The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster’s COVID-19-related disaster declaration request, making businesses in the entire state eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans of up to $2 million.
“These low-interest loans are of monumental importance to our business community," McMaster said in the news release. "There's no doubt that our state's small businesses have suffered losses throughout this incredibly difficult time, but help is on the way. To have Administrator (Jovita) Carranza approve our request so quickly shows that President Trump’s administration is fully committed to helping our businesses recover from the impact of this virus.”
McMaster officially requested the disaster declaration through a letter to the SBA on March 17, according to the release, but had said the declaration request was underway on March 13.
On Thursday, the SBA opened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan application process for S.C. counties bordering North Carolina and Georgia, where disaster declarations were already approved, according the news release.
Previously, the SBA granted disaster loan declaration status if a state provided documentation showing that a minimum of five small businesses had been impacted financially with at least one being located in every declared county. The outbreak of the new coronavirus has extended eligibility guidelines providing that five small businesses throughout the entire state can prove economic injury, according to another news release on Tuesday.
“We are grateful the SBA acted so swiftly to provide assistance to South Carolina's small business community,” S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in a news release. “We encourage S.C. businesses to take advantage of this program aimed at bridging the financial gap during this unprecedented time.”