Federal income tax return for principals, general partners or managing members, and affiliates (see filing requirements for more information)
- If the most recent Federal income tax return has not been filed, a year-end profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet for that tax year
- A current year-to-date profit-and-loss statement
- Additional Filing Requirements (SBA Form 1368) providing monthly sales figures. (This is especially important for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.)
HOW SOON WILL BUSINESSES RECEIVE MONEY?
Small businesses that submit complete loan packages could receive a yes/no decision and may receive a loan disbursement (the money) within several weeks, although it may take longer depending on demand.
Incomplete information and verification of collateral will delay the approval process.
HOW TO APPLY:
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
Paper loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. This is not recommended as your claim will be later in the queue.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Include the specific disaster in your application – specifically reference “COVID-19” or Coronavirus
- Apply online vs. by mail
- Write your password and username down; neither the system nor any personnel are able to retrieve it
- Save your work at every prompt
- Do not rush through the application. Check and recheck the filing requirements to ensure that all the needed information is submitted. The biggest reason for delays in processing is due to missing information.
- Make sure to complete all filing requirements before submitting the application and forms
- Be sure to use the same contact information (business name and the name of all owners) that you use on your federal tax returns. Double-check that they match.
If your tax returns reference other businesses that you own, you must also submit those tax returns in order to avoid processing delays.
If more funds are needed, applicants can submit supporting documents and a request for an increase. If fewer funds are needed, applicants can request a reduction in the loan amount.
If the loan request is denied, the applicant will be given up to six months in which to provide new information and submit a written request for reconsideration.
SMALL BUSINESS COVID-19 DISASTER RESPONSE HOTLINE 303-860-5881