Alaskan businesses can now apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Saturday.

“The Coronavirus is intensifying Alaska’s existing economic challenges and simultaneously creating new ones, so the ability for Alaskan business owners to apply for low-interest loans is welcome news,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “My team is working diligently to identify any programs at the state or federal level that may help alleviate the financial stresses endured by Alaska businesses during these uncertain times.”

Dunleavy had asked for an economic disaster declaration, which triggers elihibility to access the SBA program. The governor completed the request packet following President Donald Trump’s signature on federal legislation making the program available. The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program became available to Alaska’s small businesses and non-profit organizations.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere and 2.75 percent for non-profits.

SBA offers loans that have long-term repayment schedules to keep payments affordable. Businesses interested in applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan will need to apply directly to SBA at SBA.gov/disaster. For additional information, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

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