Late last week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced they had exhausted the remaining COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds. This is disappointing news to say the least, especially for those members who submitted applications that have yet to be approved.

This sudden announcement caught everyone by surprise and led to some confusion about pending applications. We reached out to the SBA to get clarity about the program’s status.

From the SBA:

  • Any COVID EIDL applications that reached the “Obligated,” “Funding,” or “Funded” stage by May 5, 2022 before funds were exhausted will continue to have their application processed to get funds dispersed. Borrowers in the Obligated stage must sign their loan closing documents by May 16, 2022 or will face delayed disbursement or possible loss of funding.
  • Unfortunately, all other stages – including “Approved” – will not be funded at this time. However, the SBA is continuing to review loan increase and reconsideration requests received by May 6, 2022 for which all necessary documents required to complete the review are in the file (including the 4506T). As a result, loan officers may be in contact with borrowers requesting additional information to review should funding become available. The SBA is working to make funds available for eligible applicants in this group. All who applied by the May 6, 2022 deadline will be reviewed if more funding becomes available.
  • Applicants can check their status in the portal or contact the COVID EIDL Customer Service Center at 833-853-5638. Regardless of status, the COVID EIDL portal will close May 16, 2022 so it’s important for folks to download copies of documents for their records before then.

The SBA provided additional information about other financial relief options available to small business owners:

  • Our core SBA Loan Programs could be a good fit. They range from $500 to $5 million and can be used for working capital, lines of credit, and other business needs. Businesses can find an SBA lender by using the Lender Match portal or by reviewing a list of local SBA lenders on page 39-45 of the SBA Seattle District Resource Guide.
  • There are also some other loan programs from local partners – like the WA Flex Fund offered through the Washington State Department of Commerce, for example – that might be a helpful resource for local businesses too.

In addition to these options, the Legislature approved $100 million in hospitality business grants that will be administered by the Washington State Department of Commerce. We anticipate these funds becoming available this summer and will share more about timeline, eligibility and the application process once those details are finalized.

There’s also a renewed effort underway to urge Congress to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged that the Senate will vote next week to begin debate on a $48 billion RRF bill.

Be sure to check out our Financial Relief Toolkit for all the latest relief opportunities and programs available to hospitality operators.