The Small Business Administration has authorization to administer Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to small businesses and nonprofit organizations located in disaster zones. These loans provide recipients working capital loans to offset loss of revenue caused by a declared disaster. An EIDL can help businesses meet necessary financial obligations they could have met had the disaster not occurred.
In March 2020, Congress designated the COVID-19 pandemic as a national disaster in the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020. Weeks later, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act increased the EIDL program’s funding and gave the SBA authority to expand eligibility requirements and streamline the application process.
Numerous small businesses nationwide have experienced economic hardship due to government mandates put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus. Given the pandemic’s devastating impact, the demand for EIDLs and other relief options like the Paycheck Protection Program has been high. As of September 2, nearly four million EIDLs have been approved, totaling more than $262 billion in small business loans. Since the EIDL program launched, Congress has approved several bills to provide the program with additional funding, extended application windows, and further modified lending terms.
This loan program has been a vital lifeline for small businesses impacted by the pandemic and maintains continued importance for businesses as the economy faces potential drawbacks considering the COVID-19 Delta variant. AAHOA has advocated with the SBA and the White House to enact crucial reforms and increase hoteliers’ access to EIDLs.
THE LATEST ENHANCEMENTS
During the past few months, AAHOA worked closely with the SBA to push for expansion and improvement of the EIDL program. In early September, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced several major enhancements to the EIDL program, including:
- Increasing the loan cap to $2 million
- Raising the aggregate loan cap to $10 million
- Extending the deferred payment period to 24 months after loan origination
- Simplifying affiliation standards to mirror the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
- Establishing a 30-year fixed amortization period with a low 3.75% interest rate for private businesses
- Authorizing the use of funds to pay down prior commercial debt and make monthly payments toward federal debt (including principal and interest payments)
“We applaud President Biden and SBA Administrator Guzman for taking these critical steps to strengthen small businesses and protect the foundations of our economy,” AAHOA President & CEO Ken Greene said. “From the jobs they create to the businesses they support, hotels are economic engines in communities across the nation. These EIDL enhancements will ensure hoteliers can keep the lights on and continue to welcome guests as we work toward recovery.”
With more than $150 billion in funds still available, prospective applicants are highly encouraged to apply on the SBA’s official website. The full list of enhancements is available in full detail on the EIDL program’s landing page on the SBA website.