The Small Business Administration (SBA) is asking for input from small businesses to measure customer satisfaction with regard to Covid-related assistance. The SBA had provided assistance to small businesses affected by the pandemic through programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), SBA Express Bridge Loans, and others.
COVID grants and loans for small businesses
The programs provided a lifeline through direct disaster loan programs for businesses, homeowners and renters. This includes loan guarantee and venture capital programmes, management and technical assistance training programs and contracting programmes. The SBA is requesting small business owners to complete a survey that will be used to monitor and improve the effectiveness of future SBA customer service and communication efforts. The study is about SBA’s flagship COVID aid, namely PPP COVID EIDL; SBA Express Bridging Loan; Shuttered Venue Operators Grant; and Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
How have grants and loans worked out?
During the global Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the CARES Act was signed, providing the first round of emergency aid to U.S. workers and small businesses. In addition to traditional SBA funding options, the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act 2021 have instituted several temporary programs, including grants for COVID-19 relief.
These measures have been implemented to protect small businesses from the adverse economic impact of COVID-19. This included productivity losses, supply chain disruptions, labor disruption and financial pressures on businesses and households. The following programs have been implemented to address these issues:The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offered a 100% SBA loan guarantee, a maximum term of 10 years and an interest rate of no more than 4% to help small businesses and other affected organizations. COVID EIDL offered small business loans to facilitate small businesses’ recovery from the economic impact of the COVID-19 disaster by providing accessible and borrower-friendly capital. provides more than $16 billion in closed location grants, administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as the funds are used for eligible purposes by March 11, 2023.
According to the White House, the support helped revitalize some of the hardest hit small businesses. In 2021, a record number of Americans applied to start 5.4 million new businesses — more than 20 percent more than any last year and more than two-thirds more than the annual average of 3.2 million new business applications per year in the five years before the start of the pandemic. In addition, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees created 1.9 million jobs in the first three quarters of 2021, the fastest nine-month start in any year on record.
Refine service delivery
Earlier this month, Congress passed seven bipartisan small business bills aimed at improving the operation and oversight of key Small Business Administration (SBA) programs. The bills were designed to promote policies that encourage small business development, hold pandemic small business fraudsters accountable, develop small business workforces and support small contractors doing business with the federal government.
In particular, the bills include legislation to extend the statute of limitations for small business pandemic fraud cases, improve workforce development offerings and improve the procurement process for small businesses.
“These seven bills will make key SBA programs safer, more accessible and more focused on the most pressing challenges facing small businesses,” said Chair Nydia M. Velázquez
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