Small Businesses in Harckham’s Senate District Are Eligible for Federal Disaster Loans

New York State Senate Seal
Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties designated for assistance amid virus-related slowdowns

Albany, NY – Small businesses in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties, many of which are in the 40th Senate District and represented by New York State Senator Pete Harckham, received some good news today: the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for critical working capital to help compensate for financial losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“While all of us must face the tremendous challenges posed by this health emergency, small business owners in our communities are also trying to figure out how to protect their livelihoods,” said Harckham. “The SBA loans offer these entrepreneurs and job-creators some assistance to ride out the rough times ahead, keep their operations afloat and maintain their payrolls. I strongly urge all small business owners to look into the benefits of this loan program, whether adverse financial impacts are being noticed now or not.”

The loan program was announced by SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, who acted under authority of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act recently signed by President Trump. The act declares Connecticut and several contiguous counties, including three counties in New York—Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess—to be disaster areas that are eligible for the loan assistance.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are based on the financial impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on each business. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses; and 2.75 percent for private non-profit organizations. SBA offers loans up to $2 million with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov.

Last week, Harckham introduced a package of legislation in the State Senate to address some of the financial concerns related to the growing coronavirus crisis and its impact statewide. Included in the four bills Harckham sponsored are an amendment to prior legislation that will provide interest-free loans to small businesses affected by any community-wide shutdowns from the coronavirus, and a bill that will allow for retired state health care workers to earn over the earnings cap during a declared state of emergency.