Congress Acts to Help Small Businesses

March 24, 2020

I know that these past few weeks have been challenging for many folks. The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably impacted our economy, and this rings especially true for small businesses across our region. As someone who worked professionally in economic development before serving in Congress, I’ve always believed that small businesses are the backbone of our economy.

With that in mind, I strongly believe that Congress must take immediate action to support small business owners and their employees. I’ve taken action and wanted to share some helpful resources that small businesses like yours may find helpful.

As you may be aware, Congress authorized disaster loan assistance for small businesses in the first coronavirus response law. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest, long-term disaster loans to small businesses, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

SBA disaster loans, known as Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), offer an affordable way for individuals and businesses to recover from declared disasters. All counties in Washington’s sixth congressional district are eligible for SBA’s EIDL assistance.

The SBA has worked with our state to provide access to targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million for small businesses and private non-profit organizations that have been severely impacted by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

The deadline to apply for EIDL is December 16, 2020. Small businesses should click here to apply for EIDL online at the SBA’s secure website. Completed applications can alternatively be mailed to the following address:

U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center 14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth, TX 76155

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

SBA has also coordinated with resource partners like Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) that can assist you with the application process. Please click here to access the list of SBDCs near you. For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.

Furthermore, if you need any additional assistance with economic disaster recovery—as an individual or as a business—please email me here. I also encourage you to stay up-to-date on information related to COVID- 19 here on my website and at Coronavirus.gov.

Finally, let me just acknowledge that this is just a first step. I am pushing for further action by Congress to provide additional assistance to employers to mitigate the economic harms caused by this virus outbreak. While the SBA resources mentioned above are significant steps, it is clear that far more will be needed to get the job done. There are a lot of things that are in the works. But understanding the challenges local employers are facing now, my predisposition was to try to get whatever information we have based on what we know is available now. Obviously, we are going to have to get a lot more tools into the toolbox. But I want to at least make sure folks know about the tools that are in the toolbox now. As additional tools become available, I’ll do my best to spread the word about those as well.

I wish you all the best during this challenging time. Please know that I’m grateful to you for doing business in our region, and I’m eager to lend a hand if I can ever be of assistance.

I encourage you to stay in touch with me on the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak or any other issues. It is an honor to represent you and our community.

 

 

Sincerely,

Derek Kilmer, Member of Congress

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