Business Advice: CARES Act Extension Provides Options to Small Businesses

Small business owners have a few options to keep their workforce employed and cover normal operating expenses during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

First Draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans are for first-time program participants; have a term of up to 5 years, 1% interest rate; and may be completely forgiven. Second Draw PPP Loans are for certain businesses who have previously received a PPP loan (for those who can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020).

PPP Loans can be used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs, uninsured property damage costs by looting or vandalism, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations. Applications for both are available until March 31, 2021.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) provides relief to small businesses, including agricultural businesses and nonprofit organizations, that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Businesses are not eligible for a second EIDL.

The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program will allow small businesses who currently have a relationship with a Small Business Administration (SBA) Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. This loan can be used to “bridge the gap” while applying for an EIDL. Any Express Bridge Loan will reduce an EIDL.

SBA Debt Relief provides financial reprieve to small businesses with SBA Microloans, 7(a) and 504 loans. This is not intended for PPP or EIDL relief.

All program information can be found at

Kim Preston is the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project director for the Center for Rural Affairs. Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

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