The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the City of Aiken are working hard to assist businesses during this period of economic disruption resulting from the COVID-19 virus. Both have established opportunities for businesses affected by the virus to file for disaster loans. Qualifying businesses can apply to both.

The SBA is making Disaster Relief Loans available at SBA.gov/disaster. All businesses and some non-profits are eligible. The loans are for up to $2 million for a fixed rate of 3.75% (2.75% for authorized non-profits). The SBA is offering a webinar on March 26, but it will fill quickly. SCORE can also provide guidance and assistance with SBA disaster loans. Here are links to resources:

The City of Aiken has also established a disaster loan process for businesses located within the City of Aiken with 25 or fewer full time equivalent employees. The loans are for unsecured disaster assistance up to $10,000. Loan terms are up to 2 years at 2% interest with payment deferred for 6 months. These local loans can be considered an augment to the larger SBA disaster relief loans noted above. Businesses can apply for both, if qualified. Applicants must demonstrate losses caused by the virus and virus-related actions. The City program is not available to non-profits. If you need assistance, feel free to contact the city for help. Here are links to resources and contact information.

Our SCORE mentors stand ready to support you during this difficult time. While each business owner must assess his or her own business and personal financial situation to determine how best to proceed, SCORE can help with that analysis.