WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and non-profit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.
“More than 3.7 million businesses employing more than 20 million people have found financial relief through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which provide low-interest emergency working capital to help save their businesses. However, the pandemic has lasted longer than expected, and they need larger loans. Many have called on SBA to remove the $150,000 cap. We are here to help our small businesses and that is why I’m proud to more than triple the amount of funding they can access ,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.
Businesses that receive a loan subject to the current limits do not need to submit a request for an increase at this time. SBA will reach out directly via email and provide more details about how businesses can request an increase closer to the April 6 implementation date. Any new loan applications and any loans in process when the new loan limits are implemented will automatically be considered for loans covering 24 months of economic injury up to a maximum of $500,000.
This new relief builds on SBA’s previous March 12, 2021 announcement that the agency would extend deferment periods for all disaster loans, including COVID-19 EIDLs, until 2022 to offer more time for businesses to build back. In order to shift all EIDL payments to 2022, SBA will extend the first payment due date for disaster loans made in 2020 to 24-months from the date of the note and to 18-months from the date of the note for all loans made in the calendar year 2021.
Congress passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021, H.R. 1799 extending the original April 31st deadline to May 31st and granting the SBA an additional 30-days to process applications received by the May 31st deadline.
In a news release, the AICPA said that the additional 60 days provided by the bill will greatly help small businesses, not-for-profits, and the CPAs that serve them complete existing PPP loan applications and file new ones. The extension act also provides the SBA time to address significant loan application process challenges, including confusing validation and error codes, delayed guidance, and changes to the PPP loan amount calculation for self-employed borrowers, the AICPA release said.
The PPP Extension Act does not provide any additional funding for the current round of the PPP, which Congress provided with more than $290 billion to make forgivable loans to small businesses and not-for-profits. From the program’s opening on Jan. 11 through March 21, the SBA has approved more than 3.1 million loans totaling nearly $196 billion. In his testimony Wednesday, Kelley said that at the current lending rate, the PPP should have enough funding to last through mid-April.