COVID Relief Update: This Week at the SBA

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This week has seen three significant developments relating to Small Business Administration (“SBA”) programs designed to help businesses weather the lingering impacts of COVID-19.

First up — and in update to our earlier alert — following successful advocacy from industry voices such as the Independent Restaurant Coalition, the SBA confirmed this week, via Twitter, that it will not require applicants for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (the “RRF”) to obtain a Dun and Bradstreet number (a “DUNS Number”) or to register with the federal System for Award Management (SAM.gov), which is welcome news even if it comes after many applicants had already started that process. As completing the SAM.gov registration would have taken two weeks or longer to complete, it was flagged as a significant burden on applicants, particularly when considered in connection with the three-week priority period for socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses. While the SBA website hasn’t yet been updated to reflect further RRF guidance, testimony provided at last week’s Senate Small Business Committee hearing indicated that the SBA is planning to roll out program details in the coming days. A targeted roll-out, aimed first at priority phase applicants, is expected to follow over the coming month.

On the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) front — Tuesday, March 30, saw President Biden sign into law the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which extends the application window for PPP loans until May 31, 2021. The President stated that nearly 90,000 applicants are still seeking funding and the extension will provide time for remaining available funding to be allocated to American small businesses over the coming months.

Finally — a small but significant update from the SBA has emerged with respect to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (“EIDL”). The EIDL cap for loans approved during the week of April 6, 2021 and thereafter will be increased to 24-months of economic injury up to $500,000 (from the current $150,000 cap). The SBA has confirmed that it will reach out to certain recent borrowers to provide details about how to request an increase in their existing EIDLs, and that applicants who previously accepted EIDL funds at less than the full amount originally offered may continue to request additional funds for two years after the date of their original loan.

Key Contributors

Todd L. Friedman
James M. Kearney
Kristin E. Russell
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