Coming soon: SBA Targeted EIDL Advance cash grants program

Written on Jun 16, 2021

The Small Business Administration (SBA) says it will be opening its $25 billion Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance grant program to millions more small businesses in the coming days.

Until recently, the Targeted EIDL Advance and the Supplemental Advance were by invitation only and open only to small businesses that applied for an EIDL.

The SBA has already sent more than 500,000 emails to businesses that applied for an EIDL after Dec. 27, but soon it will open the doors to every small business that meets the eligibility criteria — namely being in a low-income area and having seen a significant drop in revenue over the course of Covid-19.

The application platform will be based on the same technology as the EIDL application in order to leverage existing technology, but the SBA is hoping to simplify the process to make it easier for small businesses.

The move to open the grant program more broadly comes after its lackluster launch in February. Since then, the SBA has doled out $1.2 billion in 141,840 grants for its targeted advance program and another $413 million across 82,742 grants for its follow-up supplemental targeted advance, just a fraction of the billions allocated to the program by Congress.

Many small businesses have been frustrated by some of the requirements of the program, including having to be in what the SBA designates a low-income area, according to this mapping tool, which has led to gated communities being included, while nearby neighborhoods and their small businesses have been left out. And many small-business owners on the outside looking in are considering shuttering their businesses for good.

The SBA has also rolled out a way for small-business owners who have been denied the grant to appeal the decision.

The grant program offers one of the few remaining avenues for small businesses to get SBA relief. The agency's Restaurant Revitalization Fund quickly ran out of funding, with more than $75 billion in requests for $28.6 billion in funding. The SBA's Paycheck Protection Program closed to new applications at the end of May, and the SBA has said that funding in that program is slated to be exhausted once the agency processes existing loans in the pipeline.

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