HENRICO, V.A. – As restrictions begin to lift and small businesses across Central Virginia face difficult decisions about how best to reopen their doors, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for all 10 counties in Virginia’s Seventh District.
Central Virginians are encouraged to apply online at https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. Applicants should direct questions to the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the SBA’s Richmond District Office at (804) 771-2400.
“Although restrictions are gradually being lifted, the economic anxiety for small business owners is far from over. Restaurant owners, retail proprietors, gig workers, and independent contractors are making difficult decisions about how best to protect their employees and customers from COVID-19 while also reengaging their local economy. Unfortunately, the precautions that grant peace of mind to potential patrons often represent a costly investment on the part of business owners at a time when margins are tighter than ever before,” said Spanberger. “The SBA’s decision to reopen the EIDL program is welcome news for our small business owners, and I encourage all who need assistance after three months of closures to take advantage of this opportunity. The same entrepreneurs who are eligible for EIDL are the neighbors who form the backbone of Virginia’s economy, and I’ll continue fighting to make sure that business owners have the information and flexibility they need to weather COVID-19 and the subsequent economic crisis.”
The application process is open to independent contractors, gig workers, freelancers, sole proprietorships, farmers and other agribusiness owners, and small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The eligibility requirements for independent contractors have been expanded since the last round of assistance.
EIDL loans and grants have been made available once again to every county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other expenses that businesses are unable to meet due to the pandemic. Loans are offered with favorable terms, repayable in up to 30 years – grants do not have to be repaid.
Since the pandemic began to impact the United States in March, Spanberger has worked to provide timely, flexible emergency support directly to Central Virginia small businesses.
After listening to the feedback of business owners across the Seventh District, Spanberger successfully worked to pass the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which reforms the burdensome 75/25 rule. President Trump signed this legislation into law earlier this month. She voted in favor of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March and later voted to pass additional emergency funding for small businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act in April.
As the public health crisis has evolved, Spanberger has maintained her direct dialogue with small business owners, business community leaders, and workers. Last week, Spanberger held a conversation with ChamberRVA President and CEO Brian Anderson to learn more about the support that’s available to Richmond-area businesses during the phased reopening process. Since the pandemic began, Spanberger has held seven virtual town hall events, including one focused specifically on the needs of small business owners and employees.