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The Small Business Administration has launched a new program to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic and has prepared to relaunch the launch of its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.

The SBA on Thursday opened a new round of economic disaster loans, known as “Additional Targeted Advances,” to provide an additional $ 5 billion in assistance to one million small businesses and organizations for profit. nonprofits that have been most severely affected by the economic impact of the pandemic. The Supplemental Targeted Advance program is a new SBA relief program that offers an additional $ 5,000 that does not need to be repaid by hard hit businesses. It was included as part of the American Rescue Plan Act that President Biden enacted last month.

The program represents the latest form of help the SBA offers to small businesses, but it is unlikely to be as widely available as the more popular paycheck protection program that many accounting firms have helped their small businesses to. clients to apply.

Closed stores on Grant Avenue in San Francisco

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

“Many small businesses in our country are still struggling to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have found that smaller businesses – the majority of which are minority-owned – are suffering the most.” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement Friday. “The SBA’s Additional Targeted Advance program is aimed at reaching businesses with 10 or fewer employees who need our help today.”

The program provides an additional payment of $ 5,000 that does not have to be repaid by small businesses, according to the SBA. Even if a business has already received the original EIDL advance totaling $ 10,000, it may be eligible for the additional targeted advance if it meets the eligibility criteria. The combined amount of the Additional Targeted Advance ($ 5,000) with any previously received EIDL or Targeted EIDL Advance ($ 10,000) cannot exceed $ 15,000.

As of April 22, the SBA changed the EIDL Targeted Advance application process to determine whether businesses also qualify for the Additional Targeted Advance of $ 5,000. The SBA has said it will contact eligible business entities to apply, and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. To qualify for the Additional Targeted Advance, an eligible business entity must be in a low-income community, have experienced an economic loss greater than 50%, and have 10 or fewer employees.

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Subsidies to operators of closed sites

The SBA also plans to retry its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program by reopening the application portal on Monday, April 26 at 12:00 p.m. EDT after technical difficulties quickly prevented it from processing applications on the initial opening day, which was supposed to be April 8 (see the story). The program is intended to help music, performance, arts and cultural spaces like theaters and museums whose operations have been affected since the start of the pandemic last year.

On Friday afternoon, the SBA initially announced the portal would reopen on Saturday, but later that night pushed the date back to Monday “in response to stakeholder comments.”

“We recognize the urgency and the need to put this program in place,” Barb Carson, deputy assistant administrator of the SBA’s disaster relief office, said in a statement. “With theater operators in danger of closure, every day that passes is a day these businesses can’t afford.”

The SBA worked with vendors to resolve technical issues that arose on the original opening day, and said they identified and resolved other issues and improved the candidate experience with the portal. The agency has made efforts to improve the program documentation to make it more user-friendly; improved security on the application portal security; waiting room technology added to provide an orderly application process; and updated some features, including a new income table, the ability to upload multiple attachments, and the ability to match eligible entity types with required documentation.

The SBA recommends that eligible applicants take the following actions:

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