Small businesses in Virginia impacted by the coronavirus outbreak may apply to the U.S. Small Business Administration for federal disaster loans to help deal with the loss of revenue they are experiencing.
The Small Business administration last week implemented a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration, following a request by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. The program offers up to $2 million in assistance per small business.
According to the SBA website, 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. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments, up to 30 years, to keep payments affordable. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
Businesses can apply for disaster loans at: sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19#section-header-3. Those who do not have access to a computer or smartphone can call 1‐800‐659‐2955 for assistance.
Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-10th, is encouraging small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to apply for a letter of support from her office to give more weight to the application. Businesses can apply for a congressional letter of support from her at: wexton.house.gov/services/covid-19-small-business-letter-of-support-form.htm
“In the blink of an eye, small businesses across my district have been forced to confront unprecedented economic upheaval in the midst of a pandemic,” Wexton said in a news release. “I’m committed to doing everything in my power to help these businesses keep their doors open and their employees on payroll. Making federal SBA disaster loans available is an important — but not final — step to help small businesses in my district weather this crisis. I want Virginians to know that I’m fighting every day to get them the resources they need to recover and my office is ready to support them every step of the way. “
Wexton’s district includes Winchester and Frederick and Clarke counties.
Up to an additional $7 billion was made available to SBA for disaster relief loans following the passage of the bipartisan Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which Wexton supported. It was signed into law by President Trump on March 6.
According to Wexton, self-employed individuals are also eligible for benefits via a refundable income tax credit created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that was signed into law last week.
Employees who have been laid off or lost hours due to COVID-19 can find resources on available benefits via the Virginia Employment Commission at vec.virginia.gov/node/11699.
Wexton has compiled key information and updates as part of a resource guide for constituents navigating the coronavirus outbreak at wexton.house.gov/services/coronavirus.htm. Constituents with questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 or who require assistance from Wexton’s office in navigating federal or state resources for small businesses should contact her at wexton.house.gov/services/casework/help-with-a-federal-agency.htm.