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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.

Delaware small businesses get COVID-19 relief from SBA loans

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Delaware Public Media

Delaware small businesses are taking advantage of federal Small Business Administration loans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SBA’s Delaware office said nearly 2,000 applications to the Payroll Protection Program were approved as of Monday.  Those loans totaled over $590 million.  This comes after small local banks initially struggled to process loans due to expired credentials.  SBA Delaware District Director John Fleming said adjustments were made to the process.  

“We opened up another portal another way of reaching out to us in getting these approvals.  They don’t need to know all the SBA systems in order to process them,” Fleming said.  “We had a list of about a half dozen community banks that was trying and was frustrated and my team would reach out to them and walked them through the process of getting on.”

Fleming says the PPP program has been able to handle the high volume of applications throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.  PPP loans allow small businesses to cover payroll and other costs like utility bills and rent up to eight weeks.  A portion is eligible for forgiveness after that period - converting it to a grant.

First State small businesses are receiving COVID-19 relief from another popular SBA program despite issues it has faced nationwide.  The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program was overwhelmed by applications for weeks.  That left many without funding.  Fleming said the program is regaining its footing again after making improvements to the website and call centers.   He hopes more funding is coming for it.

“We never really had any problems getting funded for that regular disaster program.  Congress has been very generous with that program. And so, I hope this next go around, we’ll redirect some that in the EIDL,” Fleming said.

Fleming noted the EIDL program is important to microbusinesses.  They can apply directly to the SBA without going through a bank.  The EIDL program remains one of SBA’s largest programs.  But, most borrowers are turning to the PPP program during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, SBA reports $301 billion of the $349 billion allocated to the Payroll Protection Program has been used nationwide.