Whitmer: Low-Interest Loans Available For Small Businesses Amid Virus Hardships

"We are continuing to look at every resource available to support our businesses, communities and entrepreneurs."

WWJ News
March 19, 2020 - 5:02 pm

(WWJ) -- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to implement measures to help Michigan's economy amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, announcing Thursday a plan to help small businesses statewide.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the governor's request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, which gives small businesses access to low-interest loans from the SBA.

With the EIDL designation unlocking critical financial resources, Whitmer's office says small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak will now be able to apply for low-interest loans as part of $1 billion in funding made available to SBA by congress earlier this month.

"While access to these loans is vital, we are continuing to look at every resource available to support our businesses, communities and entrepreneurs around the state impacted by coronavirus," Whitmer said in a press release.

The SBA approved the governor's request on the same day health officials announced a sharp spike in the number of total cases of coronavirus in Michigan. There were 256 new cases announced Thursday afternoon, bringing the total to more than 300 statewide. Officials also announced two more deaths of Michigan patients with the virus.

Whitmer has ordered schools closed for at least three weeks, while restaurants and bars are restricted to takeout orders only and other businesses are shutting down in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Michigan's economy, along with the rest of the country, is expected to take a hit and Mark Burton, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, says the SBA loans will provide critical capital for businesses facing a temporary loss of revenue.

"We are working closely with the Michigan SBDC and small business organizations around the state to ensure we can overcome the significant challenges coronavirus presents and protect the livelihoods businesses throughout the state provide," Burton said in a statement.

The application for disaster loan assistance is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

For businesses looking for more information on how to apply for an SBA EIDL loan or whether it is something they should consider, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19. 

Today’s EIDL declaration by the SBA adds to the growing number of resources available to small businesses in Michigan negatively impacted by COVID-19, including the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, authorized by the Michigan Strategic Fund, which will provide more than $20 million in grants and loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce.   

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 include frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, avoiding contact with people who are sick.

Coronavirus In Michigan: What You Need To Know On Thursday, March 19

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