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SBA offers COVID-19 disaster assistance

ATLANTA — The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Ohio small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced.

The SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was signed into law by President Donald Trump, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Mike DeWine.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available across Ohio and, among others, the contiguous counties of Brooke, Hancock, Cabel, Ohio, Wayne and Wetzel in West Virginia along with Beaver in Pennsylvania.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Ohio small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the coronavirus,” said Carranza.

SBA customer service representatives will be available to answer questions about the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the COVID-19 since Jan. 31 can qualify for 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 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 the loans is based on the financial impact of COVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private nonprofit 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 impact without hardship.

Applicants can apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants can call SBA’s customer service center at (800) 659-2955 or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21.

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