SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: how to apply if you’re impacted by COVID-19

In this 5-minute read:

  • How to apply for SBA disaster funding
  • What is the SBA economic injury disaster loan program?
  • How do I find out if my area or small business qualifies?
  • Who can I contact for more information?

The U.S. Small Business Administration has disaster assistance to help businesses during times of crisis and national emergencies. 

Run a business? Get $1,000 of interest-free, no-fee emergency capital in about 24 hours, with flexible repayment terms. No credit check, no strings attached.

We’ll walk you through how this assistance can help your business as well as going over step-by-step how to apply. 

What are SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans?

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in low-interest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending assistance per small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing during this global crisis.

It’s important to note that not all businesses nor all areas of the U.S. will be eligible to apply:

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the president, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
  • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with your state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
  • Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
  • Note that the current deadlines show that applications will be accepted through December of 2020, however we recommend applying ASAP as the volume of applications is only going to continue to grow.

Who can I contact for more information about SBA disaster loans?

Please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center via phone at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail for more information about Economic Injury Disaster Loans during this time. 

How do I determine if my small business qualifies for SBA assistance?

Not all businesses are eligible for this disaster assistance from the SBA. Eligible businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Your business must be located in an area within a state or territory declared as a Disaster Incident for Coronavirus (COVID-19) (search here)
  • Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible

These loans must be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The funds can not be used for other purposes. 

How do I apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans?

If you are in a qualified location and would like to apply for disaster assistance from the SBA, follow these steps. 

Step 1

Visit and click “Eligible Disaster Areas.”

Step 2

Find your state in the dropdown and click “Filter” to determine if your area has any SBA declared disasters. Confirm that your location is declared as a Disaster Incident for Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Here’s an example from California:

Step 3

Apply Online at Log into your account. If you don’t already have one, proceed to Step 4. If you already have an account, proceed to Step 5. 

Step 4

If you do not have an existing account, you must first register to create one.

Click “Register” and fill out at least the required fields in Part 1 of the registration form:

  • First and last name
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Address, City, State, and Zip
  • Primary phone number
  • Check the acknowledgment box

Click next to fill out Part 2. 

On Part 2, create your username and password and set up security questions for your account. Enter the code that you are provided and click “Next.”

Step 5

Once registered, you can start the workflow required before applying for your Economic Injury Disaster Loan. 

When you are logged into your account you’ll land on the dashboard. From here, click “Apply Online.”

Next, choose “Businesses and Non-Profits.”

Choose the type of legal organization that is appropriate for your business and then select Economic Injury (EIDL).

Choose the location of your business. Note that this should then display your location and CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) as the Disaster Name. 

Then click “Next” and on the following pages, click the checkboxes to certify that you agree to the terms.

Step 6

Now you’re ready to actually start the application process! In your dashboard, click “Start” next to “Complete the Disaster Business Loan Application.”

Step 7: Apply for your loan

Now it’s time to fill out the application. You’ll have three pages of information to fill out. Answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge for each question. This is where you’ll fill out information about your business, the owners, and what the loan is for. 

Click “Next” and save your application. 

That’s all there is to it! The SBA will be in touch with you to let you know the status of your application and whether you’re approved.

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There is no credit check or collateral requirement, and all businesses will be approved as long as they aren’t suspicious or predatory in nature. Once your business is validated, the $1,000 capital offer is sent immediately via ACH and is typically available for use within one business day. 

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