Smart Tax Planning

Federal business disaster loans now capped at $150,000 and limited to agriculture

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Key Points
  • Initially, the Small Business Administration allowed businesses to apply for up to $2 million in Economic Injury Disaster Loans. That amount was just cut to $150,000, according to The Washington Post.
  • The SBA also said it would take EIDL applications only from agricultural businesses starting May 4. If you already applied prior to April 15 — when the application portal closed — you’ll be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Entrepreneurs wary of the related Paycheck Protection Program because of the uncertainty around loan forgiveness are running out of options.
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks with President Donald J. Trump and members of the coronavirus task force during a briefing in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, April 02, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The Washington Post

The Small Business Administration is applying new restrictions to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, putting an emergency source of funding further out of reach for entrepreneurs.

Starting on May 4, the SBA said it would only accept applications from agricultural businesses that were interested in the so-called EIDL.

"Typically, agri-businesses were not eligible to apply for the EIDL," said SBA spokeswoman Carol Chastang. "The SBA observed the necessity to help farmers recover from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic."

The disaster loan program was one of several lifelines made available to entrepreneurs amid the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, applicants who were accepted into the program were eligible for up to $2 million in loans at an interest rate of 3.75%, plus a $10,000 advance grant.

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As businesses flooded the SBA with applications, the agency curtailed the grant amount to only $1,000 per employee, up to $10,000.

Now, the SBA has curtained the program even further by restricting who can apply for a loan, as well as limiting the maximum amount borrowed to $150,000 – down from $2 million – according to The Washington Post.

 This is breaking news. Please stay tuned for updates.

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