Federal and state governments have announced relief programs to help the nation’s 30 million small businesses suffering financial hardships in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, managed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in tandem with U.S. state and local government, will offer up to $2 million in low-interest disaster-recovery loans to qualifying small businesses and private, non-profit organizations. Loan recipients may use allocated funds as working capital to cover fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills required to maintain liquidity and continue operations. The SBA will release specific information about disaster-loan application requirements to affected communities after a U.S. state or territory makes a designated disaster declaration.
The interest rate for SBA loans made to small businesses without credit available elsewhere is 3.75 percent; businesses with credit available to them from other sources are not eligible. The interest rate for loans made to non-profits is 2.75 percent. While the SBA determines loan terms on a case-by-case basis, depending on each borrower’s unique circumstances, most loans offer long-term repayment plans of up to 30 years, which make repayments more affordable for borrowers.
Beginning today, Florida small businesses with between two and 100 employees can apply for a short-term, no-interest loan of up to $50,000 to bridge the financial gap until they can secure other sources of working capital, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is intended to help privately held companies in the state maintain operations through the COVID-19 pandemic. These one-year, interest-free loans of up to $50,000 per applicant require repayment. Any unpaid balance after the one-year period will incur interest at a rate of 12 percent. This is the 27th time the state activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program since it was first introduced in 1992 following Hurricane Andrew. For further questions, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.
If you have questions or concerns about how you can manage your business, your estate or your personal wealth through the COVID-19 pandemic, please reach out to the fiduciary professionals with Provenance Wealth Advisors.
About the author: Todd A. Moll, CFP®, CFA, is a director and chief investment officer with Provenance Wealth Advisor, an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. He can be reached at the firm’s Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office at (954) 712-8888 or via email at email@example.com.
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