In March, Congress passed a stimulus package, the CARES Act, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The landmark bill has provisions, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), that have offered a lifeline to small businesses grappling with a loss of revenue amid mandatory shutdowns. The EIDL program, managed by the Small Business Administration, offers support to impacted companies, but many don’t realise individuals — freelancers, gig economy workers and independent contractors — also qualify for its loans.
Under the program, small businesses can apply to receive up to $US10,000 ($14,337) ($US1,000 ($1,434) per employee) and the money doesn’t have to be repaid. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the following small businesses may apply:
This program is for any small business with fewer than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organisations, or 501(c)(19) veterans organisations affected by COVID-19.
To apply for your share, fill out this application for Disaster Loan Assistance. The Small Business Administration relies on “self-certification,” with the penalty of perjury for lying. (Be honest on your application.)
Start by picking the third option — sole proprietor or independent contractor. You also need to confirm your eligibility by reviewing the exempt activities.
Next, you will provide your business information, including the name, address, type of organisation, date established and the number of employees. You will also include your business income, expenses and other disaster income received, if any.
You will enter your personal details, confirm your criminal record and enter your banking details for direct deposit. On the final page, check the box that says you want to be considered for the advance of up to $US10,000 ($14,337).
You should receive the $US1,000 ($1,434) advance “within days of a successful application,” according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website. But as CNBC reports, there have been some funding delays.
You will then receive an email from the Small Business Administration prompting you to create your SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Portal Account. The portal may mention pending approval for a low-interest business loan, which you don’t have to accept.
If you have questions, you can contact the Small Business Administration by phone at 800-659-2955 or by email at [email protected]