5 things to know about COVID EIDL


Illinois District Office - September 2021

u s small business administration

5 Frequently Asked Questions about COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans



What is a COVID EIDL loan?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SBA was given the authority to make low-interest fixed-rate COVID EIDL loans to help small businesses and other entities overcome the effects of the pandemic by providing borrowers with working capital to meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses. 

What can I use the loan proceeds for?

Borrowers may use COVID EIDL working capital loan proceeds to make regular payments for operating expenses and to:

  • Pay or pre-pay business non-federal debt incurred at any time (past or future), including monthly payments, payments of deferred interest
  • Pay regularly scheduled payments on federal debt
  • Payroll
  • Rent/mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Other ordinary business expenses

You may not use the funds to:
Expand your business, make prepayments on debt that is owned by a federal agency (including SBA) or an SBI, or start a new business.

How much can I borrow?

$2 million is the maximum loan amount, however borrowers will be offered a loan amount they are eligible for. SBA will begin approving loans greater than $500,000 on October 8, 2021.

What are the most common reasons for decline?

  • Unsatisfactory credit history - Credit score does not meet minimum credit score requirement. 
  • Unverifiable information - During the review process there were one or more items that were reviewed that caused the SBA to question the validity of certain information in the application. This can occur as a result of a failed identity verification, international IP address, client device associated with fraud, or high-risk IP address. 
  • Business activity not eligible - The information you submitted with your application does not meet SBA regulations for an eligible business activity.
  • Failure to respond - If you do not respond to the request for additional information within 7 days, the application will be withdrawn with a status of borrower did not wish to proceed. 

You can contact SBA by phone at 800-659-2955 or by email at PDCrecons@sba.gov to request reconsideration or to reactivate your COVID EIDL application. 

What is the deadline to file and be approved for the program? 

The program ends December 31, 2021 or when funds are exhausted, whichever occurs sooner. Be sure to file your application as soon as possible to allow processing time for approval.


Webinar: COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Updates


The SBA announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programJoin the SBA's Illinois District Office to learn about the changes to COVID EIDL and how your business can benefit from the program.

Thursday, September 30

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT


Program Updates

  • Increasing the Lending Cap: The COVID EIDL cap is now $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: Small business owners do not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination to help get through the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
  • Establishment of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window: A 30-day exclusivity window now exists to approve and disburse 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 are now eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
  • Simplification of affiliation requirements: The more simplified affiliation requirements now model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Register to learn more

Watch: COVID EIDL Updates

Watch a replay of the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan webinar that took place on Tuesday, September 14 hosted by the Illinois District Office. Register above to attend our next session! 

Need assistance? 

For additional information on COVID EIDL and other recovery programs please visit www.sba.gov/relief. 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 DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov for additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT. Multilingual representatives are available. 

Stay updated

Visit sba.gov/relief for updates on the loan programs, guidance for businesses and employers, and other SBA resources.

If you have questions about your already submitted EIDL application, contact the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Follow @SBA_Illinois on Twitter.

E-mail questions to illinois.do@sba.gov.