Small Business Resources

CLICK HERE FOR OUR RESOURCE GUIDE FOR LOWCOUNTRY BUSINESSES (PDF). 

Listen to a recording of my telephone town hall with representatives from the SBA, DEW, and MUSC here

LOAN FORGIVENESS: The SBA and Treasury Department have released instructions and the application for PPP loan recipients to apply for loan forgiveness. You can find instructions and the application here. 

Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Congress passed an $8.3 billion supplemental funding bill to provide critical coronavirus response.  The legislation categorizes coronavirus as a disaster under the SBA to address economic consequences. These efforts allow small business owners to access up to $7 billion in low-interest loans.

Now that the SBA has approved South Carolina’s request for disaster assistance, Lowcountry businesses and private, non-profit organizations can apply for low-interest loans directly through the SBA. Visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply.

  • 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; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Frequently Asked Questions 

If small businesses need help with their applications, are there any other resources available to help them fill out the applications?

  • SBA has also coordinated with the Resource Partners, including Small Business Development Centers, (SBDCs) who can assist with the application process. The list of SBDCs is available online at: https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/

What is an Economic Injury Disaster Loan?

  • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue.
  • The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere, and businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible to apply for assistance.
  • The maximum term is 30 years.
  • A small business is defined by the SBA’s Size Standards in accordance with the Native American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and SBA’s Size Standards Tool can be utilized.

What are the criteria for a loan approval?

  • Credit History: Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA.
  • Repayment: SBA must determine that the applicant business has the ability to repay the SBA loan. Eligibility: The applicant business must be physically located in a declared county and suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster, not due to a downturn in the economy or other reasons.

What forms and documentation will I need to apply?

  • 3 years of past tax returns – personal and business.
  • Identification – license, passport, social security card.
  • Make sure financial statements are current or readily available
    • if you need to pay for these, wait for confirmation from your loan officer.
  • Make sure other business documents are in order – e.g. corporate paperwork.
  • Most recent bank statements – last 3 months.
  • A business loan declination letter from your bank.

Does the SBA require collateral?

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans over $25,000 require collateral.
  • SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available.
  • SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral but requires borrowers to pledge what is available.

What do I do before and while the loan application is being processed?

  • Contact your bank for a business loan. If you are approved for a loan at 3.75% or comparable rate, the SBA will not offer you something better.
  • Contact your vendors. Work with them to get better payment terms than you currently have.
  • Prioritize your vendor payments according to your most crucial services and the vendor's ability to work on better terms of payment.
  • Make good faith payments to vendors and employees to stay as current as possible.
  • If you haven't already, work with your accountant to file your 2019 tax returns as quickly as possible.
  • Prepare income statements complete with monthly sales reports from 2019 and 2020 to date

What’s the timeline like?

  • Once a borrower submits an application, approval timelines depend on volume.
  • Typical timeline for approval is 2-3 weeks and disbursement can take up to 5 days. Borrowers are assigned individual loan officers for servicing of the loan.

Where can I find more information?

  • For additional information, borrowers should contact the SBA Disaster Assistance customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955 or emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • They can also visit SBA.gov/disaster for more information.

Payment Protection Program (PPP) Loans

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $349 billion for SBA to administer the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP will provide loans of up to $10 million to small businesses that have been harmed by the coronavirus pandemic. PPP loans may be used to cover payroll costs, healthcare benefits, mortgage interest payments, rent, utilities, and other interest payments. 

Congress passed an interim funding bill on April 23, 2020 to provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill strengthens the PPP with $310 billion in additional funding and sets aside $60 billion for community lenders to expand access to the smallest and most vulnerable businesses, including in communities of color. It also provides $50 billion in additional funding to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

The program provides cash-flow assistance for businesses under 500 employees through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small businesses to maintain their payroll and pay their bills during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy to snap back quicker after the crisis.

PPP has a host of attractive features, such as forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees and no payments for at least six months. The cost of eight weeks of payroll and operating expenses will be forgiven from the loan. For example, if your business takes out a $5 million loan and the cost of payroll and operating expenses for eight weeks is $4 million, you would only have to repay the remaining $1 million.

The interest rate on PPP loans is 1% and the loan will mature after 2 years. Small businesses and other eligible entities will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program is retroactive to February 15, 2020, in order to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.

You can apply here.  Frequently asked questions and more information here

Small Business Debt Relief Program

This program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law.