Retailers may qualify for federal disaster loans

Furniture retailers may qualify for federal disaster loans during and after the COVID-19 outbreak.

The loan program, operated by the Small Business Administration, was included in the $8.3 billion emergency appropriations bill approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump March 6.

The purpose of the initiative is to provide “working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury” from the impact of the spreading virus, which has interrupted or slowed supply chains, forced cancellations or postponements of major events – such as the April High Point Market – and has kept skittish consumers out of many retail locations.

Loans up to $2 million available

The first step to approve the funding is for a state or territory governor to request assistance for businesses in his or her jurisdiction. Then, according to the SBA:

  • Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities as well as updated on our website: SBA.gov/disaster.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75 percent.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
  • For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

HFA can point you to resources

The Home Furnishings Association’s Government Relations Action Team is pushing for all federal and state efforts that can help furniture retailers. For more information about COVID-19, please see our special web page or call us.

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Here’s what your business needs to know about the COVID-19 outbreak.