Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has accepted the District of Columbia’s declaration for assistance in the form of economic injury disaster loans following the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and DC businesses can start applying now. While the SBA directly administers this loan program, the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), led by Director Kristi Whitfield, will liaise with the SBA on behalf of the District of Columbia.
“While we continue our response to COVID-19, my Administration is launching our recovery effort, and one such step is relief options for small businesses,” said Mayor Bowser. “I encourage DC businesses to begin the federal Small Business Administration loan application process.”
The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will provide targeted, low-interest loans to Washington, DC small businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help qualified small businesses and private nonprofit organizations overcome the temporary loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
DC businesses can start the process by clicking here and then “Apply for Assistance.” You can prepare to apply by reviewing the “Three Step Process” of SBA Disaster Loans to understand what to expect in the application process. Disaster loan applicants can call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (7 am -9 pm every day) or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help in completing their online application. SBA staff and its Resource Partner network, consisting of Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Chapters, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers will continue to support small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their preparedness plans. Local assistance can be found at www.sba.gov/local-assistance. DC businesses can also download the 2020 Small Business Resource Guide for the Washington Metropolitan Area as a resource.
In the coming days, the Bowser Administration will announce details about the Public Health Emergency Small Business Grant Program. This effort will be housed in the Business Development Unit within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
For more information on the District’s response and recovery, visit coronavirus.dc.gov/recovery.