SBA is here to assist Arizona small businesses

Robert J. Blaney

Arizona’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the heartbeat of our communities. At the SBA we are concerned by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our local small businesses. The Arizona SBA stands ready to assist our small businesses as they weather this difficult time.

In order to assist businesses adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and at the request of Governor Ducey, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has been authorized to offer Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to Arizona small businesses in need of working capital and support with operating expenses.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small firms to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.  These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private, nonprofit organizations.  These loans are offered with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. Applicants can apply online at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.  For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

In addition to SBA Disaster loans, business owners can access free and confidential business counseling assistance throughout the state.  As small business owners confront the challenges ahead, many are facing difficult decisions. The business owners I speak with are proactive in researching options for how to best proceed.  The advisors with our business counseling partners can provide direction and act as a sounding board for business owners as they navigate these unchartered waters. Find a business counselor in your area by going to www.sba.gov/local-assistance.

SBA also provides further guidance on how small businesses can plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) at www.sba.gov/coronavirus .

Small business owners are one of the most resilient and determined groups in America, often overcoming significant challenges and adversity to open thriving businesses.  As they act to overcome this crisis, we are grateful that they continue to do what they can to help our communities.  SBA will continue to assist our small businesses as we have for the last 67 years.

Robert J. Blaney is the SBA Arizona District Director

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