The Small Business Administration (SBA) is asking for input from small businesses in an effort to gauge customer satisfaction with Covid-related relief. The SBA had provided relief to small businesses impacted by the pandemic through programs including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), COVID Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL), SBA Express Bridge Loans and others.
COVID grants and loans for small businesses
The programs have provided a lifeline through direct disaster loan programs for businesses, homeowners and tenants. This includes loan guarantee and venture capital programs, management and technical assistance training programs, and procurement programs. The SBA is asking small business owners to complete a survey that will be used to monitor and improve the effectiveness of future SBA customer service and communications efforts. The survey focuses on the SBA’s flagship COVID relief, namely PPP COVID EIDL; SBA Express Bridge Loan; Subsidy for operators of closed sites; and Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
How did grants and loans go
During the 2020 global coronavirus pandemic, the CARES Act was signed into law, providing the first round of emergency relief to American workers and small businesses. In addition to traditional SBA funding options, the CARES Act and the US Bailout Act of 2021 established several temporary programs, including grants for COVID-19 relief.
These measures have been implemented to protect small businesses from the negative economic impact of COVID-19. This included productivity losses, supply chain disruptions, workforce dislocation and financial strain on businesses and households. The following programs have been implemented to address these issues:
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided a 100% SBA loan guarantee, a maximum term of 10 years and an interest rate not exceeding 4% to help small businesses and other organizations concerned.
- COVID EIDL offered Small Business Loans to facilitate the recovery of small businesses from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 disaster by providing accessible and borrower-friendly capital.
- SBA Express Bridge Loans offered small businesses impacted by Covid-19 up to $25,000 to cover operational expenses.
- The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program offers more than $16 billion in grants to closed venues, which will be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
- The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) provided restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as the funds are used for eligible purposes by March 11, 2023.
According to the White House, the support has helped reinvigorate some of the hardest-hit small businesses. In 2021, a record number of Americans applied to start 5.4 million new businesses, more than 20% more than any previous year and more than two-thirds more than the annual average of 3.2 million new businesses. business applications per year over the five years. before the start of the pandemic. Additionally, in the first three quarters of 2021, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 1.9 million jobs, the fastest 9-month start on record.
Refine service delivery
Earlier this month, Congress passed seven bipartisan small business bills aimed at improving the operation and oversight of key Small Business Administration (SBA) programs. The bills were designed to promote policies that encourage small business development, hold pandemic small business fraudsters accountable, grow the small business workforce and support small entrepreneurs who do business with the federal government. .
Specifically, the bills include legislation to extend the statute of limitations on small business pandemic fraud cases, improve workforce development offerings, and improve the procurement process for small businesses. businesses.
“These seven bills will help make key SBA programs more secure, accessible, and focused on the most pressing challenges for small businesses,” said Chair Nydia M. Velázquez.
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