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  • On March 13th, Governor Cooper requested that the Small Business Administration issue a disaster declaration in all counties in North Carolina to make SBA Disaster Assistance loans available to North Carolina’s small business owners dealing with the economic difficulties created by COVID-19. SBA approved the Governor’s request late Wednesday March 18, issuing a disaster declaration for all 100 North Carolina counties.  Here are some details regarding the process that small businesses will follow to apply for a disaster loan through SBA. 

         *   Small business owners interested in SBA disaster assistance loans should call Business Link North Carolina (BLNC) at 1-800-228-8443

         *   BLNC staff are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00pm.  Se habla Español si es necesario.

         *   Call volume in BLNC is expected to be high, and callers may need to leave a message and await a returned call.

         *   BLNC counselors will gather basic information from callers and refer the case to the most appropriate resource –  small-business experts with the either the Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC) or the state’s Small Business Center Network (SBCN) – for assistance.

         *   SBTDC and SBCN small-business counselors will assess needs – working, for example, to assist with the preparation of any SBA loan application materials that may be appropriate.

         *   What are SBA disaster loans?

    SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.

            *   You must be in an SBA declared disaster area to be eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

            *   Economic Injury Disaster Loans — up to $2 million. These loans are for small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, aquaculture enterprises and nonprofits affected by disaster to help meet working capital needs or normal business operating expenses through the recovery period. Businesses are eligible for these loans regardless of whether or not they have suffered property damage. Please see “EIDL Fact Sheet.pdf for further details.

         *   How does a business apply?

    Please see “Three_Step_Process_SBA_Disaster_Loans.pdf”

         *    Are applications available online?

    Yes, you can apply online via the SBA’s secure website: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela 

    It is however, strongly encouraged, to work with BLNC as described above.

         *   How long does it take to get approval?

    The stated goal of SBA is to arrive at a decision regarding loan approval within 2 – 3 weeks.  However, the timeline can be much longer due to the SBA’s need for damage verification and additional documentation of various types.

         *   What other resources are available to struggling businesses?

    BLNC has issued an information sheet listing additional resources available.  Please see “COVID-19 Business Relief Resources.pdf” . A range of support providers are listed.

     

     

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation - Corporate Citizenship Center

     

    Guidelines for Business

    All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from the coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations. Download these guides created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation based on information provided by the CDC, to learn more about how employers and employees can prepare for and address the impacts of the Coronavirus.

    ·        Coronavirus (COVID-19) Workplace Tips for Employees 

    ·        Guidance For Employers To Plan and Respond To Coronavirus 

    ·        Customizable Workplace Flyer (Please open this file in the latest version of Chrome or Edge browser, or Adobe software, to customize)

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    The coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation for business owners, individuals and families. We understand that you may be experiencing a decrease in revenues, interruption of your supply chains and the domino effect of numerous business challenges. We are closely monitoring the ever-changing situation with COVID-19 and responding as new information becomes available. Our goal is to serve you safely, providing you with the information you need to prepare and respond as the situation unfolds. Our hope is that you are able to sustain your businesses during this financially, mentally and physically stressful time. To help you weather this economic storm, we are preparing a number of resources that will be available on our website.

    Our business counselors are available to speak with you by phone or other virtual solutions.

    In addition, your local Small Business Center is considering ways to continue to serve your training and information needs and may offer seminars online or provide re-scheduled programming that you can take advantage of when conditions improve.

    We also know a lot of information is being circulated about COVID-19. We urge you to turn to trusted sources of information and be wary of information that may target unsuspecting individuals with aggressive scams. Learn more at these trusted websites: