The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has multiple provisions to help small businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
While most small business owners are paying attention to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the CARES Act also bolsters another, more traditional SBA program—the Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL).
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) work like traditional SBA 7(a) loans. They provide organizations that can demonstrate irrefutable revenue loss from COVID-19 with a low-interest (3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits) loan up to 30 years. The maximum loan amount from EIDLs is $2 million.
The qualifications for EIDLs are more difficult than PPP loans and may take longer to receive since they come directly from the US Treasury. The CARES Act has emphasized speeding up the approval and funding process during the coronavirus pandemic, but what if you need capital now? Fortunately, there is an option!
If you’re eligible for and submit an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application, you can gain access (within 3 days) to a $10,000 Emergency Economic Injury Grant, which is fully forgiven even if your EIDL is denied.
Keep reading to learn more about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance, including what it covers and who it is for.
What is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance?
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance is a $10,000 grant for companies that successfully submit an EIDL application. It’s awarded to successful applicants within 3 days. This loan advance does not need to be repaid, even if your EIDL application is denied.
The $10,000 grant subsidizes businesses for the temporary loss of revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic until they receive additional funding through the EIDL or elsewhere. You can use the emergency grant for expenses such as:
- Maintaining payroll
- Providing paid leave and other employee benefits
- Paying rent, mortgage, or inventory costs
- Modifying production due to supply chain disruption or business interruption
- Covering other operational obligations
The goal of this emergency grant is to get money in the hands of struggling businesses immediately so they can act quickly to stay afloat while their EIDL is processing.
Keep in mind that direct loans under the EIDL program can reach up to $2 million. For some, the $10,000 grant might not make a dent on their current expenses. For other small businesses, this grant could significantly help them through the worst part of the pandemic.
If you’re looking for additional capital beyond the EIDL and emergency grant, you have several small business financing options at your disposal.
Who Qualifies for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance?
This incredibly flexible grant is available to a wide variety of business types—small businesses, sole proprietors, private nonprofit organizations, independent contractors, and tribal organizations. This grant program is also open to cooperatives and employee-owned businesses.
The eligibility requirements for an EIDL and its emergency loan advance include:
- Must be a US business, including Washington, DC, and other US territories
- Must have 500 or fewer employees (certain industries with more than 500 employees qualify if they meet the SBA’s size standards)
- Must be able to show loss of revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
Grant recipients must have been in operation by January 31, 2020. You can apply for these grants through December 31, 2020.
What is the Timeline for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance?
Remember, a traditional EIDL can take weeks to be reviewed and approved—especially with the increased applications the SBA is receiving right now. The $10,000 EIDL Emergency Advance was created to get money in your hands quickly to help mitigate the effect of lost revenue.
Therefore, these grants will be distributed to businesses within 3 days of their successful submission of an EIDL application.
What if You Already Applied for an EIDL?
The Emergency Economic Injury Grant program is a new part of the EIDL application for business. For businesses that have already applied for an EIDL, you will not automatically get the $10,000 grant.
In an interview with the NPR-affiliated Alaska Public Media, Jon Bittner, executive director of the Alaska Small Business Development Center, encouraged small business owners to apply again and request a “loan advance” to receive the grant.
“If you have already submitted your (EIDL) application, you really need to go back and do it again and ask for the $10,000,” Bittner says. “And that’s totally okay. They’re telling you to do that. But some people haven’t gotten the message.”
Receiving the grant is worth it because it is money you don’t have to pay back, and it’s available regardless of your application status. So, take the time to reapply.
How Do You Apply for an EIDL?
To apply for the emergency loan advance, you must complete the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan application. In response to the coronavirus, the SBA has worked to streamline the process, and their online interface makes it incredibly easy for businesses to complete and submit their EIDL application.
The estimated time to complete the EIDL application is 2 hours and 10 minutes. Businesses must submit all required information within the application for it to process fully—although some sections may be skipped depending on your business.
The Emergency Economic Injury Grant is just one tool provided by the government stimulus package to help companies stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. If small businesses can keep their doors open, then they can keep their employees on staff to help them through this time. This will help cities across America weather this storm and come out more resilient than ever.