The U.S. Small Business Administration’s district director estimates that federal economic injury disaster loans may become available within two weeks to a month for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Gregg White, director of Columbia’s SBA office, said he could not give an exact date for loan availability but he thinks South Carolina is a “step ahead of the curve” in gaining eligibility before state businesses experience the full brunt of COVID-19, the new coronavirus.
“We are waiting on additional information and working with the governor to receive that information so we can submit it to our Atlanta disaster assistance office,” he said.
Low-interest loans up to $2 million will be made available on a case-by-case basis to small businesses, non-profits and, in certain circumstances, even larger businesses who have been financially impacted by the virus, the SBA announced March 12.
Non-profits will be able to apply for loans with a 2.75% interest rate, while eligible small businesses without an external credit source can apply for loans at a 3.75% interest rate. Small businesses with external credit sources will not be eligible.
The highest loan tier offered, those reaching $2 million, are known as an Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
“These loans provide vital economic support to small businesses for the loss of revenue they are experiencing,” White said.