Updated March 20, 2020: To mitigate a small business cash crunch, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched a coronavirus disaster loan assistance webpage. The webpage allows small business owners to determine if they're located in a state that qualifies for immediate help.
Updated March 25, 2020: SBA Loan Form Failure
- The SBA's website is straining amid heavy web traffic. Also, the SBA is receiving roughly 30,000 calls per day from small businesses seeking loan information, according to Bloomberg Radio. We are seeking additional updates about how the SBA plans to scale operations to meet the influx of demand.
- The SBA is actually telling small business owners to submit loan requests via email because the online form is not working, Newsday reports. Not our federal government's finest hour.
Original Report from March 12, 2020: President Trump will ask Congress to increase funding for the Small Business Administration (SBA) lending program to $50 billion, Reuters notes. That's twice the size of SBA loans made in fiscal year 2019, according to the SBA.
President Trump's latest pledge seeks to help small businesses with cash flow issues and revenue shortfalls amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It's unclear if or when Congress will approve the proposed $50 billion loan empowerment package for SBA.
Still, some help is already on the way. The SBA is promoting $2 million loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Also, an $8 billion emergency funding package, which President Trump signed into law on March 6, will boost SBA loans in some ways. That $8 billion package includes $20 million to help the SBA, according to a CBS News affiliate. At first glance, that's a small dollar figure allocated to the SBA. But take a closer look and the new law also allows an estimated $7 billion in low-interest SBA loans to small businesses impacted by the epidemic, Politics USA reports.
The SBA, in addition to its day-to-day lending programs, also offers emergency financial services to small businesses seeking to recover from high-impact disasters -- such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and other disruptive events.
The coronavirus outbreak is starting to resemble such an event. In addition to impacting global supply chains, the virus has triggered hundreds of technology and business conference cancelations, and business travel restrictions.
Coronavirus Outbreak: Some Vertical Market Channel Partners Will Be Impacted
Amid the outbreak and potential U.S. quarantines, many MSPs and channel partners are preparing plans to ensure their own employees can work from home if needed. Those partners are also working to support end-customers that may implement work-from-home plans.
Vertical market channel partners that support small businesses -- particularly those in the hospitality, retail and travel industries -- could face financial hurdles in the days and weeks ahead. If those industries face business slowdowns, employee furloughs or layoffs, the net result could be reduced recurring revenues for MSPs in those sectors.