Connecticut will receive $7,558,270 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the coming days, while the Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced details of its new disaster assistance loan program, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
The CDC funding comes from the federal government’s approval of an $8.3 billion spending bill, with resources directed for grants or cooperative agreements to states, localities, territories and tribes to accelerate planning and operational readiness for COVID-19 preparedness and response. The funds are also meant to develop tools and strategies, provide technical assistance and program support, and ensure ongoing communication and coordination among public health agencies and partners throughout the response.
Of that $8.3 billion, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded more than $560 million to help state and local efforts to fight the coronavirus.
“State and local health departments are on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we are deeply grateful for their work,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said. “CDC is distributing this new funding extremely rapidly, as called for by Congress.”
While Connecticut COO Josh Geballe acknowledged on March 11 that the CDC monies had been approved, he could not provide specifics on when it might arrive.
Meanwhile, the SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the virus.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%.
The loans allow for long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
“Additionally,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, “SBA continues to assist small businesses with counseling and navigating their own preparedness plans through our network of 68 District Offices and numerous Resource Partners located around the country.
“The SBA will continue to provide every small business with the most effective and customer-focused response possible during these times of uncertainty,” Carranza added.
For more information, contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.