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The self-employed, which include many real estate agents, make up an astounding 57 million people countrywide, and they are vulnerable to the recent changes to the economy due to the nation’s COVID-19 response and its effect on the economy. If you are a small business, self-employed or an independent contractor that has suffered economic injury due to the pandemic, there are many financial resources at your disposal, such as disaster loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package, granted the SBA a total of $379 billion for guaranteed loans through its loan programs. The CARES Act also established several new temporary SBA programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak, two of which are the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program.

Economic Industry Disaster Loans (EIDL)
Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and territories impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. As stated on the SBA’s website, “This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.” Please note that “successful application” does not mean you have to be approved for the loan.

This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (which includes sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organizations or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. In certain industries, businesses may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for respective industries. Interested businesses, as well as previous applicants, are asked to apply here. On the application, check the $10,000 box to access the emergency grant. For more info, visit www.sba.gov.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. Just like the aforementioned EIDL loan advances, the SBA will forgive loans received through this program if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

Small businesses can apply for PPP through “any existing SBA 7(a) lender or any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.”

Lenders may begin processing loan applications, and the PPP will be available through June 30, 2020. To find a lender or learn more about the PPP, click here. For the latest updates on COVID-19 funding, visit www.sba.gov and click on the yellow banner at the top.

Desirée Patno is the CEO and president of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE), as well as chairwoman of NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in housing, Patno is a champion for women’s economic growth and independence. In 2017, Entrepreneur.com named her the Highest-Ranking Woman and 4th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit www.nawrb.com.

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