U.S. Small Business Administration Offers Disaster Assistance to California Small Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO -The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to California small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s designated representative, Director Mark S. Ghilarducci of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services on March 13, 2020. The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the following California counties:

Contra CostaEl DoradoImperialKern
LakeLos AngelesMaderaMarin
SacramentoSan BernardinoSan DiegoSan Francisco
San JoaquinSan MateoSanta ClaraSanta Cruz

“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

A loan officer will determine your eligibility, and their goal is to arrive at a decision on your application within 2-3 weeks. A loan officer will contact you to discuss the loan recommendation and next steps. Once SBA receives your signed Loan Closing Documents, and initial disbursement will be made to you within 5 days — physical damage: $25,000, economic injury: $25,000 (in addition to the physical damage disbursement). From there, a case manager will help you meet all loan conditions as well as schedule subsequent disbursements until you receive the full loan amount. 

To view the Three Step Disaster Loan Process CLICK HERE.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is December 16, 2020.

Local Supplemental Assistance

Additionally, some California counties are offering supplemental Small Business relief specific to their individual county. In San Francisco those services can be found through the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and in Oakland through the Business Assistance Center. We encourage our local CAL SMACNA members to contact their local county business offices for more information, if you need assistance doing so please contact Emily Mills at emily@cal-smacna.org