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U.S. Small Business Association offering federal disaster loans to small businesses

Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 18:29:00-04

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce is reporting Governor Greg Abbott requested an emergency declaration from the SBA so that Texas businesses could be eligible for disaster loan assistance.

The state will make Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) available for businesses, franchisees, small agricultural coops and some private non-profits who have suffered "substantial economic injury due to COVID-19."

The loans will be up to $2 million to "provide the necessary working capital to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue until normal operations resume." The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, rent or lease payments, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce says the interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.

Loans with long-term repayments are also available up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined by a case by case basis based on the borrower's ability to repay. First payments may be deferred for up to one year.

Businesses can apply for the loan online. The SBA says applicants can expect a turnaround time of three weeks after submitting a complete application.

Before applying, businesses must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To obtain a FEMA registration number, call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or go online.

For questions, contact the SBA Disaster Assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or email