SBA Disaster Loans Suffer a Disaster

High demand for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) has led to important changes limiting the size of the payouts for some small-business owners.

While small-business owners across America line up to get their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans–a process that has been a bit chaotic–the Treasury Department has touted the EIDL as a stopgap option. Small businesses that apply for EIDLs can request an advance of up to $10,000.

Now, there are some caveats. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Massachusetts District Office announced in a bulletin on April 6 that, nationwide, the SBA has decided to implement a $1,000 cap per employee on the advance, up to a maximum of $10,000. So, a business with three employees, for example, would be eligible to receive only $3,000 up front, as opposed to the originally stated $10,000.

The bulletin states the advances will be distributed beginning this week. In a separate announcement, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, who serves on the Senate’s banking, housing, and urban affairs committee, said the change is the result of high demand for the loans.

As a business owner, you don’t have to pay back the advance even if you’re ultimately denied for the rest of the EIDL loan. The advance can also be rolled into a PPP loan and subtracted from the amount that gets forgiven.

The original Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act legislation directed the SBA to issue those loans to businesses within three days of when the request was received. The three-day stipulation seems to have gone out the window as well.

“Overwhelming interest in the program has slowed the process,” Schatz’s office writes. “This makes it difficult to estimate when applicants will receive the advance.”

Ami Kassar, founder of lending advisory firm MultiFunding, who has been in contact with hundreds of business owners throughout this crisis, says he is not aware of any businesses that have yet received their EIDL advances.

Inc. will continue to track the latest on how the stimulus package affects small-business owners. Inc. and the Chamber will hold its third National Small Business Town Hall this Friday, April 10, at 12 p.m. Eastern. Registration is now open.

PUBLISHED ON: APR 8, 2020