Small businesses that still need a shot of quick cash to help them through the coronavirus pandemic can no longer count on the loan advance program from the Small Business Administration.
The coveted program, which provided immediate relief to businesses that applied for an emergency loan from the SBA, is officially out of money, the agency said this weekend. The SBA says it provided $20 billion in advance funds—the full amount allocated by Congress—to almost six million businesses employing 30.5 million people. The money was doled out in advances of $1,000 per employee, up to $10,000 per business.
The advances were originally approved back in March as part of the CARES Act and were distributed via the SBA’s existing Economic Injury Disaster Loans, or EIDL program, through which businesses and nonprofits can apply for low-interest loans. The EIDL program is still open and accepting applications, but the advances—which were highly sought after as they did not have to be paid back—are no longer part of the deal.
Amid overwhelming demand during the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, chaos and confusion initially plagued the EIDL program, with many small businesses and sole proprietors saying they were unable to find lenders or even contact the SBA for guidance. Presumably, a good number of frustrated business owners simply gave up.
Congress, meanwhile, is on break until next week, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have yet to agree on the details of the next stimulus package.
The SBA says companies still seeking disaster assistance should visit its online portal for more information.