WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: U.S. Senators Applaud SBA Administrator Guzman’s Decision to Extend Additional Deferment to Existing COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Borrowers

Washington, March 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Tuesday, March 15,  Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced a major policy change to the SBA’s COVID economic relief portfolio to provide more flexibility to small business owners impacted by the pandemic, especially those in hard-hit sectors. Starting immediately, as directed by Administrator Guzman, the SBA will provide additional deferment of principal and interest payments for existing  COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program borrowers for a total of 30 months deferment on all approved COVID EIDL loans.


Alongside the President’s vaccine strategy and global leadership in managing the pandemic, the SBA’s pandemic relief programs, including the COVID EIDL program, have been critical pieces in getting Americans safely back to work, powering our historic economic recovery, and helping small businesses navigate challenges caused by recent variants, as well as supply chain and inflation challenges. The COVID EIDL program, alone, has allocated more than $351 billion in relief aid to 3.9 million borrowers, including to the smallest of small businesses from historically underserved, disadvantaged communities. 


Several United States Senators applauded the policy change.


See below for what they’re saying:


New York U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader, Charles E. Schumer: “The EIDL program has been a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of New York’s small businesses and nonprofits, across every county of the state, and now over 330,000 small businesses and nonprofits across the Empire State will be given much-needed, additional relief to help them recover as we exit the Omicron wave. This will allow our Main Streets to breathe a sigh of relief and ensure that they will not have to take another hit to their bottom line with new loan payments amid ongoing global supply disruptions and economic uncertainty. I thank SBA Administrator Guzman for heeding my call to extend the pause, putting our hardest-hit businesses in the best position to fully recover.”


Maryland U.S. Senator and U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chairman, Ben Cardin: “This is a welcome relief for American small businesses. Washington cannot mistake our signs of recovery for proof that small businesses have recovered from the pandemic. Millions of small businesses, especially restaurants, bars, and other hard-hit sectors, are being sandwiched between past due bills and increasing supply and labor costs. I applaud the SBA for this extension, which will provide small businesses with additional flexibility to keep their doors open and make it through the pandemic.”


Colorado U.S. Senator, Michael Bennet: “As small businesses in Colorado and across the country continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m glad the Small Business Administration responded to our calls to extend the deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loan repayment. This will provide the 60,000 Colorado small businesses that have benefited from this program since the start of the pandemic with a little more certainty and breathing room as we continue to return to normal.”


Nevada U.S. Senator, Catherine Cortez Masto: “Small businesses are the backbone of Nevada’s economy, and I’m doing everything I can to support them. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, many of our small businesses still face uncertainty associated with price increases, supply chain backlogs, and a devastating wildfire season. Extending the deferment period will help them focus on their customers and employees without worrying about loan repayments.”


Georgia U.S. Senator, Reverend Raphael Warnock: “In the early days of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Georgia businesses shut down in order to keep Georgia’s communities safe. They relied on Economic Injury Disaster Loans to ensure they wouldn’t need to close their doors for good. Small businesses kept people on the payroll throughout the pandemic and helped life quickly begin to return to normal. We owe small businesses a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice, flexibility, and commitment to our communities. I’m glad my letter to SBA Administrator Guzman led to tangible relief for over 190,000 Georgia small businesses in every corner of our state. Georgia small businesses can now use their cash on hand to continue hiring workers and contributing to our economic recovery. I’ll continue to keep in close contact with Georgia small business owners to ensure the SBA and Congress are working for them.”


About COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans 

In response to COVID-19, small business owners, including agricultural businesses and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and territories were able to apply for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The purpose of EIDL is to provide financial assistance for small businesses to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. 

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.


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