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Many small business owners, especially those required to close, are wondering how to finance their businesses during these difficult times. This series, Financial First Aid, will provide accurate and credible information for small business owners attempting to navigate through hard times.

US Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans

SBA Disaster Assistance loans may be a lifesaver for many small business owners. These loans are available only when a disaster has been declared. According to a speech by Governor Pritzker on March 18, 2020, the paperwork has been filed for this designation.

In the meantime, if you will need additional working capital to make it through the next few weeks or months, stay updated on the opportunities for these loans. Knowing your options will help you manage the stress of uncertainty. Bookmark the page for SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus. The website will provide updates directly from the US Small Business Association, including a drop-down list of states designated to receive these loans.

The SBA explains that once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.

Check out the State of Illinois coronavirus website for individuals and small businesses.

Best Advice: Stay in Touch with Your Lender

Whether you are a business owner or individual, if you are in good standing with your bank and know you will miss a loan or mortgage payment due to economic hardship, contact your lender and let them know. Letting them know you will be making a late payment or are having difficulties is better than ignoring the obligation and paying late. Stay in touch with your lender.

Pam Schallhorn is a University of Illinois Extension Specialist in Community and Economic Development specializing in small business development and entrepreneurship. Previously, she was a Vice President of Commercial Lending for several banks and served as the Director of the Small Business Development Center in Rockford. She holds a bachelor’s in finance and a master’s in political studies. Her office is in Springfield. Email Pam