ATANTA, Ga. — Small businesses have until Dec. 31 to apply for assistance through the federal COVID Economic Disaster Loan program.

Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered more than $1.1 trillion in COVID-related relief to millions of entrepreneurs. The COVID Economic Disaster Loan program is the remaining SBA relief program open to small business owners who still need assistance. It offers 30-year loans with fixed interest rates of 3.75 percent for small businesses, including sole proprietors and independent contractors, and 2.75 percent for nonprofits.

As of Oct. 21, the SBA has made more than 3.83 million EIDL loans for approximately $284 billion, according to Terri Denison, SBA Georgia District Office director.

The SBA recently announced major modifications to the program designed to assist entrepreneurs even more during recovery and well beyond, Denison said.

The program was retooled by increasing the borrowing limit from $500,000 to $2 million, offering 24 months of repayment deferment, and expanding flexibility to allow borrowers to pay down higher-interest business debt.

The COVID EIDL loan amount calculation is based on working capital for two years. No collateral is required for loans under $25,000, no personal guaranty is required for loans under $200,000, and there are no prepayment penalties for the program.

The loan program is the first SBA disaster relief program open to all entrepreneurs and qualifying entities nationwide.

Denison said the SBA has been working around the clock to make the loan review process as user-friendly as possible to ensure every entrepreneur who needs help can get the capital they need to reopen, recover and rebuild.

For more information about COVID EIDL, visit sba.gov/eidl.

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