Disaster Assistance Available to Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced March 16 that it is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses in California “suffering substantial economic injury” due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations, and small agricultural and aquacultural enterprises facing considerable economic hardship may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help with financial obligations and operating expenses.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans can be used to help pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and any additional bills that cannot be paid due to the virus. Eligibility for the loans is predicated on the financial impact of COVID-19, according to the SBA. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations.

Long-term repayments up to a maximum of 30 years are available.

Eligible Counties

The SBA loans are currently available to the following California counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Ventura, and Yolo.


The application for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans, as well as other disaster assistance information, can be found at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants also may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information. Completed applications can be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, Texas 76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is December 16, 2020.