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SBA broadens access to Economic Injury Disaster Loans

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Source: Congresswoman Aumua Amata’s D.C. staff

Washington, D.C. —   Congresswoman Aumua Amata on Monday welcomed a decision by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to broaden access to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, reopening the program to eligible small businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19 business losses. Congresswoman Amata called for this action in a letter last week along with other leaders of the House Small Business Committee. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced the expanded access to EIDL late Monday.

“American Samoa has already benefited from this program, and it’s good news that the program is expanding,” said Aumua Amata. “Thank you to Administrator Carranza for efforts like these on behalf of our small businesses. We continue to listen to small businesses and make reforms that can help them get the capital they need to recover.”

Congress passed new funds in April, and the EIDL program has been working with small businesses on loans and forgivable emergency advances of up to $10,000; however, only agriculture-related businesses could access loans. While that decision had a good purpose at the time, Committee Members urged an updated policy now to help more employers. The Committee received input from small businesses throughout the country that revealed a need for more assistance.

Last week’s letter was signed by both Democrats and Republicans, including Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez of New York and Ranking Member Steve Chabot of Ohio. The Committee stated a need for broader access for small businesses to EIDL, quicker turnaround times so funds are promptly available for businesses in need, and better reporting on the program. SBA has already taken steps in response.

In the announcement, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said, “The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact. With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support.”

Congresswoman Amata also took part in the recent legislative effort to reform the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to give businesses more time to use their assistance, more flexibility in how they spend that assistance, and more time to repay any loaned assistance. That legislation was signed into law two weeks ago.

“These important reforms will allow more small businesses to take part,” concluded Amata. “We don’t want local employers and services closing permanently because they can’t pay basic bills for a few weeks in these unique circumstances.”