SBA expects rapid processing of disaster loan applications – Business Journal Daily

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Businesses applying for funds under the Small Business Administration’s Economic Disaster Loan program can expect to hear a final decision within 20 days. But that turnaround will likely be much faster, says Robert Scott, director of SBA Region 5.

Its region’s first state, Indiana, declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, Scott said, and saw the first wave of approvals come out as close of business Thursday.

“So far, it’s been pretty quick,” he says. “Our treatment center is open seven days a week. The customer service line is open seven days a week. Our district offices, all in 68 across the country, take phone calls. It is an approach at all levels.

Region 5 includes Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared an emergency Thursday, making funds available for the SBA program. Scott says he does not yet have a figure on the number of companies in the state that have submitted applications because the system must be running for a full 24 hours before a daily report can be compiled.

“What I do know, and what the district offices know, is that there have been a ton of businesses that have applied since it opened,” he says.

The SBA system and process are well prepared to handle the tidal wave of demands that will come in, Scott says. Two years ago, three major hurricanes hit the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico, causing billions of dollars in damage.

“This prepared our emergency program to handle the intense volume that comes with it,” he says. “Our disaster field team has been prepared for many years. Every state knows the process.

Applications are open to any business in the state, said Gil Goldberg, director of the SBA’s Cleveland District office. There is no cap on the total funds available through the SBA. Businesses are limited to a total of $ 2 million in loans, although several loans can be issued through the program as long as this limit is not exceeded.

According to Scott.

If a company’s request is denied, an agency representative will be in touch within 48 hours, he said.

“We will know why and [we can] put them in a position where they can come back and get approval if needed or recommend other resources, ”he says.

The administration will also host webinars – “several per day” – to educate business owners on the purpose of loans and the application process.

“We have Powerpoint presentations that teach them the process and who is eligible and who is not eligible to apply,” says Scott. “We are doing it for the chambers, for our own system, for the offices of Congress and the Senate, for everyone who will greet us. “

Upon request, Scott, Woodel and Goldberg urged companies to complete their application online. Although forms can be mailed, this requires the information to be entered manually into the system and it takes time to mail it out.

“Our top priority is to help and ensure that our small businesses, not only in Ohio but across the United States, remain strong and continue to contribute to local communities and the national economy,” said Woodel .

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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