SBA Asking for Input on COVID Grants and Loans for Small Business

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking input from small businesses in order to assess customer satisfaction with Covid-related relief. The SBA had provided relief to small businesses affected by the pandemic through programs that include the Check Payment Protection Program (PPP), the COVID Disaster Loan (EIDL), bridge loans express from the SBA and others.

COVID grants and loans for small businesses

The programs provided a lifeline through direct disaster loan programs for businesses, landlords and tenants. This includes loan and venture capital programs, management training and technical assistance programs, and hiring programs. The SBA is asking small business owners to fill out a survey that will be used to monitor and improve the effectiveness of future SBA communication and customer service efforts. The survey deals with the main COVID relief of SBA, i.e. PPP COVID EIDL; SBA Express Bridge Loan; Grant for closed space operators; and Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

How grants and loans developed

During the global Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the CARES Act was signed, which provided the first round of emergency aid for American workers and small businesses. In addition to the SBA’s traditional funding options, the CARES Act and the 2021 U.S. Rescue Plan Act established several temporary programs that include grants for COVID-19 relief.

These measures were implemented to cushion small businesses from the adverse economic impact of COVID-19. This included lost productivity, supply chain disruptions, job dislocation, and financial pressure on businesses and households. The following programs have been implemented to address these issues:

  • The Payment Check Protection Program (PPP) provided a 100% SBA loan guarantee, a maximum term of 10 years, and an interest rate of no more than 4% to help small businesses and other affected organizations.
  • COVID EIDL provided small business loans to facilitate the recovery of small businesses from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 disaster by providing accessible and user-friendly capital to borrowers.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans offered small businesses affected by Covid-19 to raise up to $ 25,000 to cover operating expenses.
  • The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program provides more than $ 16 billion in closed-site grants, which will be administered by the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Office.
  • The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) provided restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses of up to $ 10 million per business and no more than $ 5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to reimburse funding as long as the funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

According to the White House, the support helped revitalize some of the most affected small businesses. In 2021, a record number of Americans applied to start 5.4 million new businesses, more than 20 percent more than any previous year and more than two-thirds more than the annual average of 3.2 millions of new business applications per year over the five years. before the onset of the pandemic. In addition, during the first three quarters of 2021, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees created 1.9 million jobs, the fastest nine-month start of any year.

Refining the provision of the service

Earlier this month, Congress passed seven bipartisan small business bills aimed at improving the operation and oversight of key Small Business Administration (SBA) programs. The bills were designed to promote policies that encourage small business development, hold small business pandemic scammers accountable, develop small business workforce, and support small contractors doing business with the federal government.

Specifically, the bills include legislation to extend the statute of limitations for small business pandemic fraud cases, improve labor force development offerings, and improve the hiring process for small businesses.

“These seven bills will help make SBA’s key programs safer, more accessible, and focused on the most pressing challenges for small businesses,” said President Nydia M. Velázquez.

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Image: Depositphotos

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