SBA Nebraska District Office Newsletter - Your Small Business Connection

Nebraska District Office  - September 2021

Your Small Business Connection

Vol 8

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COVID EIDL Program Enhanced to Aid Small Businesses Facing Challenges From Delta Variant


The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, a federal disaster relief loan designed to better service and support our small business communities still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.

“The SBA’s COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program offers a lifeline to millions of small businesses who are still being impacted by the pandemic,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said. “We’ve retooled this critical program – increasing the borrowing limit to $2 million, offering 24 months of deferment, and expanding flexibility to allow borrowers to pay down higher-interest business debt. We have also ramped up our outreach efforts to ensure we’re connecting with our smallest businesses as well as those from low-income communities who may also be eligible for the companion COVID EIDL Targeted Advance and Supplemental Advance grants totaling up to $15,000.  Our mission-driven SBA team has been working around the clock to make the loan review process as user-friendly as possible to ensure every entrepreneur who needs help can get the capital they need to reopen, recover and rebuild.”

Key changes being announced by the SBA include:

  • Increasing the COVID EIDL Cap. The SBA will lift the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying debt.
  • Implementation of a Deferred Payment Period. The SBA will ensure small business owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination so that they can get through the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
  • Establishment of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window. To ensure Main Street businesses have additional time to access these funds, the SBA will implement a 30-day exclusivity window of approving and disbursing funds for loans of $500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 will begin after the 30-day period.
  • Expansion of Eligible Use of Funds. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
  • Simplification of affiliation requirements. To ease the COVID EIDL application process for small businesses, the SBA has established more simplified affiliation requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

The enhancements to the COVID EIDL program will allow more businesses greater and more flexible support from the over $150 billion in available COVID EIDL funds. Additionally, these changes will help entrepreneurs access capital at a time when, according to a recent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses survey, 44 percent of small business owners report having less than three months of cash reserves, and only 31 percent reporting confidence in gaining access to funding.

How to apply

Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply. Visit to learn more about eligibility and application requirements. The last day that applications may be received is December 31, 2021. All applicants should file their applications as soon as possible.

For additional information on COVID EIDL and other recovery programs please visit Small business owners may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or email for additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Multilingual representatives are available. Small business owners may also contact SBA’s Resource Partners by visiting


Join SBA for the 2021 National Small Business Week Virtual Summit!

Illustration of a main street & the following text, National Small Business Week, September 13-15, 2021, celebrating resilience & renewal

The 2021 SBA National Small Business Week Virtual Summit is all about celebrating the resilience and renewal of American's small business owners. Over the course of three days, you'll learn all about resources to help America build back better, hear inspiring stories of small business owners who have survived during the pandemic and benefit from educational webinars on a variety of topics.

We are also delighted to announce that Omaha business owner Richard Messina, owner of Play It Again Sports in Omaha, was selected to be interviewed for a series of video highlights during the Virtual Summit!  You can read Rich's SBA success story here.

Register now for this free event that starts Monday, September 13! 

Lenders' Lounge

The Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal is now live!

Illustration of a laptop with text that includes, PPP Forgiveness Portal


The U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Director Forgiveness Portal went live on August 4th, 2021. 

This streamlined application portal allows borrowers with PPP loans of $150,000 or less to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA. 

Borrowers looking to apply for forgiveness should register on Portal to begin the direct forgiveness application process. The SBA has developed a PPP customer service team that will be able to directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness questions. Borrowers can call this team at (877) 552-2692, M-Fri from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST.

Borrowers can also utilize this Direct Forgiveness Portal User Guide for assistance. 

Currently, over 1250 banks nationally have opted into the direct forgiveness process.


Contracting Corner

Government contracting veterans

The process for getting certified by the Federal Government as a Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) will transitioning from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) to the U.S. Small Business Administration over the course of the next two years. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 officially requested that the CVE's duties be transferred to the SBA by Jan 1, 2023.

The SBA already manages all other government-wide socioeconomic programs for VOSBs and SDVOSBs, so this transition will help eliminate confusion and redundancy by allowing the SBA to be a one-stop shop for all veteran contracting and certification needs.

VOSBs or SDVOSBs previously verified by the VA will not lose their status at the time of program transfer. Self-certified SDVOSBs will now be required to apply for SBA verification - there will be a one-year grace period to apply with the SBA starting January 1, 2023.  There is no immediate action required for veteran small business owners at this time.

For more information on the SBA's VOSB programs can be found here.                  

Surplus Personal Property for Veteran-Owned Small Business Programs

Do you know about the GSA's Federal Surplus Property Donation Program? Eligible veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) can now work with the SBA to access federally-owned surplus personal property through this program!

VOSBs may obtain federal surplus property from the State Agencies for Surplus Property (SASP) in the state where the property will be primarily located and placed in use. In order to meet the baseline eligibility requirements, the VOSB must be

- Located and operated within the state

- Unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more eligible veterans, service-disabled veterans, or surviving spouses

- Registered and in "verified" status in the VA's VETS First Verification Program Database

To learn more visit


Marketing Minute

Believe it or not, the holiday season will soon be upon us! Now's the time to get your holiday marketing strategy ramped up. Email marketing is a great tool to increase your holiday sales - here's 5 tips from SCORE on how to use email to market your holiday promotions.