The U.S. Small Business Administration is more than tripling the maximum amount that small businesses and nonprofits can borrow under the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program.
Starting the week of April 6, the loan limit for COVID-19 EIDL loans will jump from six months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24 months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.
“More than 3.7 million businesses employing more than 20 million people have found financial relief through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which provide low-interest emergency working capital to help save their businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in a news release. “However, the pandemic has lasted longer than expected, and they need larger loans.”
Any COVID-19 EIDL loans in process when the new loan limits go into effect will automatically be considered for the new maximum limits, the SBA said. Existing COVID-19 EIDL borrowers will be able to request an increase beginning April 6. A spokesperson said the SBA will provide updated instructions on how to request a loan increase on SBA.gov and also will reach out directly via email to existing COVID-19 borrowers with loans approved prior to the increased loan limit taking effect.
The SBA has approved more than $200 billion in COVID-19 EIDL loans. The loans have a 30-year maturity with interest rates of 3.75% for small businesses, including sole proprietors and independent contractors, and 2.75% for not-for-profits.
The announcement of the higher loan limits came less than two weeks after the SBA announced March 12 that it was extending deferment periods for all its disaster loans, including the COVID-19 EIDL loans. Thanks to that decision, COVID-19 EIDL recipients won’t have to start making payments on their loans until 2022, though borrowers may voluntarily continue to make payments during the deferment as interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding loan balance.