WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Small Business Administration and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need, according to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
The effort comes after the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was recently signed into effect by President Donald Trump.
The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed.
“This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly,” said Carranza. “Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level.
“Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans,” he continued. “We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”
Mnuchin said the legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed.
“Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3 so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day,” he said. “The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”
The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100 percent guarantee from SBA.
All loan payments will be deferred for six months.
Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.
The new loan program will be available retroactive from Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.
The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.
Loan terms and conditions:
• Eligible businesses: All businesses, including nonprofits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees, or no greater than the number of employees set by the SBA as the size standard for certain industries
• Maximum loan amount up to $10 million
• Loan forgiveness if proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the eight weeks following the date of loan origination (due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25 percent of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs)
• All loans under this program will have the following identical features:
o Interest rate of 0.5 percent
o Maturity of 2 years
o First payment deferred for six months
o 100% guarantee by SBA
o No collateral
o No personal guarantees
o No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA
SBA’s announcement comes on the heels of a series of steps taken by the agency since the President’s Emergency Declaration to expeditiously provide capital to financially distressed businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Since March 17, SBA has taken the following steps:
• Declared all states and territories eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance
• 1-year deferment on Economic Injury Disaster Loans provided due to COVID-19
• Automatic deferment of previous disaster loans for homeowners and businesses through 2020
• Waiver of garnishments through 2020
Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses.