ST. PAUL – State Rep. Shane Mekeland, R-Clear Lake, urges Minnesota small-business owners who are facing economic hardship during the COVID-19 outbreak to seek relief through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Assistance Program.
Minnesota is among states where the federal SBA’s low-interest loans are available to cover small-business operating expenses after a disaster declaration was issued.
“There are a ton of unknowns related to the coronavirus outbreak, but one thing we do know is our local businesses are suffering big time and many of them can’t wait for help,” Mekeland said. “The SBA program is just one resource many businesses can turn to if they’re looking for more immediate relief as they await further action at the state and federal levels.”
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) indicates this program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits. These loans can go toward working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments that can’t be paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Long-term repayment options of up to a maximum of 30 years are available at 3.75% interest, and at 2.75% interest for non-profits. Businesses can defer payments for the first four months and it is recommended owners apply online at sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
Loans can be directly dispersed within three weeks. Businesses will need to gather their tax statements from last year, in addition to providing financial information to show current and expected business losses.
Questions can be directed to the SBA Hotline at 1-800-659-2955. More information from Minnesota’s DEED can be found at https://mn.gov/deed/.