SHERIDAN (WNE) — Wyoming’s small businesses and nonprofits that are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic are now eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA announced Friday evening.

The announcement comes a day after Gov. Mark Gordon issued a closure order of theaters, bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, gyms, conference rooms and other public spaces, in order to protect the public from community spread of the disease.

“SBA has and always will be committed to helping (small businesses) start, grow, expand and recover,” SBA Wyoming District Office Public Affairs Specialist Jordan Belser told The Sheridan Press. 

Organizations that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the coronavirus since Jan. 31 may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, according to a press release from SBA. 

The loan process began with the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, signed by President Donald Trump on March 6. Gordon declared a state of emergency on March 13 and requested access to the loans on March 17.

Loan eligibility is based on the financial impact of COVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations. SBA loans have long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable for up to 30 years.

For more information and to apply, business owners can visit sba.gov/disaster. For assistance, Belser suggested they contact the Wyoming Small Business Development Center. 

Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21.

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