We understand your concerns amid these ever-changing circumstances…but you are not alone. We’re here to help you sort through the Disaster Assistance Updates as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is taking action to address the challenges faced by small businesses due to the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
What’s New as of March 17, 2020
On Tuesday, Governor JB Pritzker (IL) announced that his administration will file for statewide eligibility in a federal loan program for small businesses facing financial hardship:
“I have directed my administration to do everything in our power to support our working families, and we are also working expeditiously to mitigate the challenges small businesses are facing,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “My Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has secured the necessary documentation to declare a statewide Economic Injury Declaration with the U.S. Small Business Association. The SBA is offering Coronavirus disaster assistance loans to help impacted companies get through this period of instability, and this will ensure that all of our counties qualify for assistance.” Read the Governor’s Press Release in its entirety.
Also on Tuesday, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator, Jovita Carranza, issued revised criteria for states or territories seeking an economic injury declaration related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The relaxed criteria will have two immediate impacts:
- Faster, Easier Qualification Process for States Seeking SBA Disaster Assistance. Historically, the SBA has required that any state or territory impacted by disaster provide documentation certifying that at least five small businesses have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of a disaster, with at least one business located in each declared county/parish. Under the just-released, revised criteria, states or territories are only required to certify that at least five small businesses within the state/territory have suffered substantial economic injury, regardless of where those businesses are located.
- Expanded, Statewide Access to SBA Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses. SBA disaster assistance loans are typically only available to small businesses within counties identified as disaster areas by a Governor. Under the revised criteria issued today, disaster assistance loans will be available statewide following an economic injury declaration. This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to Coronavirus. See the March 17, 2020, SBA press release in its entirety.
SBA has received authorization to provide small business assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This program can provide low interest loans of up to $2M to businesses and private non-profits. It’s important to recognize that Illinois has not yet received a declaration, so the EIDL program is not yet available to Illinois businesses and non-profits. (See the full list of disaster declarations.)
As the Governor indicated, Illinois has secured the necessary documentation to declare a statewide Economic Injury Declaration with the U.S. Small Business Association. Once the state submits its request, it goes to SBA for review. If a disaster is declared, businesses in the declared state can begin to apply for loans.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
- For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center – 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How you can help
- Stay informed – The Illinois District will send out updates as the situation evolves. We plan to share information via webinars, through our twitter (@SBA_Illinois), and via email (www.sba.gov/updates). In addition, you can find continually updated information on this situation at www.sba.gov/coronavirus.
- Refer impacted small businesses to SBA – Even in the absence of a declaration, SBA has a broad range of programs that can help small businesses through these challenging times including business advisory and lending services. Call or email the Illinois District Office or go to www.sba.gov/il for more information. Local staff stand ready to assist.
Who to Contact
To reach Illinois’ District or Branch SBA Offices, please use the following contact information:
- SBA Chicago District Office: 312-353-4528
- Springfield Branch: 217-747-8249
- Email: Illinois.DO@sba.gov
- SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com
Or, if you have questions or concerns about how this may impact your SBA 504 Loan, feel free to reach out to Growth Corp’s Servicing Team at:
- Randy Neumann | 217-241-3636 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Becky Minett | 217-241-4638 | email@example.com
- Braden Pope | 217-241-3635 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit sba.gov/coronavirus.
- For information on all federal programs, visit usa.gov/coronavirus or usa.gov/espanol/coronavirus (en Español).
- The IRS has established a web page to help taxpayers and businesses affected by the coronavirus.
- The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus, including use of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
- New guidance outlines how states can administer their unemployment insurance programs to help Americans affected by coronavirus.
Growth Corp and SBA 504 Lending
SBA Loans continue to be available and no disruption in lending is expected. Growth Corp is open for business and we do not foresee any interruptions in service. However, we have asked our staff to limit face-to-face meetings. Email and virtual meetings will be utilized as much as possible during these uncertain times.
Thank you for your continued trust in Growth Corp. We will keep this page updated with more information as the situation evolves in the coming days.