With Congress set to approve another rounding of funding for loan programs meant to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, the Small Business Administration has released new, albeit limited, data about where it’s been spending money so far.
In a report this week, the SBA provided a state-by-state breakdown of the Economic Injury Disaster Loans it has approved, showing almost 27,000 loans for a total of $5.6 billion as of Sunday. A separate report shows the agency processed more than 755,000 emergency advances, totaling $3.3 billion. Under the federal government’s economic stimulus package passed last month, the advances—up to $10,000 for businesses affected by COVID-19—don’t have to be paid back, even if the loan is ultimately not approved.
Since a lapse in appropriations, the EIDL program has stopped accepting applications. Congress’s latest plan would add another $60 billion, in addition to the $310 billion set aside for the separate Paycheck Protection Program.
Even with that deal set to pass today, many businesses have yet to hear back about loan applications they submitted the first time around, some as far back as March.
“I applied March 30 and heard nothing,” said Alli Mleczko, owner of O’Shucks Seafood & Grill in Winder, Georgia. “I called on April 8 and spent four hours on hold and the lady said she could not tell me any information . . . It’s frustrating not knowing if you are even in the queue.”
Fast Company reached out to the SBA for additional guidance about what businesses should do they already applied for the program. We’ll update this post if we hear back.
For now, the state-by-state breakdowns released by the SBA this week don’t tell us much—just the number of loans, advances, and dollar amounts approved in each state. But at least it’s a start. You see the loan report here and the advances here.
This post has been updated.