SBA Ends COVID Lending Program Despite Omicron Surge. Where Can Small Businesses Turn?

January 5, 2022

SBA Ends COVID Lending Program Despite Omicron Surge. Where Can Small Businesses Turn?
Business resources

When the clock struck midnight on December 31 it marked not only the end of 2021 but also tolled the bell for the Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (COVID EIDL), a “federal small business loan program [designed to support] small businesses’ recovery from the COVID-19 disaster’s economic impacts by providing accessible and borrower-friendly capital.”  

The program—which approved well over $300 billion in low-interest, fixed-rate loans throughout the pandemic crisis—will no longer accept new applications.

Great news! That must mean the pandemic is over and small businesses are flourishing to such an extent that “accessible and borrower-friendly capital” is no longer necessary, right?  

Alas, no.  

As Sarah Zhang argued in a recent piece in The Atlantic entitled “Omicron is Pushing America into Soft Lockdown,” though the appetite for a March 2020-style “hard lockdown” may be nil, “so many people are getting sick that businesses are closing anyway.”

Zhang writes:

Whatever the effect of a soft lockdown on the spread of Omicron, it will affect the economy too. Even if customers remain willing to go out, businesses will have to close when too many employees end up sick or get stuck in quarantine. It’s why the NHL canceled its games through Christmas and why several museums in London have closed their doors. Shortening isolation periods in light of Omicron might help minimize these disruptions. The U.K. is now allowing sick people to test out of isolation at day seven, and the U.S. is considering a shorter period for vaccinated people with breakthrough cases.

In a soft lockdown, businesses are also on their own. Last spring’s stay-at-home orders came with unemployment assistance and emergency loans. None of that is coming this time. “All of the decision making is put on the small business owners,” [Brooklyn butcher shop owner Brent] Young says. He’ll have to shoulder the cost of closing his businesses, and then just hope they can reopen soon. In the meantime, he says, he’s buying all the rapid tests he can.

And, so, if “all of the decision making is put on the small-business owners,” as Young correctly notes, the question then becomes: Where can those small business owners turn in this time of continuing need?

Well, it may be a new year, but Idea Financial is still here, providing up to $250,000 in fast, flexible business loans and lines of credit via a simple online application with same-day approval.  

Beyond that, however, Idea is a company with a proven track record of fidelity to our clients throughout the crucible of this pandemic.

“When we went through this pandemic [Idea Financial President] Larry [Bassuk] and I personally took the time to speak with hundreds of small business owners,” Idea Financial CEO Justin Leto told Inside South Florida. “As a result, we got to know these people. We got to know what they need, what they desire for the future, how they [planned] to build their companies back. With that knowledge and with that connection now we feel it’s our obligation to keep that connection and keep it strong so we can really understand and shift with the needs of our customers and these needs of small businesses in America.”

For more information or to apply today, please visit our main page.