Many businesses are still struggling to keep their doors open during the pandemic.

a book on a counter: Watch: COVID-19 relief bill extends unemployment benefits

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Watch: COVID-19 relief bill extends unemployment benefits

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering another COVID-19 relief program for businesses trying to recover from closures and setbacks.


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So far, the SBA has approved nearly $ 260 billion in loans under the COVID-19 Economic Investigation Loan Program (EIDL).

Joshua Suggs, owner of Delta’s restaurant in New Jersey, said he recently received a loan of $ 150,000 from the program.

“The program has been a lifeline. That’s really, you know, what kept us going. That, you know, allowed us to pay for the staff, the inventory, just different things the restaurant encountered, ”Suggs said.

Unlike the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, this loan is not repayable, but it is not limited to salary expenses either.

SBA Senior Advisor Veronica Pugin said the interest rate is 3.75% for businesses and businesses have 30 years to pay it off.

And in this case, she stated that the SBA is also the lender.

“So a small business doesn’t need to go through another financial institution to go through this process. A small business owner can go directly to the SBA, ”Pugin said.

Suggs said he is asking to increase his loan to $ 500,000. Even if he has to pay it back, Suggs said these types of loans had not always been available to restaurants.

“I was pretty strong in our business model pretty strong in our commitment to customers and our base, you know, I knew we just needed a little bit of money to help us, you know, get through this time. of uncertainty, ”Suggs said.

A source close to the program said the top five industries that received COVID EIDL loan funds include retail, construction, accommodation and food services, professional / scientific / technical services, and transportation. and warehousing.

The SBA says businesses get loans within two to three weeks and the program ends in December.

Pugin could not say if the relief program would be available in 2022.

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