A letter from the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SCSBE) has been sent to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) urging them to process seemingly abandoned disaster loan applications that were received prior to the agency’s deadline.
Senators Urge SBA to Process EIDL Loan Applications
The letter was signed by SCSBE Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) with Senators John Cornyn, Chris Van Hollen and Roger Wicker, along with 44 other senators from across the political divide. The letter was received by SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.
Some EIDL Loans Remain Unprocessed
The Covid EIDL program has provided financial relief in the form of low interest loans to nearly four million small businesses since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The loans, known as Covid Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), required applications filled out by the applicants to be completed and sent in by May 6, 2022, but some have yet to be processed.
The senators believe that the loans serve as an essential source of capital for small businesses, especially those that are unable to get credit from other lenders to survive the pandemic’s ongoing issues.
Many Businesses Continuing to Struggle
The letter read: “While we recognize the agency has assisted an unprecedented number of small businesses throughout the pandemic, our offices continue to hear from thousands of prospective borrowers awaiting consideration.
“We also continue to hear from EIDL applicants with disputed rejections who have received no communication from the administration in months. EIDL was a lifeline for businesses throughout this pandemic, but many of them continue to struggle. The program is too important to shut down prematurely. While funds remain, we expect SBA to process all eligible applications and appeals that have been submitted by the request deadline.”
The May 6 deadline was previously announced at the end of April, which also counted for any application modifications, increase requests, and denial reconsiderations. It has since emerged that many applications submitted prior to the deadline remain unprocessed, primarily sue to the SBA’s decision to stop processing certain applications. They have instead released a statement committing to processing what they described as ‘workable applications’.
The senators added: “Given that many applicants have not received final consideration, we find it difficult to understand SBA’s decision to stop processing requests that were submitted by the May 6th submission deadline.
“‘Workability’ is not an acceptable standard to justify rejecting a borrower who is eligible and in need. The bar for denial is eligibility, not SBA’s willingness to continue processing applications. We find it particularly troubling that your agency continues to tell our offices that loans cannot be completed due to the exhaustion of funds when $800 million in loan subsidy remains – enough to support more than $7 billion in lending.”
Bipartisan Support for Covid EIDL Loan Applications
The SBA have brought upon themselves some serious criticism for how they have been handling the Covid EIDL loan applications. This latest letter featuring bipartisan support from both Democrats and Republicans will only serve to increase the pressure on SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.
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