With hurricane season officially upon us, the U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the launch of a new quick lending program aimed at helping small business owners recover from disasters.
The SBA’s Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program, authorized by the federal government last fall, is now ready to receive applications. The new lending initiative is part of the SBA 7(a) Loan Program and is available through Sept. 30, 2020.
“SBA wants to make sure SBA Lenders and small businesses are aware that this Pilot Program is available for SBA Express Lenders to provide immediate loans up to $25,000 with a 50 percent SBA guaranty for small businesses located in the counties affected by a Presidentially- declared disaster,” SBA officials stated in a news release, explaining that the cash can be used to rebuild or to continue or restart operations while awaiting long-term disaster financing.
“We recognize that folks who have suffered damage from hurricanes often need capital fast to rebuild, and so last hurricane season the SBA crafted the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program to provide ready access to capital through participating lenders,” said Mike Arriola, the SBA’s North Carolina deputy district director. "We recognize that folks who have suffered damage from hurricanes often need capital fast to rebuild, and so last hurricane season the SBA crafted the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program to provide ready access to capital through participating lenders. As we enter this hurricane season, we want to remind North Carolinians that the Express Bridge Loan is still available in case they need to rebuild or fund operations following a disaster.”
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Officials said small business owners are not required to apply for an SBA disaster loan to qualify for an EBL loan. They also advise interested businesses to contact their bank as soon as possible to determine eligibility.
Details of the program are available here
SBA 7(a) lending institutions must be authorized as SBA Express Lenders at the time of the presidential disaster declaration to offer this type of loan. Locally, Aquesta Bank, Bank of America, Bank of the Ozarks, BB&T, CresCom Bank, First Bank, First Citizens Bank, First National Bank, Live Oak Bank, North State Bank, PNC Bank, Select Bank, Self-Help Credit Union, Sound Bank, SunTrust Bank, TD Bank and Wells Fargo Bank have that authorization.
Financial institutions that do not now participate in the Express Lending program can contact the SBA to learn how to do so.