The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved over $513 billion worth of loans under its Paycheck Protection Program and, of that number, 336 applicants are from the Northern Marianas, amounting to a total of $34,902,412.
In addition, SBA has also approved $453,800 for 10 economic injury disaster loans in the CNMI.
SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program helps small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so that they could avoid laying off their employees. The program was announced in mid-April, giving eligible employers opportunity to receive a federally-guaranteed loan to cover 100% of the cost, provided they keep all their employees on payroll for up to eight weeks.
Aside from keeping all employees on payroll, the money can also be used to pay rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Loan payments will also be deferred for six months, and no collateral or personal guarantees are required.
In an earlier joint statement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza said that the program is “providing critical support to millions of small businesses and tens of millions of Americans.”
“We remain fully committed to ensuring that America’s workers and small businesses get the resources they need to get through this challenging time.”
A second appropriation for the Paycheck Protection Program was made available this month. About 56 Marianas businesses received $12.6 million in loans in the first round of funding. Applications for the Payroll Protection Program are being accepted since April 27.
As for the economic injury disaster loans, SBA offers them as a working capital for small businesses in the CNMI that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the coronavirus.
Small businesses, private non-profit organizations, small agricultural cooperatives, and small aquaculture enterprises impacted by COVID-19 since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify to avail of up to $2 million economic injury disaster loan, to help with their operating expenses.
To avail of the economic injury disaster loan, small businesses may apply online, or download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. The deadline to apply is on Dec. 21, 2020.