The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Minnesota small businesses suffering substantial economic injury due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to a March 20 press release, the SBA acted on its own authority to declare a disaster in Minnesota, following a request by Gov. Tim Walz on March 18.

This authority was provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that Pres. Donald Trump recently signed.

The disaster declaration makes SBA Assistance available throughout Minnesota and in border counties of Iowa, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Small businesses, private nonprofits, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially affected as a direct result of the coronavirus since Jan. 31 may qualify for economic injury disaster loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses, the SBA announced. 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.

Interest rates are 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofits. The SBA offers long-term repayments, up to 30 years, to keep payments affordable.

To apply for the loans or for more information, visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, call 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf or hard of hearing) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Deadline to apply for an economic injury disaster loan is Dec. 21.

For more information about coronavirus, visit Coronavirus.gov. For more information about related SBA resources and services, visit SBA.gov/coronavirus.

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