BILLINGS — Businesses and nonprofits in all of Montana and Wyoming are eligible for up to $2 million in disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to press releases from U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines of Montana and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.
The loans are designed to help businesses stay afloat if they have suffered economic injury as a result of mandated closures related to COVID-19.
Initially, only some counties in both states were eligible because they had declared a state of emergency. This latest order added all remaining counties in both states.
Businesses and nonprofits are eligible for up to $2 million in loans with a maximum time to repay of 30 years. The interest rate for business loans is 3.75 percent. For nonprofits, the interest rate is 2.75 percent, according to a document from the Small Business Administration.
The disaster loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can't be paid due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Specific terms of each loan are determined on a case-by-case basis.
The application process can take between two and three weeks and is best done online at sba.gov. Applications can also be submitted in person at the Montana District Office in Helena, or at the Wyoming District Office in Casper.
The Small Business Administration also has a customer service center to answer questions over the phone at 1-800-659-2955.
In order to apply, a business owner must fill out IRS Form 4506-T, which gives the IRS and Small Business administration permission to view tax return information.
Next, the business owner must register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to obtain a registration number. This can be done by calling FEMA at 1-800-621-3362, or by visiting disasterassistance.gov.
Here's a list of documents required to apply for a disaster loan according to the Small Business Administration web site:
During the loan application process, business owners will work with Small Business Administration representatives to verify credit, and estimate the total loss COVID-19 caused the business.
The Small Business Administration prepared a three-step document that describes the steps to apply for a loan.Click here to read it.
For more information on disaster loans visit sba.gov.