Mar 24, 2020

COVID-19 Help for Businesses

For businesses struggling in the aftermath of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, help is on the horizon.

Paul Flood - SVP/SBA Lending Manager

How to Get Business Help in COVID-19 Aftermath

Government Offering Low-Interest Disaster Loans

For businesses that are significantly hurting because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million to help provide working capital.

Loans are available to businesses and private, non-profit organizations in all U.S. states and territories to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

“Business owners are creative, innovative and resourceful. Nevertheless, this is an extremely difficult time for them, as they try to keep their businesses afloat while working to do their part to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19,” explains Paul Flood, Bell Bank’s SBA lending manager and a veteran SBA lender. “For many, this means closing their doors to business as usual. Hopefully these low-interest federal loans will give them the help they need to bridge this time of uncertainty.”

For businesses, the interest rate is 3.75%. For non-profits, it’s 2.75%. Repayments are up to a maximum of 30 years, with terms determined on a case-by-case basis, based on a borrower’s ability to repay.

The loans can be used for:

  • Paying fixed debts
  • Payroll
  • Accounts payable
  • Other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact

To apply, or for more information, visit the SBA’s website or contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Applications for these loans are being processed directly through the SBA and not participating lenders, such as Bell Bank.

“I have spent most of my career working with businesses,” notes Paul, who is leading Bell’s newest lending team, Bell Bank SBA, focused on helping businesses that might not usually qualify for traditional commercial financing. “They are a vital part of our local economies. I am confident many businesses will emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before. But I also understand how distressing times like these can be. This U.S. SBA disaster loan program is a good first step toward recovery, and I hope it will help ease some of our business owners’ concerns.”