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Small Business Administration answers questions surrounding COVID-19 relief programs

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Posted at 11:06 AM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 17:11:25-04

BALTIMORE — Small business owners trying to navigate COVID-19 financial relief are seeking clarification on certain aspects of the programs, and how they work with unemployment insurance benefits.

WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii sent the U.S. Small Business Administration common questions she's been receiving. A public information officer and economic development specialist with the Baltimore District Office sent the answers below.

It's been reported that the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance is providing $1,000 per employee and up to $10,000 per business. Is that correct? If so, does that mean an independent contractor would only receive $1,000 from the grant?

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the EIDL Advance amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis. Multiple factors are considered including credit history and repayment ability. Just as each business is unique, loans will be allocated in varying amounts based on the established lending criteria. Generally speaking, businesses with fewer than 10 employees will not receive the entire $10,000 EIDL Advance.

How long should applicants expect to wait before receiving grant money?

The SBA is already processing the tremendous volume of loan applications we have received from small businesses across the country. Processing and disbursement has begun.

Can a sole proprietor file for the Paycheck Protection Program and unemployment insurance benefits?

A sole proprietor can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Unemployment insurance benefit programs are independent of the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) programs and locally are handled through the State of Maryland’s Department of Labor. However, the purpose of the PPP loan is to keep Americans on small business payrolls, and therefore any loan forgiveness promised under the act is contingent upon employees remaining on or returning quickly to the payroll.

Can a sole proprietor file for EIDL and unemployment insurance benefits?

A sole proprietor can apply for an EIDL loan. EIDL can be used for a number of accounts payable to include payroll. However, if an employee or Sole Proprietor remains on payroll, they generally are not eligible for unemployment.

Sofastaii has been extensively covering unemployment, financial assistance, and consumer issues. To see more of her stories, visit "Matter For Mallory," or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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