COVID Economic Disaster Loan Program Enhanced to Help Small Businesses


Loan limit increased to $ 2 million, expanded use of funds to prepay and prepay commercial debt, streamlined review processes and deferred payments; First approval and disbursement of loans of $ 500,000 or less also introduced

Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the US Small Business Administration, recently announced major improvements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), a federal disaster relief loan designed to better serve and support our small businesses still reeling from the pandemic, especially hard-hit sectors such as restaurants, gyms and hotels. The SBA is ready to immediately receive new applications from small businesses looking to take advantage of these new policy changes.

“The SBA’s COVID Economic Disaster Lending Program provides a lifeline for millions of small businesses that are still affected by the pandemic,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We have revamped this vital program by increasing the borrowing limit to $ 2 million, providing 24 months deferral and increasing flexibility to allow borrowers to repay higher interest commercial debts. We have also stepped up our outreach efforts to ensure we are in touch with our smaller businesses as well as those in low income communities who may also be eligible for COVID EIDL Targeted Advance and Supplemental Advance grants totaling up to $ 15,000. Our mission-driven SBA team have worked tirelessly to make the loan review process as user-friendly as possible to ensure that every entrepreneur who needs help can get the capital they need to reopen, recover and rebuild. . “

The main changes announced by the SBA include:

  • Increased COVID EIDL cap. The SBA will raise the COVID EIDL cap from $ 500,000 to $ 2 million. Loan funds can be used for all normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, equipment purchase, and debt payment.
  • Establishment of a Deferred Payment Period. The SBA will ensure that small business owners won’t have to start COVID EIDL repayment for two years after the loan is issued so they can weather the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
  • Establishment of a 30-day exclusivity window. To ensure Main Street businesses have more time to access these funds, the SBA will implement a 30-day exclusivity window to approve and disburse funds for loans of $ 500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $ 500,000 will begin after the 30 day period.
  • Expansion of eligible use of funds. EIDL COVID funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal commercial debt.
  • Simplification of membership conditions. To make the EIDL COVID application process easier for small businesses, the SBA established more streamlined membership requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Improvements to the COVID EIDL program will allow more businesses more and more flexible support with the more than $ 150 billion in COVID EIDL funds available. What’s more, these changes will help entrepreneurs access capital at a time when, according to a recent Goldman Sachs survey of 10,000 small businesses, 44% of small business owners report having less than three months of cash reserves, and only 31% say they trust their access. funding.

How to register

Qualifying small businesses, nonprofits, and farm businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply. Visit to learn more about eligibility and application requirements. The last day for receipt of applications is December 31, 2021. All applicants should apply as soon as possible.

For more information on COVID EIDL and other recovery programs, please visit Small business owners can call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or email [email protected] to get additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Multilingual representatives are available. Small business owners can also contact SBA’s resource partners by visiting

Improvements to the application process and fraud control

In addition to policy improvements, the SBA has invested in optimized processes and increased capacity to improve the customer service experience for applicants. Led by Administrator Guzman to rapidly and dramatically improve COVID EIDL, the reorganized leadership team implemented new processes and performance management, such as prioritizing staff for COVID EIDL and increasing the average number of loan application decisions made. The SBA has accelerated the daily processing of loan increases, from nearly 2,000 requests to over 37,000 requests per day. The productivity of loan officers also increased from 1.86 requests per day to 15 requests per day. As a result of these increased loan review rates, the increasing backlog of over 600,000 loans has been cleared and new applications can be processed immediately. At the same time, and to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses most in need of COVID EIDL funding, the SBA has strengthened fraud controls and is working with the Inspector General. of the SBA to closely monitor the program.

All business owners who have received prior loans under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) or Grant for Closed Site Operators ( SVOG) can still benefit from COVID EIDL. To learn more about the application process, visit

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