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Financial Assistance for Small Business Owners Affected by COVID-19: Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Even the most prepared businesses need to plan for what happens if cash flow decreases or runs out. With the uncertainty of how COVID-19 will affect your business long term, you may be wondering how long you can continue to pay your employees or rent. Now that the CARES Act has been enacted, your business may be eligible for loans and advances designed to keep you in business. In part one of our three-part series of blog posts, we'll discuss eligibility and application information on Economic Injury Disaster Loans.


The CARES Act temporarily expands eligibility for EIDLs administered by the Small Business Administration and provides an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19. The advance will be available within 3 days of applying for an EIDL. You will not have to repay the advance, even if your application for a loan is denied. The advance may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments.

Who is eligible?

In addition to the entities that are currently eligible for SBA disaster loans (small businesses, private non-profits, and small agriculture cooperatives), eligibility is temporarily expanded to include:

  • Business entities with 500 or fewer employees

  • Sole proprietorships, with or without employees

  • Independent contractors

  • Cooperatives and employee owned businesses

  • Tribal small businesses

  • Private non-profits of any size

You must have been in business as of Jan. 31, 2020, and the expanded eligibility criteria and the emergency advance are only available between Jan. 31, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.

How do I apply?

Click here to apply for an EIDL. You can request an emergency advance of $10,000, and the SBA will provide the advance within 3 days of receiving your application. A local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center can help guide you through the loan application process.

Can I apply for other SBA loan programs?

If you apply for an EIDL and the advance, you can still apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan (see next page). However, the amount forgiven under a Paycheck Protection loan will be decreased by the $10,000 advance.

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