What South Florida business owners should know before applying for SBA disaster loans – SFBJ

March 30, 2020

The South Florida office of the U.S. Small Business Administration has been flooded with local businesses seeking relief from the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
The program, which was activated last week, offers up to $2 million to aid small businesses experiencing financial losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
SBA South Florida District Director Victoria Guerrero said the agency did not have statistics on how may local applications have been submitted, but estimates more than 1,000 businesses have applied.
“I know small business owners are extremely worried about the economic impact they’re experiencing,” she said. “I want them to know the SBA is here to support them.”
In an interview with the South Florida Business Journal, Guerrero outlined what businesses owners need to know about the application process.
What documents do business owners need to complete the application? They should have a signed and completed Form 5 SBA loan application, a signed and completed SBA Form 2022 for schedule of liabilities, an Internal Revenue Service information authorization form and copies of their most recent federal tax return.


How long is the application process from start to finish? From the time the application is fully completed — it’s not complete until its signed and all necessary documents are uploaded — it takes between 18 to 21 days for it to be reviewed. If approved, it takes five days for funds to be released to businesses. But I do want folks to keep in mind that this isn’t a typical disaster. This is an unprecedented situation hitting the entire country at once, so I expect there may be delays as we go along. We’re doing our best to turn around applications as quickly as possible.


How can business owners apply? Online or through the mail, but I urge applicants to submit online for a faster response.
Who can applicants contact if they realize there’s a mistake in their application? They can contact the disaster customer service team via phone at 1-800-659-2955 or email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. The call center is open Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Does the SBA offer application assistance? Applicants can access virtual office hours to connect with SBA staff. They can contact us by phone or email to receive a Skype or WebEx link. Right now we have virtual office hours twice a day, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or 3-5 p.m. for the next two weeks. We also have webinars twice a day, from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.


Can businesses with other outstanding SBA loans apply? Yes, they can. The SBA will allow them to defer payments to those other loans until the end of the year to alleviate financial pressure for borrowers.

Information credited to South Florida Business Journal

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