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Small Business Administration is offering emergency loans

PLATTSBURGH — The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering loans to those being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and, Jeffrey Boyce says, the time to apply is now.

“That’s really the best advice I can give,” the northeast New York manager said, adding that applicants would not be required to take the funds once officially approved.

“If you, as a business or a private nonprofit entity, think that you may need these funds — when in doubt, apply.”

One tool

The Small Business Administration is a federal government agency that helps, via financial and technical assistance, the nation start and build small businesses.

Boyce recently spoke during a webinar hosted by the North Country Chamber of Commerce to explain the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and its application process.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation,” Boyce said, adding that the loan program was one of many “tools in the toolbox.”

“It’s something we could quickly deploy to begin to help businesses. I know there will be more.”

The loans

Interest rates were to be 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations; loans over $25,000 require collateral.

The money could go towards paying fixed debt, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.

Though the loans were not intended to replace lost sales/profits or fund expansions, Boyce said, “we have other programs to assist with that.”

Eligibility

Businesses eligible for the program include small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and aquaculture businesses.

Those include hotels, recreational facilities, charter boats, manufacturers, sports vendors, owners of rental property, restaurants, retailers, travel agencies, wholesalers and more.

Most private not-for-profit organizations, like nursing homes, food kitchens, museums, daycare centers and others impacted by COVID-19, were also eligible.

Eligible businesses must also have a physical presence within the declared disaster area; as of late last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had declared all of New York state a disaster area.

Ineligible entities included agricultural enterprises, religious organizations, charitable organizations, gambling concerns and real estate developers.

To apply

Applicants may apply to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program on the Small Business Administration’s website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Paper loans can be downloaded from www.sba.gov/disaster.

A list of required application materials is featured on the administration’s website.

To listen to the webinar, visit http://northcountrychamber.com/Chamber/dailydose.

Get money quickly

With such a widespread disaster, Boyce highly suggested businesses get a head start.

“To get that clock started and get into the queue; the volume is only going to grow,” he said.

“These are meant to quickly get money into the hands of businesses so that they can deal with the economic impacts of the disaster, so that they can survive this pause period and make it out on the other side.”

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