Senator Reverend Warnock Leads Group of Bipartisan Colleagues In Urging Small Business Administration to Process All Eligible Pandemic-Related Relief Applications

Bipartisan letter signed by Senator Reverend Warnock, 47 other senators comes amid complaints from small business owners that their applications have not been considered

In March, Senator Reverend Warnock successfully urged SBA Administrator Guzman to give Georgia small businesses more time to repay these loans, allowing businesses to use cash on hand to contribute more fully to the economic recovery

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) joined a bipartisan group of senators in urging  U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman to process COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications that were received prior to the agency’s May 6, 2022 deadline.

The COVID EIDL program has provided loans to nearly four million small businesses since the beginning of the pandemic—serving as an essential source of capital for small businesses, especially those that could not obtain credit to survive the pandemic from other lenders.

“While we recognize the agency has assisted an unprecedented number of small businesses throughout the pandemic, our offices continue to hear from thousands of prospective borrowers awaiting consideration,” Senator Warnock and the bipartisan group wrote. “We also continue to hear from EIDL applicants with disputed rejections who have received no communication from the administration in months. EIDL was a lifeline for businesses throughout this pandemic, but many of them continue to struggle. The program is too important to shut down prematurely. While funds remain, we expect SBA to process all eligible applications and appeals that have been submitted by the request deadline.”

In March, Senator Warnock secured a major victory for 190,000 Georgia small businesses that hold a EIDL loan by successfully pressuring the SBA to extend the deferment period for EIDL loan holders to begin making payments. The SBA announcement came after the Senator led 15 of his colleagues in urging SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman to provide this much needed relief to small businesses in Georgia and around the nation. The SBA will give borrowers 30 months to start repaying their EIDL, a six-month extension from the previous 24 months deferment period. 

On Thursday, April 28, the SBA announced a May 6, 2022 submission deadline for COVID EIDL loan modifications, increase requests, and denial reconsiderations. Many applicants who submitted their applications prior to the deadline remain in limbo due to the SBA’s decision to stop processing certain applications. Instead, the SBA has issued a vague commitment to process “workable” applications, which has led to many deserving borrowers not receiving the funds they need.

The senators continued, “Given that many applicants have not received final consideration, we find it difficult to understand SBA’s decision to stop processing requests that were submitted by the May 6th submission deadline…‘Workability’ is not an acceptable standard to justify rejecting a borrower who is eligible and in need. The bar for denial is eligibility, not SBA’s willingness to continue processing applications. We find it particularly troubling that your agency continues to tell our offices that loans cannot be completed due to the exhaustion of funds when $800 million in loan subsidy remains – enough to support more than $7 billion in lending.”

Read the full letter to Administrator Guzman here