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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

SBA works to connect small businesses to COVID-19 relief loans

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Delaware Public Media
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Loan applications are pouring into the Small Business Administration during the COVID-19 outbreak.

No local numbers for Delaware are available, but Delaware District director John Fleming says nationally SBA has loans for $90 billion of the $350 billion available in its Paycheck Protection Program.  It has also seen 800,000 applications nationwide for the SBA's Emergency Injury Disaster Loan Advance program. 

Most large national banks accustomed to dealing with SBA loans were quick to start processing loan applications, according to Fleming.  But he says smaller local banks are running into problems.

“We are struggling a little bit to get the community banks signed up, ones that are already SBA lenders,” Fleming said.  “Maybe their credentials have expired because they haven’t done loans in a while with us.”

He suggests small businesses remain patient with their community banks.

“We’re working with our headquarters who have been assigned a person in the field to work with,” Fleming said.  “Give them an opportunity to get started. There’s a lot of money in this program. And they’ll work hard to get it out to you.”

Fleming expects no shortage of funds despite the large volume of requests.

“I can tell you that and you know that I heard from Sen. (Chris) Coons and others that the program will be funded in future legislation.  I can tell you from past experience whenever we have a disaster, we usually don’t have a problem getting funds,” Fleming said.

Fleming said borrowers have raised concerns over the Payroll Protectin Program’s employment requirements.  He adds they can apply for multiple programs to find the right loans for their situation.

Applicants are advised to be aware of phishing scams asking for money and personal information in exchange for a quicker loan approval.