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Small business relief: Federal loans

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Jeremy Field, regional administrator for the Federal Small Business Administration, said loans for small businesses are available through its disaster relief program. He urged businesses that are struggling to go apply online for loans here. 

The denial rate for disaster loans is “pretty low” for most customers with a decent credit score. It takes about three weeks to hear back regarding approval and then one week to receive the loan. 

Field said this is a personal crisis for everyone, and that the administration is dedicated to helping customers, but their office is extremely busy at this time. Long wait times on the phone are likely — Fields said the worst example he’d heard of was someone on hold for over five hours. 

The Small Business Administration has been sharing its training protocols with its resource partners as well as field staff, Field said. This means if you have trouble reaching its Office of Disaster Assistance, you can reach out to local small business development centers that can help walk you through the online application process at no cost. 

If you are a small business with bad credit there are ways to raise your credit score.

The administration has microlenders who are specialists designed to help improve credit scores quickly. A low or bad credit score can be an obstacle to getting approval for loans. 

Field said he expected Congress to pass further relief measures soon that more information will be forthcoming. 

We had previously reported that the Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) is providing technical assistance to help businesses apply for the loans. For details about the loans, click here.

For technical assistance with SBA loan applications, contact AJ Cari at OED at OED@seattle.gov