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SBA Disaster Assistance Loans

March 19, 2020
From the US Chamber of Commerce:

On March 13th, Governor Cooper requested that the Small Business Administration issue a disaster declaration in all counties in North Carolina to make SBA disaster assistance loans available to North Carolina’s small business owners dealing with the economic difficulties created by COVID-19. SBA approved the Governor’s request late Wednesday afternoon, issuing a disaster declaration for all 100 North Carolina counties. We wanted to provide details to you regarding the process that small businesses will follow to apply for a disaster loan through SBA, as well as provide answers to frequently asked questions about the loans.

 
  • Small business owners interested in SBA disaster assistance loans should call Business Link North Carolina (BLNC) at 1-800-228-8443
    • BLNC staff are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.  Se habla Español si es necesario.
    • Call volume in BLNC is expected to be high, and callers may need to leave a message and await a returned call.
    • BLNC counselors will gather basic information from callers and refer the case to the most appropriate resource –  small-business experts with the either the Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC) or the state’s Small Business Center Network (SBCN) – for assistance.
    • SBTDC and SBCN small-business counselors will assess needs – working, for example, to assist with the preparation of any SBA loan application materials that may be appropriate.
 
  • What are SBA disaster loans?
    • SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.
    • You must be in an SBA declared disaster area to be eligible for SBA disaster assistance.
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loans — up to $2 million. These loans are for small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, aquaculture enterprises and nonprofits affected by disaster to help meet working capital needs or normal business operating expenses through the recovery period. Businesses are eligible for these loans regardless of whether or not they have suffered property damage.
    • Please see “EIDL Fact Sheet.pdf” attached for further details.
 
  • How does a business apply?
    • Please see “Three_Step_Process_SBA_Disaster_Loans.pdf” attached.
 
  • Are applications available online?
    • Yes, you can apply online via the SBA’s secure website: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. It is however, strongly encouraged,  to work with BLNC as described above.
 
  • How long does it take to get approval?
    • The stated goal of SBA is to arrive at a decision regarding loan approval within 2 – 3 weeks.  However, the timeline can be much longer due to the SBA’s need for damage verification and additional documentation of various types.
 
  • What other resources are available to struggling businesses?
    • BLNC has issued an information sheet listing additional resources available.  Please see “COVID-19 Business Relief Resources.pdf” attached. A range of support providers are listed.