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Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) the Fine Print

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the CARES Act funded an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program provided through the Small Business Administration (SBA) specifically to assist small businesses affected by the pandemic. This program included a grant of up to $1,000 per employee, but the application that was submitted was actually for a loan from the SBA.

After over two months, businesses are finally starting to receive their loan offering from the SBA via email. from

So before you rush to sign on the dotted line, I thought it would be helpful to provide an overview of this program as there are more strings attached than we first realized to this loan. So let's review the details we currently have about the EIDL loan program.

SBA EIDL Loan Facts

  • Funds come directly from the U.S. Treasury

  • You can apply directly to at (applications are currently closed except to agricultural businesses)

  • There is no cost to apply

  • There is no obligation to take the loan, if offered

  • The maximum unsecured loan amount is $25,000

  • Automatically deferred for 12 months

  • Advance of up to $10K is available, $1K per employee

  • Up to $2 million

  • Interest rates: Small Businesses 3.75%, Most Private, Non-Profits 2.75%

  • Terms up to 30 years

  • Eligibility based on the size, type of business and financial resources

How can I use the loan funds?

  • Fixed debts (rent, etc.)

  • Payroll

  • Accounts payable

  • Some bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.

Who Can Apply

  • Small Businesses (under 500 employees)

  • Sole Proprietors (under 500 employees)

  • Cooperatives (under 500 employees)

  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) (under 500 employees)

  • Tribal small business (under 500 employees)

  • Agricultural cooperative, aquaculture enterprise, nursery, or producer cooperative (under 500 employees)

  • Business with more than 500 employees but under SBA Size Standards

  • Private non-profit organization with IRS designation 501(c),(d), or (e OR State evidence is a non-profit one organized or doing business under State law, or a faith-based organization.

Who Cannot Apply

  • Illegal activity (as defined by Federal guidelines)

  • Principal with a 50 % + more than 60 days delinquent on child support

  • Agricultural enterprise (e.g., farm) other than an aquaculture enterprise, agricultural cooperative, or nursery

  • Displays of a prurient sexual nature (directly or indirectly)

  • More than 1/3 of gross annual revenue from legal gambling activities

  • Is in the business of lobbying

  • Is a state, local, or municipal government entity and cannot be a member of Congress

Primary Criteria for Approval

  • Acceptable credit history

  • Ability to repay the SBA loan

Ineligible Uses of Loan

  • Dividends and bonuses

  • Disbursements to owners, unless for performance of services

  • Repayment of stockholder/principal loans (with exceptions)

  • Expansion of facilities or acquisition of fixed assets

  • Repair or replacement of physical damages

  • Refinancing long term debt

  • Paying down (including regular installment payments) or paying off loans provided, or owned by another Federal agency (including SBA) or a Small Business Investment Company

  • Payment of any part of a direct Federal debt, (including SBA loans) except IRS obligations

  • Relocation

  • Other ineligible uses available online.

Other Information Required

  • Gross Revenues

  • Cost of Goods Sold

  • Lost Rents (for rental property owners)

  • Cost of Operating Expenses (for nonprofits)

  • Other reimbursement will receive (i.e. business interruption insurance)

  • Number of employees

Likely Requested By Your Loan Processor

  • SBA Loan Application (SBA Form 5 or 5C)

  • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413)

  • Schedule of Liabilities (SBA Form 2202)

  • Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T)

General Information

  • If more funds are needed, applicants can submit supporting documents and a request for an increase.

  • If less funds are needed, applicants can request a reduction in the loan amount

  • If the loan request is denied, the applicant will be given up to six months in which to provide new information and submit a written request for reconsideration

  • For Phase I processing, only losses of six months or less are eligible for the more expedited type of loan processing


Q: How long will it take to know if I am approved for a loan?

A: We are processing applications as soon as possible.

Q: If a business currently has an SBA-backed loan and it fears it will not be able to make the payments, what course of action should it take?

A: Disaster loans from previous disasters that are still being payed back will now have their payments deferred through the end of 2020.

Q: Who is authorized to offer EIDL?

A: SBA offers direct loans through its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Traditional SBA backed loans are still available via banks as well. To find an SBA-approved lender, visit

Q: How does a business define an impact and/or loss for this? Is there a percentage, dollar amount, etc.?

A: A business needs to define its loss in comparison to its 2019 operations/financials. Losses will be compared to the effective incident period starting on January 31, 2020. Just a loss needs to be reported; there is no threshold of a percentage or dollar amount.

We have all heard the saying "the devil is in the details" or "read the fine print!" Well this loan is no exception. Here are a few important excerpts of particular interest from the actual promissory note.

As you can see, lots of strings attached to these funds and the stakes are high at a price of 1.5 times the loan if funds are misused. I would encourage you to reach out to your CPA before securing this financing.

If you have questions about the EIDL and determining whether or not it is a good option for you, please reach out to us.


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