Small businesses applying for COVID aid need to apply by year's end

Jessica Rabbit

Businesses looking for COVID-19 assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) are running low on time. The new variant, Omicron, has added great uncertainty into worldwide economic recovery.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL) is in place to provide small businesses with financial assistance. The funds can be used for financial obligations or operating expenses that have been impacted by the global pandemic. The EIDL is especially looking for small businesses still impacted from the outbreak even today — particularly businesses in the restaurant, travel, and fitness industries.

Since mid-November nearly $300 billion in small business loans and grants were issued by the agency. However, until the year's end, there is still grant and loan money available.

SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman, told Yahoo Finance that the EIDL has allocated billions more in aid, for the direct benefit of small businesses who still bask in uncertainty. Recently, the SBA updated their EIDL guidance to help loan applicants, those requesting advances, and those needing to appeal. The program overhaul will help small businesses up to $2 million each. Those programs are available through December 31, 2021.

The SBA has advertised billions of dollars that are available for this pandemic relief program. However, as with other SBA recovery aid, small business owners report difficulty navigating the process.

The CARES Act, which was passed at the start of the pandemic, let the SBA approve emergency loans without owners needing to show their tax records. This allowed for no delays in providing aid to struggling small businesses. However, the process has slowed a bit again, as the SBA is verifying tax records at this time.

Additionally, two representatives on the U.S. House Small Business Committee are looking to end the SBA’s ability to directly loan businesses money. The Build Back Better (BBB) Act recently passed allotting $2 trillion for such efforts. The ranking member of the House Small Business Committee is adamant that the SBA focus solely on traditional lending programs. She is dismissive of the idea that the SBA can fund businesses as they are.

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