Featured Article: Small business owners worry they won’t survive coronavirus without federal loans, but experts say they have options

…..While the PPP and EIDL loans are getting a lot of attention, there are other programs available that may be able to help small businesses. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the Save Small Business Fund, which will provide $5,000 grants to small companies in economically vulnerable communities that employ between three and 20 workers.

The Small Business Administration is offering business owners the chance to apply for SBA Express Bridge Loans in addition to PPP and EIDL loans. This program is designed for companies that already have an SBA loan to access up to an additional $25,000, which is meant to be a “quick injection [of cash],” SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott tells CNBC Make It. Companies can get funds in a matter of hours through an approved lender such as Huntington Bank, KeyBank, LiveOak and U.S. Bank.

The SBA also backs traditional loans through its lenders. Keep in mind that the SBA doesn’t lend money directly, it guarantees loans provided through SBA-preferred financial institutions such as banks and microlenders. SBA-backed loans do have to be repaid, but they have low interest rates and good lending terms, Posen says.

Small business owners can expect these SBA-backed loan applications to be processed “within a few weeks,” Scott says. For new and existing borrowers, the SBA has set up a debt relief program that will automatically pay all loan payments for the next six months. This includes principal, interest and fees.

The Federal Reserve also indicated that it’s working to establish a Main Street Lending Program that will provide up to $600 billion in loans to small and medium-sized businesses. Specifically, the Fed will offer four-year loans to companies that employ less than 10,000 workers or have revenues of less than $2.5 billion.

Several states, cities and municipalities are also offering businesses loans and grants right now. In Alabama, businesses with fewer than 50 employees can apply for interest-free, 180-day loans of up to $25,000 through the Birmingham Strong Emergency Loan Fund. California rolled out its Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program, which provides loan guarantees of up to $1 million for small businesses with less than 750 employees.

Private lenders may also be able to help, Scott says, specifically pointing to programs set up by Huntington Bank and JPMorgan Chase. But owners need to keep up with the news, Prosen says. You don’t want to find out about a new loan or grant program days or weeks after it launches and miss out on funding, he says.

Getting an emergency loan is just part of reviving your company, says Jack Siney, CEO of government spending database GovSpend. Struggling businesses should also look into tapping into the unprecedented surge in government spending, Siney says.

“The government is literally awarding contracts now within hours across an array of industries including medical supplies, beverage, flooring, clothing, landscaping and many more,” he explains. Many floundering companies don’t even know about these opportunities…..

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