CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The United States Small Business Administration is offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans to businesses in West Virginia that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Steve Bulger, the SBA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator, businesses in West Virginia were approved to receive the disaster loans as of Thursday evening after approval of documents filed by the governor’s office was received by the federal government.
“We are doing all we can to meet this growing crisis to help provide loans and assistance to our small businesses in West Virginia to get them through this difficult time,” Bulger said.
As for how businesses can receive the SBA’s disaster relief loans, Bulger said that businesses must be considered a “small business,” which the SBA defines as a company with fewer than 500 employees.
Businesses that fit that designation can apply for the loan by clicking here. Once the application is filled out, Bulger said it takes about 18-21 days for the application to be reviewed, and that within 30 days of the application’s completion, businesses can expect funds to be released to them.
“These loans are the tip of the spear from the federal government for our small businesses,” Bulger said. He added that these disaster loans are in place to help.
The SBA is giving up to $2 million per business from these loans, but there is a scale in place to designate how much money businesses can receive based off of their bills, payroll expenses, size of the business and ability to repay the loan, Bulger said.
Disaster loans given by the SBA have a 30-year repayment period, and Bulger said that since “We are in uncharted waters with this particular COVID-19 situation,” business have 12 months to begin paying on the loans, as opposed to the usual 4-month start date.
“We’re getting lots of calls from businesses in crisis mode, there’s no other way to put it. They’ve had to lay off people. They’ve had to close businesses. They’re distraught. Some of them call us very upset because they’ve had to lay off employees. These employees are oftentimes their friends, they know their families. Even the small business owners themselves are seeing potential financial ruin from this COVID virus.”Steve Bulger, SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator
Since these loans have been approved by Congress and President Trump, there is no limit to the number of businesses that can receive loans through the disaster relief program. Bulger said if additional funds were to be needed, they are already approved through Congress and Trump.
With that in mind, Bulger said that he urges all business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply, and that since approval came through for West Virginia businesses to receive disaster relief loans, many companies in the state have already applied to receive funds.
If businesses are still struggling after receiving funds from disaster relief loans, the SBA also has other loans available through its 7A and 504 loan programs; however, Bulger said that businesses should apply for disaster relief loans before going through other programs because of the lower interest rates and longer terms of repayment.
Those wishing to learn more about the SBA’s Economic Disaster Injury Loan program may visit the SBA’s website or call 800-659-2955. Additional information can also be received from the SBA’s regional offices in Clarksburg and Charleston.