The federal Small Business Administration began receiving applications again on Monday after a brief pause after the administration ran out of funding.
Congress approved an additional $370 billion for the administration to assist small businesses that were not able to get their application through in the first round of funding. The applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
$320 billion was appropriated for the administration’s Payroll Protection Program and another $60 billion was appropriated for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance. The disaster loan advance can provide up to $10,000 in relief to businesses in need of temporary assistance.
The payroll funding includes money for small financial institutions, community credit unions as well as minority owned businesses, according to a press release from the Small Business Administration.
"The additional $60B appropriation for EIDL also allows Colorado businesses to resume seeking low-interest recovery loans from the SBA," according to the administration.
The administration said that over $7 billion in payroll protection loans have already been provided to small businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors in Colorado, and that the program could benefit over 600,000 businesses, nonprofits and other entities.
Manzanola salon owner Abigail Vantine told the Tribune-Democrat in early April that she was struggling to submit her applications online because pages and forms were loading slowly. When she finally did submit an application, she said, she initially received no word on her anticipated loan and that she hadn’t been provided any sort of login information to check on the status of it.
Vantine’s application for a disaster relief business loan was denied, she said, but a payroll protection program application is still up in the air as of Monday.
National reporting Monday morning indicated applicants were again suffering long loading times.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act initially allotted $349 billion for small business relief, but those funds dried up in a matter of days.
Southeast Colorado Small Business Development Center Regional Director Mickie Lewis told the Tribune-Democrat in an email that persons trying to apply for small business loans should be sure to complete their application in one sitting.
"There is limited time and the money will be used quickly. Don't wait," said Lewis.
Lewis also advised that before meeting with a lender, one should gather all relevant paperwork so as to save the lender’s time and make the process easier for everyone involved.
"Borrowers lose time when having to come with the requested documentation," Lewis said.
When filling out their applications, persons should fill in every blank on the forms, even if the only answer is "N/A - non-applicable."
"Please read all instructions before acting. Anyone with additional questions can contact SBDC with ... it's easiest to answer through email: firstname.lastname@example.org," Lewis told the newspaper. "No question is ridiculous ... this is an unprecedented time and that makes for questions that maybe haven't been asked before. Never be embarrassed to reach out for assistance."
Lewis also warned that people should be cautious of calls and emails from unknown persons offering to help for a percentage of the fee.
"SBDC's consulting is free and there is no charge for applying for SBA funds," she said.
More information as well as applications on all Small Business Administration funds can be found at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options.