The SBA has announced enhancements to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, or EIDL, program, including increasing the borrowing limit to $2 million and offering 24 months of deferment and expanding flexibility to allow borrowers to pay down higher-interest business debt.
The agency also said that it is increasing its outreach efforts to ensure it is connecting with the smallest businesses as well as those from low-income communities who may also be eligible for the companion COVID EIDL Targeted Advance and Supplemental Advance grants totaling up to $15,000.
Specifically, the key changes include:
- increasing the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million (loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment and paying debt);
- implementation of a deferred payment period, ensuring small business owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination;
- establishment of a 30-day exclusivity window to ensure Main Street businesses have additional time to access these funds;
- expansion of eligible use of funds to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt; and
- simplification of affiliation requirements to ease the application process for small businesses.
Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply for the EIDL program on the SBA’s website. The deadline is Dec. 31, 2021.