Isabella Casillas Guzman is the administrator of the Small Business Administration. She wants small businesses to be aware of COVID-related funds that are still available.

Businesses are running out of coffers from small business management. Did you leave money on the table? Unfortunately, there are many.

Economic Damage Risk Loan Program or ELL. It was created as a branch of the Agency’s existing disaster loan programs. In particular, it targeted businesses in areas affected by the Covd-19 epidemic. Since its inception, billions in loans and millions of small businesses have been disbursed.

Since last week, nearly $ 300 billion in loans and grants have been approved by SBA. Nearly 282,000 small businesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey participated in the program, receiving nearly $ 20 billion in loans and grants since its inception.

But there is more money. An additional $ 100 billion. So why not apply? “I don’t think we deserve it,” one customer told me. “I don’t have time to go through the process,” said another.

This is unacceptable to me.

The fact is that every business in the area is affected by CVD-19 and may be eligible for one of these loans. In addition to loans, many low-income businesses are eligible for assistance. If you are one of those businesses and have not applied until December 31, you are basically lucky.

So please consider these three things:

If you are a small business with less than 500 employees, you may be eligible for EDL. The loan amount – thanks to recent changes to the program – can be as high as $ 2 million (mortgage and personal security may be required). Interest rates are 3.75% for nonprofits and 2.75% for non-profits, which will soon be very attractive as most economists believe inflation will increase this year. The maturity period of these loans is 30 years. If you do the math, all of this includes a monthly payment of less than $ 500 for a $ 100,000 loan. Not bad, right?

The second factor to consider is that the government is begging businesses to do the same. In September, SBA changed some important rules to persuade more business owners to participate in the program. One of those changes is the increase in the EIDL cap to $ 2 million, which allows businesses to transfer start-up payments for up to two years after receiving a loan. The funds can be used to pay for business and federal business debt, in addition to providing capital for their business needs. The agency simplified the rules for restaurant borrowers.

“We have changed this important program,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casilas Guzman said in a statement. “The SBA team, led by our mission, is working day and night to make the loan review process as user-friendly as possible so that every entrepreneur seeking assistance can receive the capital needed to reopen, recover and rebuild.”

Third, and as a matter of fact, there are generous gifts for small businesses that are in high demand. Businesses in low-income communities (and you know that yours is here) may be eligible for both EIDL targeted advance and additional benefits.

The targeted EIDL Advance program provides up to $ 10,000 in operating capital and other non-performing operating expenses. If your business shows more than 30% revenue loss and has less than 300 employees in the first eight weeks of March 2, 2020, you may be eligible, and this includes single owners, independent contractors. , And private, non-profit organizations.

If you have less than 10 employees and can provide proof of a 50% income loss during the same period, you may be eligible for an additional $ 5,000 advance program through the Agency.

You may still be able to benefit from the EIDL program, even if you have previously received funds through the SBS Payment Check Protection Program, Restaurant Revitalization Fund or Operators Grant.

I still recommend that my clients visit these programs again and again. Many do not realize that they are qualified and that capital prices — especially in this area of ​​inflation — are attractive.

Many other businesses in low-income areas of Philadelphia do not realize they are eligible for benefits that could increase wages and operating costs. It is a shame to leave this money on the table, and SBA is working hard to make the application process as easy as possible.

“We know the government will be difficult to move,” Guzman told me. “We are trying to simplify the loan process because our customers wear a lot of hats and have a lot of responsibilities and small businesses behind them. So I see SBA as their team and we are going to help them.

Gene Mark is a certified public accountant and owner of Mark Group, a technology and financial management consulting firm in Bala Cynwyd.

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