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904 356-JOBS (5627) • Book an Appointment

These three SBA Covid-19 small business programs still have money (Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal) — Small business owners who haven’t seen the summer rebound they expected from Covid-19 or are dreading a winter dealing with the potential economic fallout of the Delta variant still have some relief funding options from a set of Small Business Administration relief programs.

To be clear, the Paycheck Protection Program has long since closed to new loan applications, and the Restaurant Relief Fund vanished nearly as quickly as it came, with more than $72.2 billion in applications for just $28.6 billion in funds. But with 35% of small business owners unable to pay rent on time in July, according to a recent study, business owners should see if they could benefit from additional possible relief.

Meanwhile, Congress has included cuts to several SBA programs and accounts to help pay for its $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which cleared the Senate Aug. 10 and now awaits a vote in the House. So it is probably best not to wait to apply to any of these existing grant or loan programs.

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program

This particular grant program is for small businesses focused on live entertainment, venues and cultural institutions and grant applicants can get up to $10 million based on a formula around lost revenue. 

Despite getting $16 billion to give out through the program, the agency has only gotten about $12.3 billion in applications and has given out about $8.4 billion to thousands of businesses. The program had a rough start earlier in the year with the agency launching the program in April but had to shut its application portal down before reopening. But it has recently accelerated the pace at which it has given out awards, and in the last week had given out $200 million in grants.

The SBA said its partners, including SCORE mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to help businesses with their applications. Businesses can find those partners at https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance.

Business owners can apply here.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program

The SBA’s EIDL program allows small business owners to get a loan of up to $500,000 — or 24 months of economic injury at about a 3.75% interest rate (2.75% for nonprofits) to cover working capital and expenses. The loans also have a 30 year maturity, although they can be refinanced.

So far the SBA has approved a whopping 3.81 million of these loans for about $244 billion total, according to data as of August 5. That is up $8 billion in just a week.

Small business owners can apply here.

The Targeted EIDL Advance

The Targeted EIDL Advance is a grant of up to $10,000 that a small business can get to pay for whatever it wants — no repayment necessary. The only caveat is that small businesses need to apply for an EIDL to get one, although a business does not have to be approved for an EIDL or accept one it is approved for in order to get the grant.

The SBA has awarded 331,341 advances for about $2.78 billion — far less than the $30 billion Congress gave it to give out to businesses. One snag, is that it put in place a requirement that small business owners must be located in a low-income area, keeping many owners on the outside looking in.

But for the smallest and most hard hit of businesses, there is the Supplemental Targeted Advance, which gives small business owners who got the initial grant an extra $5,000 if they qualify. Both of these programs expire at the end of 2021.