SBA loans could start flowing to Idaho businesses soon: What you need to know

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The Idaho Department of Commerce and the US Small Business Association are working to bring economic injury disaster loans to Idaho businesses in coming days and weeks.

Jerry Miller said the state applied with the federal government to be declared an economic injury disaster – and hopes to have that authorization as soon as today.

“With that declaration, every business that qualifies can apply for an economic injury disaster loan,” Miller said.

Businesses can apply for up to $2 million in funding – based upon factors like their revenue last year and anticipated revenue in light of the coronavirus pandemic. For-profit businesses can qualify for a 3.75% interest rate, while non-profits can get loans at a 2.75% rate.

Once the economic disaster declaration gains approval, Miller said it may take 24-48 hours for the information technology infrastructure to catch up.

“I’ve been coaching businesses to be patient with the SBA. This is a program that’s designed to deal with natural disasters like tornados, floods, and earthquakes,” Miller said. “This is the first time this has been rolled out for a national disaster.”

Miller also offered a pro-tip to businesses: Try the SBA website after 3pm MT – which is 5pm ET, when it seems to run a little more smoothly.

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According to Gov. Brad Little’s office, the loan money can go toward paying fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable or other bills that businesses might not be able to cover because of the disaster.

The SBA site has additional information on the process, as does the Idaho Dept. of Commerce.

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