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SBDC to Help Small Businesses Apply for CARES Act Programs

Small Business Development Center

On March 17, 2020, the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College began teleworking as a result of recommendations by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam.

On March 30, 2020, Governor Northam issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Due to this pandemic and the mandates to stay at home, small businesses in America are navigating uncharted waters.

Congress has now passed and the President has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), which is a $2 trillion relief bill. The 800-plus page document contains thousands of provisions covering virtually every part of the American economy.

The Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College has historically been the resource for small businesses to get assistance with strategic planning, resource identification, and business plans. Today, the SBDC is providing businesses, with less than 500 employees, guidance in applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants. The SBDC is in constant contact with our state network, SBA representatives, and other state agencies for the purpose of keeping abreast of the everchanging information relative to assistance for businesses.

Funded in part by the Small Business Administration (SBA), we are prepared to give guidance to businesses (with under 500 employees) who are interested in applying for the disaster relief during the Stay at Home order.

Two of the programs most small businesses are seeking assistance with which are provided by the CARES Act include:

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

This program can provide vital economic support to small businesses by helping overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to COVID-19.

The EIDL offers direct loans up to $2 million to businesses and nonprofits without access to available credit elsewhere. The interest rate is 3.75 to businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other business expenses. The SBA offers terms up to 30 years. The application filing deadline is December 21, 2020.

The Paycheck Protection Program

This program creates a type of emergency loan that can be forgiven when used to maintain payroll through June. The program expands the existing network of lenders so that more banks, credit unions, and lenders can issue those loans. It incentivizes small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, select types of businesses with fewer than 1,500 employees and 501(c)(3) non-profits with fewer than 500 workers as well as some 501(c)(19) veteran organizations to avoid a layoff.

The SBDC has always been an excellent resource for the small businesses in our region. Our goal during this time of crisis is to provide the most accurate information, in a timely manner, to assure the businesses in our region obtain the necessary means to survive. Our network of SBDC’s across the Commonwealth of Virginia is here to help. Due to the high volume of inquiries, we ask that you be patient with us. If you are unable to reach us immediately, please try again.

Margie Douglass, Program Manager

The Small Business Development Center can be reached by telephone at 276.964.7345 or 276.964.7337 or by email at or

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