The Kentucky Small Business Development Center reports that the U.S. Small Business Administration has designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

The designation allows all businesses and private non-profits in every Kentucky county to qualify to apply for low-interest, fixed rate loans that can provide up to $2 million in assistance for a small business.

The federal funds are available directly through the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program, and the actual loan amounts are based on the amount of economic injury the business has sustained, a press release said.

“These loans provide vital economic support to small businesses. The EIDL helps meet the necessary financial obligations that your business could have met hat the disaster not occurred,” the press release said.

The loans are available to:

•Businesses directly affected by the disaster

•Businesses that offer services directly related to the businesses in the declaration

•Other businesses indirectly related to the industry that are likely to be harmed by loses in their community.

“Depending on your industry, a small business could be defined as business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. The business can be a sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, or private non-profit,” the press release said.

The loans are not open to religious or charitable organizations, gambling concerns, casinos or racetracks.

"Businesses that can use conventional funding are encouraged to do so, when possible. The SBA conducts a “Credit Elsewhere” test to determine if it is evident that a business has sufficient cash flow to obtain conventional financing,” the press release said.

The loans may be used to pay debts, payroll and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster.

Businesses that apply must have a credit history that is acceptable to the SBA, the ability to prove that they can repay the loan and collateral for loans greater than $25,000.

The interest rates are 3.75% and the loans are available for up to 30 years.

The loan application is free. Businesses that are approved for a loan are not obligated to accept the funds. The approval process will take between 14 and 21 days.

How to apply

Applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available online at,

Tips for Applying:

·Include the disaster in the application — specifically name “COVID-19” or “coronavirus”

· Apply online versus by mail

·Write the password down; neither the system nor any personnel are able to retrieve it

·Save the application  at every prompt. The website may go down periodically due to high volume. If this happens, try to login again at a later time. The SBA recommends working on the application during non-peak hours such as later evening or early morning.

·Do not rush through the application. Check and recheck the filing requirements to ensure that all the needed information is completed prior to submission. The biggest reason for delays in processing is due to missing information.

·Be sure to use the same contact information (business name and the name of all owners) that you use on your federal tax returns. Double-check that they match.

·If your tax returns reference other businesses, applicants must also submit those tax returns in order to avoid a processing delay.

·If more funds are needed, applicants can submit supporting documents and a request for an increase. If less funds are needed, applicants can request a reduction in the loan amount.

·If the loan request is denied, the applicant will be given up to six months in which to provide new information and submit a written request for reconsideration.

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