Grace Period for Pandemic Small Business Loans Ends

After a 30-month payment deferral, the Small Business Administration is now collecting the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Not everyone is expected to pay.

MATTHEWS, N.C. — As 2022 draws to a close, small business owners like Caressa Jackson face the difficult reality that it’s time to start paying off federal pandemic loans.

Jackson, the owner Collision and auto repair shop Matthews will soon begin making monthly payments related to her $500,000 COVID-19 Economic Loss Disaster Loan (EIDL).

“It can be a struggle,” she said. “I wish I had another six months.”

of Small and Medium Enterprise Agency has deferred payments for the past two-and-a-half years, most recently in March lawmaker’s request.

That grace period is now coming to an end in the midst of economic uncertainty with a potentially looming pandemic.

“We haven’t really recovered yet,” Jackson said.

Securing an EIDL with the help of WCNC Charlotte, Jackson used her loan “at a critical time” to purchase technology that would allow her to expand her business.

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she’s the one most 4 million small business owners Received a total of $390 billion in EIDL. Low-interest loans of up to $2 million to businesses affected by the pandemic, typically for 30-year terms, threaten borrowers to default.

CPA Anne Zimmerman I’m with advocacy group Small business for America’s futureShe said EIDL recipients who are still struggling should let the SBA know as soon as possible to see if their agency can help.

“It’s better to connect with them and talk to them than just ignore them,” Zimmerman said. It would be wise to resolve

That communication is especially important for large loans that SBA has required owners to personally guarantee.

August 2022 National Restaurant Association Investigation We found that less than a quarter of owners who received an EIDL loan were able to pay the principal and deferred interest. The association then letter For SBAs looking for more flexibility.

After a difficult time in 2022, Karessa Jackson said her business is just turning a corner.

“This year has been really tough,” Jackson said. “One month he could be making $150,000, $160,000, $170,000, then he was $90,000, the next month he was $50,000, and for a few months he stagnated at $35,000. This is less than my overhead expenses.”

She’s currently set to pay about $3,000 a month towards EIDL, but said she’s committed to honoring the termination of her contract.

“It puts a little pressure on you, but it gives you the drive and ambition to get up every day and move forward,” Jackson said.

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Jackson credits her parents, former business owners themselves, with sparking her drive.

“At minimum, they got up and went to work every day,” Jackson recalls. “My father used to say, ‘As long as he gets up and goes to work every day, he’ll be able to get out of whatever hole he’s in.'”

Jackson doesn’t just want to survive, he needs to succeed. Failure isn’t an option because it’s personal. Her father died of cancer when she was 18 years old.

“My father couldn’t finish the job. I have to finish it,” she said. “My goal in life is to be able to arrange my family in a way my father never did.”

How to Contact Small Business Associations in North Carolina and South Carolina

An SBA spokesperson said small business owners with “specific questions about loan repayments” can email Otherwise, please contact the SBA office. their area Discuss options such as counseling and technical assistance.

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“Borrowers can also contact the COVID-19 EIDL Customer Service Center toll-free at 833-853-5638 to discuss loan and repayment schedule details,” said SBA Public Affairs Specialist Nayana Sen. “Most importantly, SBA is here to help small business owners long-term, and they need to make the most of the free or near-free resources available to them. There is.” In North Carolina,

SBA has offices at 6302 Fairview Road, Suite 300, Charlotte. The phone number is (704) 344-6563. The agency’s Raleigh office, located in Room 351, 6600 Lewisburg Road, can be reached by calling (919) 532-5525.

In South Carolina, the agency has three offices. The Columbia location is 1835 Assembly Street, Suite 1425 and the phone number is (803) 765-5377. Our North Charleston office is located at 3294 Ashley Phosphate Road and can be reached at (843) 225-7430. A third office is located in Duncan at 1875 East Main Street at (803) 253-3123.

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WCNC Charlotte always asks, “Where’s the money?”For help contact her WCNC Charlotte by email

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