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Disaster assistance program available for small businesses

Monday, March 23, 2020

ST. PAUL - State Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston, urges Minnesota small-business owners who are facing economic hardship during the COVID-19 outbreak to seek relief through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Assistance Program.

Minnesota is among states where the federal SBA’s low-interest loans are available to cover small-business operating expenses after a disaster declaration was issued.

“The coronavirus is taking a huge toll on our state’s small businesses and this is just one resource they can use to navigate these tough times,” Green said. “Each business has its own set of circumstances and there’s no silver bullet to fix everything, but this is one thing that can help as we learn more about the extent of our situation and see what further action comes from the state and federal levels.”

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) indicates this program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits. These loans can go toward working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments that can’t be paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Long-term repayment options of up to a maximum of 30 years are available at 3.75% interest, and at 2.75% interest for non-profits. Businesses can defer payments for the first four months and it is recommended owners apply at sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.

Loans can be directly dispersed within three weeks. Businesses will need to gather their tax statements from last year, in addition to providing financial information to show current and expected business losses. 

Questions can be directed to the SBA Hotline at 1-800-659-2955. More information from Minnesota’s DEED can be found at https://mn.gov/deed/.

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