SBA offers loans for struggling businesses in wake of COVID-19

Business owners encouraged to take peninsula-wide survey

Small businesses shutting their doors, letting go of staff or struggling to hang on with takeout and delivery service as the novel coronavirus spreads across Alaska can now get a leg up from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBA announced in a Saturday press release that it is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small Alaska businesses “suffering substantial economic injury” as a result of COVID-19. The deadline to apply for one of these loans is Dec. 21, 2020.

The federal administration is offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million. Small businesses, private nonprofits, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquacultural enterprises can apply for assistance, according to the release. The SBA acted of its own authority to declare a disaster after getting a request from Gov. Mike Dunleavy on March 17, the release states.

“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,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza is quoted as saying in the release. “Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.”

Eligibility for these loans will be determined by the financial impact of COVID-19, according to the release. The interest rate for small businesses is 3.75% and the interest rate for private nonprofits is 2.75%.

Applications for the loans can be downloaded at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Those wishing to apply can also call 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Finished applications can be sent to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

In a move to support businesses on the Kenai Peninsula, the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District has released a survey that aims to collect information and identify the impact COVID-19 is having on local businesses. Business owners are encouraged to take this confidential, peninsula-wide survey at https://bit.ly/2U9H31b. It closes on Friday, March 27.

The results will be shared and will be used to “identify the needs of the region for the state and federal governments,” according to a press release from the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, which shared news of the survey.

KPEDD also can assist with loans of up to $25,000 for businesses in need of a bridge loan to assist with immediate financial needs, according to a press release from the Homer Chamber.

For more information, contact KPEDD Executive Director Tim Dillon at tim@kpedd.org.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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