SBA’s EIDL program is closed to new applicants but there are other options

According to Andy Medici – Senior Reporter, The Playbook, the Small Business Administration’s popular grant and loan programs for small businesses essentially closed their doors to new applications at the end of 2021 — leaving small-business owners with fewer options than ever for Covid-19 relief.

While the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program closed to new applications Dec. 31, there are opportunities for small businesses. That means only those who had already received loans can request increases in their amounts — and only as long as the dwindling funding is available.

So far, more than 9 million small businesses have applied for forgiveness for their Paycheck Protection Program loans out of a total of 11.45 million loans across 2020 and 2021 as of Dec. 12, according to fresh data from the Small Business Administration.

But that doesn’t mean there is no help remaining for small businesses still struggling with fallout from the pandemic. So far, there are grant and low-interest loans out there, though not of the same size and quantity as those provided by the SBA in 2020 and 2021. Below, I will provide a few opportunities available to your business.

Here are some grant and loan opportunities available to small businesses:

  1. Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grants: Applications open on Jan. 3, 2022 for this grant program, which will award 10, $10,000 grants to asian and Pacific Islanders who are American citizens and own a restaurant or foodservice business.
  2. SoGal Foundation provides $10,000 and $5,000 cash grants on a rolling basis throughout the year to black women and nonbinary entrepreneurs and business owners with a scalable solution or idea and plan to seek investor financing in the future.
  3. Inclusive Backing grant program funded in part by American Express in partnership with Main Street America will offer $1.65 million across 250 grants of $5,000 each to small-business owners in older or historic commercial districts across the country. The priority will go to businesses disproportionally impacted by the pandemic. The grants will be made in four waves, the first of which has been completed, and the next of which will be announced in 2022.
  4. Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund is a $53 million low-interest loan program build by nonprofits to make loans of up to $100,000 and provide free business support to small businesses and nonprofits across the South. So far, the program has distributed $11 million to nearly 250 small businesses, with 90% of the loans going to businesses with 10 or fewer full-time employees
  5. Barstool Fund has raised more than $41 million so far from 231,000 people and had given 443 businesses support during the pandemic, providing a valuable lifeline to small-business owners across the country
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