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DDEC, SBA urge SMEs and to apply for COVID-19 recovery loans before Dec. 31

The Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) and the U.S. Small Business Administration are urging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and nonprofits to apply for the Economic Damage Disaster Loan if their operations have been hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic before the Dec. 31 deadline.

On Oct. 8, the maximum total loan increased from $500,000 to $2 million, for a 30-year with a fixed interest rate of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations.

“We’ll continue processing applications after the deadline, including reconsiderations, but we cannot accept applications after the deadline,” said SBA Regional Director Josué Rivera.

The funds may be used to cover operating expenses, including payroll, rent or mortgage, utilities, and other common business expenses, as well as to pay business debts incurred at any time.

The SBA official explained that in Puerto Rico some 27,000 COVID-19 EIDL loans have already been approved, for a total of $2.1 billion.

This loan was accompanied by a reserved and a directed advance (EIDL Targeted Advance and Supplemental Advance), which are grants of up to $15,000 for businesses with substantial economic damage, located in disadvantaged areas.

In Puerto Rico, 6,806 Targeted Advance have been approved, for a total of $60.2 million and 5,256 of Supplemental Advance, for a total of $26.2 million, the agency noted.

“These loans, with those terms and low interest rates, are an excellent opportunity for businesses and nonprofit entities that need them, to get up to speed with their operations,” said DDEC Secretary Manuel Cidre.

“We work hand in hand with the SBA, so that this and other programs offered to small and medium-sized businesses reach more beneficiaries in all regions and continue to contribute to Puerto Rico’s economic development,” he said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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