COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

This is the Summer to Recover

Release Date: 
Friday, July 9, 2021
Release Number: 

By Janita R. Stewart, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Southeast Acting Regional Administrator. Serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

We all recognize a comfort and familiarity as the nation opens for business. Recovery from the pandemic is underway, but there are many small business owners that are still struggling.

Now is a great time for small businesses to look at the SBA recovery programs. If your business is getting back to normal, this is an ideal time to prepare for any natural disaster that may come our way. The global pandemic has taught us that it’s wise to be prepared. 

The American Rescue Plan was passed by Congress and signed into law to assist Americans. For a simplified breakdown of the Plan, there is a website you may want to review: The White House American Rescue Plan. The SBA is focused on portions of the Plan that assist America’s entrepreneurs.

Many changes have occurred in the various COVID relief programs over the past year, and some programs have expired. Please review the information below to see what is currently available.

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)Applications accepted through 12-31-21 or until funds exhausted.

This SBA direct loan program provides funding to small businesses and non-profit organizations currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue related to COVID-19. Unlike the PPP, these EIDLs are true loans.

Also, EIDLs are usually used for working capital purposes to pay expenses that you would have ordinarily been able to pay had the pandemic not occurred. Borrowers have a 30-year term to repay the loan and a fixed interest rate of 2.75% for non-profits and 3.75% for small businesses.

Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance

EIDL applicants may be eligible for SBA funding that does not need to be repaid.  These "advances" are like grants – but without the typical requirements that come with a U.S. government grant.

Last year, Congress appropriated $20 billion in EIDL Advance program funding. Those funds were disbursed at up to $10,000 per business/non-profit organization to EIDL applicants. You did not have to be approved for nor accept an EIDL loan offer to receive the Advance.

Since that program expired, Congress funded the new Targeted EIDL Advance program. SBA is ‘targeting’ potential eligible entities that did not receive the full $10,000 in 2020, offering them the opportunity to apply for this funding. The Targeted EIDL Advance can go up to $10,000. The business or non-profit must show at least a 30% loss of revenue in 2020 compared to 2019 and be in a low-income community, which can be located here: SBA Targeted EIDL Advance Mapping Tool.

If qualified under the Targeted EIDL Advance, an applicant may apply for and receive an additional $5,000 under the Supplemental Targeted EIDL Advance program, if eligible.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant  Still accepting applications (at the time of this posting - 07-09-2021).

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act.  The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues. It is administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.  Eligible applicants include live music venues, entertainment venues, movie theatres, and others, subject to restrictions.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million.  A $2 billion component is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

PPP Forgiveness

A Paycheck Protection Program borrower may apply for forgiveness once all loan proceeds have been used on authorized expenses, and within the allowable timeframe. Borrowers should apply for forgiveness directly with their PPP lender any time up to the maturity date of the loan.

If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period, then PPP loan payments are no longer deferred, and borrowers will begin making loan payments.

Community Navigators Outreach to businesses in underserved communities.

The Biden-Harris Administration and Congress support this $100 million technical assistance investment as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Community Navigator program is committed to ensuring that the nation’s small businesses receive the support they need to access federal relief programs – to help them weather the economic downturn due to COVID-19.

This technical assistance is critical to the over 400,000 small businesses severely impacted over the past year. Previous rounds of economic relief last year helped millions of small businesses stay afloat and keep employees on the payroll. Yet many rural, minority-owned, immigrant and mom and pop small businesses in rural and underserved communities still did not get the assistance they need.

To better reach these small businesses, SBA has launching the Community Navigator Pilot Program. This will strengthen outreach to underserved businesses by partnering with organizations with deep roots in their communities.

In this program, SBA is leveraging its extensive network of resource partners across the country to  ensure that the Community Navigator Pilot Program reaches targeted communities. SBA has issued a grant funding opportunity that is currently open to proposals from SBA resource partners, states, tribes, units of local governments, and other nonprofit organizations.

Competitive grant awards range from $1 – $5 million for a two-year performance period.  Performance periods should start in September 2021, and those eligible must be able to support the requirements of the program. Deadline to apply: July 23, 2021; submit to Community Navigator Pilot Program Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Please review these programs with the links provided. If you have any questions or need assistance, you can enter your zip code on the SBA Local Assistance Finder to contact your SBA district office.