BREAKING: SBA EXPRESS BRIDGE LOANS now available in response to COVID-19

Massachusetts District Office - March 2020

u s small business administration



Dear Small Business, Friends and Partners

In response to the COVID-19 National Emergency, the SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities affected by Presidentially-declared disasters while those small businesses apply for and await long-term financing (including through SBA’s direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, if eligible).

The general eligibility requirements for the EBL are as follows:

  • For small businesses with an existing banking relationship with SBA Express lenders as of the date of the disaster.  Check Lender List
  • Effective March 25, 2020, (announcement by publication of a notice in the Federal Register will follow), SBA expanded program eligibility to include small businesses nationwide adversely impacted under the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Emergency Declaration issued by President Trump on March 13, 2020 (“COVID-19 Emergency Declaration”).
  • EBL loans can only be made by SBA Express Lenders that had a valid Supplemental Loan Guaranty Agreement SBA Express Program in effect as of the date of the applicable disaster;
  • EBL loans can only be made up to six months after the date of an applicable Presidential Disaster Declaration, however for the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, EBL loans can be approved through March 13, 2021.
  • The Lender must have an existing banking relationship with the EBL applicant as of the date of the applicable disaster in order to help mitigate the risks associated with the streamlined underwriting process under the EBL Pilot Program.
  • The small business must have been operational when the declared disaster commenced and must meet all other 7(a) loan eligibility requirements (credit elsewhere, size, etc.);
  • All EBL applications will begin with a screening for a FICO Small Business Scoring Service Score (SBSS Score) - The minimum acceptable SBSS Score for an EBL loan applicant is 130
  • Lender must obtain a personal credit score for each guarantor. The personal credit score(s) must be satisfactory under the Lender’s standards for its similarly-sized, non-SBA guaranteed commercial loans.
  • The EBL loan must be structured as term loans not to exceed 7 years (revolving lines of credit are not permitted).
  • The EBL Pilot Program follows the SBA Express interest rate policy, and SBA guaranty percentage is limited to the maximum guaranty percentage of 50% for SBA Express loans.
  • EBL loans cannot be sold in SBA’s secondary market, they’re subject to the same upfront guaranty fees required for 7(a) loans of similar size and maturity
  • Because the maximum amount of an EBL loan is $25,000, SBA Express Lenders are not required to take collateral for EBL loans
  • Lenders may charge an EBL applicant an application fee of 2 % of the loan amount or $250,whichever is greater.
  • Prior to any disbursement of EBL loan proceeds, Lender must submit a signed IRS Form 4506-T to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and obtain an IRS tax transcript for the EBL applicant business for the purpose of verifying the existence of the business as of the date the applicable disaster commenced and confirming that the EBL applicant has filed required tax returns

For more information on the EBL Program and eligibility requirements, please review the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program Guide and feel free to contact our lender relations team with any questions.



Ili Spahiu Assistant District Director for Lender Relations Massachusetts District Office
U.S. Small Business Administration
Office: (617) 565-5569
Cell: (617) 763-8833
Fax: (202) 481-0680


Massachusetts District 

Office Directory

District Director
Robert Nelson

Deputy District Director
Peter Kontakos

Springfield Branch Manager
Oreste Varela

Lead Lender Relations Specialist
Ili Spahiu

Lender Relations Specialist
Dan Martiniello

Lender Relations Specialist
Carlos Hernandez

Lead Business Opportunity / EDS
Nadine Boone

Business Opportunity Specialist
Susan Lourie

Economic Development Specialist
Lisa Gonzalez Welch

Public Affairs Specialist
Norman Eng


Additional Links and Resources:

If you are ready to apply online and just need an aid to walk you through the questions, please review the STEP-BY-STEP PDF and the RECORDED WEBINAR below...

PDF: Economic Injury Disaster Loan STEP-BY-STEP Application Overview

RECORDED WEBINAR: SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Overview

Handout: SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

Handout: Asistencia de Desastre de la SBA en Respuesta al Coronavirus



Center for Women and Enterprise is open virtually!

How are you being impacted and what do you need?

CWE is doing a SURVEY to understand our local small businesses. 

Please FILL OUT THE SURVEY and let them know how your business is being impacted by the current pandemic.  Share what issues you are facing, questions you are having and resources you need.

CWE will mobilize the network of small business expert friends to help you address specific challenges you may be having in your business in the coming weeks. 

Funding & Financials

In times like these, it can feel scary to think about money flow. There is very little 'free money' available. Taking on low-interest debt through Disaster Relief programs can be a good fit for some businesses. Before making any decisions, make sure to think through your decision.

Some questions that can guide you:

  • Do you know how much it costs you to stay open? Your breakeven point is a great tool to guide your decisions.
  • How much money do you actually need in the immediate (week), intermediate (1-3 months), long-term (<1 year) for yourself from your business?
  • Where are there opportunities for you to negotiate around your expenses? How can you work with your vendors, landlord, customers?
  • Have you called your insurance company to inquire about your 'interruptions' coverage?
  • Where can you get creative and work 'bare bones' while still delivering to your standards of quality?

If you decide debt is an option for you:

  • What source is best for you? Have you talked with your banker to see what might be available to you?
  • If you can't qualify for a loan through a traditional bank, there may be programs available to you in the coming weeks. How can you be best prepared for this type of program?
  • What's your plan for paying the loan back?
  • What's the minimum amount you can borrow to get you through these times without causing future challenges to your business when you have to repay?




Staff are working remotely and can be reached via email or telephone. MSBDC is committed to supporting entrepreneurs during these very challenging times.

MSBDC advisors can assist businesses with disaster loan applications.

If you are not currently a client and would like to speak with a counselor, please find your region and reach out to the REGIONAL OFFICE SERVING YOU.

Berkshire Regional Office
33 Dunham Mall, Suite 103
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413-499-0933 | Fax: 413-499-3005

Central Regional Office
Clark University
The Carriage House, 125 Woodland Street
Worcester, MA 01610
508-793-7615 | Fax: 508-793-8890

Government Sales Advisory Program / SBIR
Central Massachusetts: 508-870-3193

Southeastern Massachusetts: 774-203-9972

Northeast Regional Office
Salem State University
121 Loring Avenue, Suite 310
Salem, MA 01970
978-542-6343 | Fax: 978-542-6345

Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Scibelli Enterprise Center
1 Federal Street, Building 1
Springfield, MA 01105
413-545-6303 | Fax: 413-737-2312

Southeast Regional Office
200 Pocasset Street
Fall River, MA 02721
508-673-9783 | Fax: 508-674-1929

Western Regional Office
Scibelli Enterprise Center
One Federal Street, Building 101
Springfield, MA 01105-1160
413-577-1768 | Fax: 413-737-2312




Counseling Sessions with BOSTON SCORE CHAPTER:
If you want to speak with a counselor, SCORE is doing tele-consults. Just pick a date and time to schedule a session and enter your contact info, they are doing sessions by phone and Zoom video app. 

Reach out to other SCORE CHAPTERS throughout the state below.

SCORE Boston Chapter

SCORE Worcester Chapter

SCORE Northeastern Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Southeastern Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Western Massachusetts Chapter

SCORE Cape Cod Chapter

SCORE Rhode Island (Serving Fall River, New Bedford)



SCORE Boston Webinar

Thursday  3/26/20  at 2pm 
Keep Your Clients Virtually Engaged in the Midst of the Pandemic 

Friday  3/27/20 at 1pm
Managing Your Cash During the Coronavirus Emergency

Monday  3/30/20 at 3pm
Coronavirus - What Employers and Employees Need to Know

Tuesday  3/31/20 at 10am
So, You Want to Become a Consultant

Thursday  4/2/20 at 10am
6 Essential Steps to Create An eBook to Market Your Business

Thursday  4/16/20 at 10am
Intellectual Property for Small Businesses

Wednesday  4/29/20 at 10am
Funding Options - What to consider and Where to Find It.

Coronavirus Special Topic Conference Call Series

Please join the U.S. Department of Commerce in partnership with the Connecticut District Export Council for our special topic conference call series. This series of conference calls will run throughout the Spring 2020.

Registration for this series is FREE. Please register using the link below, you only have to register once as the conference call details will be identical for every topic. Please check this web page frequently for update.

Thursday , March 26, 2020 (1pm -2pm EST)

Employment Issues Related to Teleworking
Matthew T. Miklave, Partner, Robinson & Cole LLP will discuss HR issues presented by coronavirus and off sire working along with federal, state and local policies.

WEBINAR with Initiative for a Competitive Inner City: COVID-19 Resources and Updates for Small Businesses

Thursday March 26 3PM and 4:30PM


ICIC will be hosting a national webinar with Dan Martiniello, Lender Relations Specialist, Massachusetts District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration that will also include the Small Business Majority, Accion, and the Opportunity Fund.

Webinar will cover updates and resources related to COVID-19 and policy recommendations to bolster small business owners right now. 



There will be hosting two sessions on Thursday, one at 3:00pm EST and another at 4:30pm EST. You can register for the 3pm session here, and the 4:30pm session here.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • SBA Disaster Assistance Loans and other small business funding updates for businesses being impacted by COVID-19
  • Availability of emergency business funding sources, including city grants, CDFIs, reputable online lenders, and crowdfunding
  • How to avoid predatory lenders using the Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights
  • Updates on federal policy proposals and our recommendations to immediately help small businesses
  • Venturize and other helpful tools and resources
  • Q&A

WEBINAR with Center for Women & Enterprise

Mon, Mar 30, 2020 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM EDT

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Overview
Lisa Gonzalez Welch and Carlos Hernandez from the Massachusetts District Office will join with CWE to help small businesses understand the resources available and navigate the process of submitting a disaster loan application.  

Carlos and Lisa
  1. Click the link to join the webinar at the specified time and date:

Mon, Mar 30, 2020 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM EDT

Join Webinar

Before joining, be sure to check system requirements to avoid any connection issues.Note: This link should not be shared with others; it is unique to you.

  1. Choose one of the following audio options:

TO USE YOUR COMPUTER'S AUDIO: When the webinar begins, you will be connected to audio using your computer's microphone and speakers (VoIP). A headset is recommended.


TO USE YOUR TELEPHONE: If you prefer to use your phone, you must select "Use Telephone" after joining the webinar and call in using the numbers below. United States: +1 (914) 614-3221 Access Code: 454-357-669 Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar

Retailers Association of Massachusetts Webinar: What Massachusetts Retailers Need to Know about Employment Law and COVID19

Sign up for Webinar

Thursday, March 26th at 11:00 AM EST

Attorney Joshua Nadreau from Fisher Phillips’ Boston office to discuss what Massachusetts retailers need to know in the ever-changing legal landscape surrounding employers’ responses to COVID-19.

Topics will include the following:
• COVID-19 workplace issues, including health and safety, employee privacy, remote workers, discrimination/harassment, and workers’ compensation
• Employees leaves, including the recently-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act
• Layoffs and Furloughs – what is the difference and how do they impact wage-and-hour, unemployment eligibility, and health insurance?
• Suspending Operations, WARN Act, Government-ordered shut-downs and other considerations


RECORDED INTERVIEW: Bob Nelson on North Shore Conversations

Listen to District Director Robert Nelson on a recorded podcast with Laura Swanson Executive Director at the Enterprise Center at Salem State University talk about statewide activation of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.



RECORDED WEBINAR: How to Apply - SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Overview

View On-Demand


Boston SCORE:  Coronavirus – What Employers and Employees Need to Know

View On-Demand

Topics will include:

Most recent legislative updates and the impact on your business
What to do should you face a temporary closure or reduction in staff
Understanding Sick Time, Vacation/PTO and FMLA – what to offer and when
Employee Health Guidelines – what to do should an employee disclose exposure to the virus or become symptomatic

(Presented by Boston SCORE Chapter)




All Massachusetts non-essential businesses are to cease in-person operations for until April 7.

Examples of essential business types include:

  • Grocery / Convenience / Bodegas
  • Pharmacies
  • Laundromats / laundry services
  • Gas Stations
  • Automotive Repair
  • Moving & Storage
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, inspectors and other providing emergency services
  • Food Businesses including restaurants and food trucks

The state also issued guidelines to limit gatherings to 10 people during the state of emergency, a reduction from the 25 person limit established in an earlier order. Please consider using tape or something similar to mark 6 feet between customers in line (both to enter and to pay). Click here for a copy of the Emergency Order and click here for a copy of the Guidance of Assemblages.


(Courtesy: Boston Business Journal, Worcester Business Journal, City of Springfield, Cape Cod Commission, and North Central Mass Chamber)


Disclaimer: The SBA does not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites, and does not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  All programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.