Small businesses across Alabama can now get assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Kay Ivey announced Saturday that the state’s small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus were eligible for assistance under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
Ivey said the program would help qualified businesses and non-profit organizations recover from economic losses tied to the abrupt downturn triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Small businesses represent the backbone of Alabama’s economy, and many of them need immediate help in these trying times,” Ivey said in a statement. “My team has worked closely with the SBA in recent days to make this economic assistance possible. We’re all grateful to President [Donald] Trump and the SBA for responding rapidly to the problems faced by small businesses in Alabama.”
The EIDL program will offer up to $2 million in assistance for an eligible small business. Ivey said the loans could provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
The low-interest 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.
Businesses must qualify for EIDL assistance, she said. For more information, visit sba.gov.
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the department’s Office of Small Business Advocacy has heard from many small business owners around the state who are being squeezed by the sudden decline in economic activity brought on by the coronavirus.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities all across Alabama, employing local residents and sustaining economic vitality,” Canfield stated. “It’s critical that small businesses around the state remain healthy, and the SBA’s disaster loan program could prove to be a lifeline for many of them.”
Commerce worked with the Alabama EMA and the Alabama Small Business Development Center to prepare Alabama’s application for the SBA’s EIDL program. The SBA granted Alabama’s application Saturday.
“This was a team effort that will help many small business owners in Alabama make it through this crisis and move forward to thrive once again,” Ivey said.
According to data from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, there are nearly 400,000 small businesses in Alabama, employing nearly half of Alabama’s workforce.