The Streamlining EIDL Act is a bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate to improve the application process of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) as well as combat fraud in the program. The goal is to simplify the process so small businesses can quickly and effectively get answers to their applications.
New Legislation Would Streamline EIDL Small Business Loan Application Process
The need to come up with such a bill speaks to the level of bureaucracy that exists when small business owners fill out their EDIL applications. According to Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), small businesses in his state are struggling to get the answers they need on their EIDL applications from the SBA.
Sen. Risch goes on to say, “They’ve been forced to submit the same document multiple times, received vague and ambiguous responses from the agency, and in some cases, had to contend with fraudsters submitting false applications on their behalf.”
Adding, “Small businesses deserve a program that actually functions the way it should, and the Streamlining EIDL Act will go a long way to fix the flaws in the EIDL application process and make these disaster loans accessible to small businesses.”
A slow and unorganized review process is in part also responsible for the lag in the application process. With these and other issues facing small business applicants, the Streamlining EIDL Act would:
- Impose deadlines on the EIDL program application process
- Require the SBA to conduct a comprehensive review of the process for submitting EIDL applications
- Direct the SBA to submit a report to Congress detailing steps it has taken to correct how it has handled identity theft cases
- Require the SBA to report how it has recovered improper payments and how it is reconciling previous identity theft allegations with newly filed identity theft allegations
The bipartisan legislation was co-sponsored by Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-Nev.)
You can take a look at the full Text of the Streamlining EIDL Act for more details.
Making EIDL More Efficient
Small business owners apply for the EIDL when they really need help. The recent tornadoes that decimated many family-owned small businesses in Kentucky are a great example of this. For companies such as Mayfield Consumer Products, which was completely destroyed, a slow and protracted application process can prevent the owners from getting the recovery process started. And this of course extends to the many employees that worked at the factory.
The Streamlining EIDL Act is a step in the right direction to expedite a process that is currently not as efficient as it could be. According to one of the cosponsors of the bill, Sen. Kennedy, “Louisiana’s small businesses contend with enough adversity as it is. They don’t need a bureaucracy to make it harder to get straight answers on their EIDL applications or to combat fraud.”
When it comes to fraud, the issue is also a big problem. The SBA gave out $4.5 billion in needless EIDL loans in 2020. Sole proprietors with absurd claims received millions of dollars by claiming they had one million employees. As a matter of fact, 15 sole proprietors made such outlandish employee claims in their applications. This is $4.5 billion that could have gone to deserving small business owners affected by the pandemic.
Here is to the Streamlining EIDL Act passing without much opposition so small business owners can get the help they need when they need it.