Small businesses are the fabric of the Colorado economy. Their success depends on the ability to freely market products and services to communities across the state. As Americans face the new reality of social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, small businesses bear the brunt of those measures and face serious challenges with declining customer traffic.
Responding to businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the request of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the U.S. Small Business Administration has been authorized to offer economic injury disaster loans to Colorado small businesses in need of working capital and support with operating expenses.
This is not the first time the SBA has been asked to step forward to help the nation’s small business during a time of adversity. Following the events of 9/11, the SBA implemented a nationwide disaster declaration that supported and saved thousands of businesses from failure.
Over the years, the federal agency has helped communities recover from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires. The SBA has the time-tested experience to effectively and expeditiously implement this disaster loan program on a national basis.
SBA economic injury disaster loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small firms to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they’re experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the effects of the outbreak.
The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. Businesses with credit available elsewhere aren’t eligible. The interest rate for nonprofit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis based on the ability to repay.
The application process, as well as information on assistance available to impacted communities in Colorado, is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
SBA disaster loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the agency is committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible. For additional guidance, log on to www.sba.gov.
America’s national economy is dependent on a healthy and vibrant small business community. The SBA is committed to doing everything we can to support America’s entrepreneurs during this challenging time.
Dan Nordberg serves as administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Region VIII, a six-state region that includes Colorado. Frances Padilla serves as SBA Colorado District director.