The Important Roles of the Massachusetts Small Business Administration in a Post Covid World 

December 13, 2021 7:17 am

The world seemingly stopped when the novel coronavirus outbreak stunned our global economy in March 2020. Nearly two years later and we are focused less on reacting to the event and more on recovery from the shutdowns, slow downs, and closings of many small businesses in our region.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) of Massachusetts has been an integral partner and phenomenal guide in helping organizations recover financially, operationally, and technically from the impacts of the virus. 

In a recent podcast on North Shore 104.9, the North Shore Alliance had the opportunity to speak with Bob Nelson, the District Director of the Small Business Administration of Massachusetts, who has been with the program for more than 30 years. 

In our October 23, 2021 discussion on North Shore Conversations we were able to discuss the role of the SBA as well as current SBA Assistance Programs that can be of help to many small businesses in our area. 

Small Business Administration logo

What is the Small Business Association? 

In previous blogs, we have taken a look at the main role of the Small Business Administration as being one that is geared toward helping small businesses confidently start, grow, expand, or recover. 

Today we will be focusing on the recovery part of that mission as so many businesses have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus having been forced to close, pivot, or reimagine the idea of their business. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which was founded in 1953, is positioned to help small businesses at both the federal, state, and local levels to provide counseling, capital, and contracting expertise. It is currently the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to this mission. 

In short the SBA is a comprehensive resource for the entire lifecycle of a business from starting to recovering after a disaster. In the last 19 months close to a billion dollars in loans have been given out to businesses in the forms of Paycheck Protection Program loans and forgiveness programs. 

This robust network of resources is often overlooked by businesses that consider themselves too large to be deemed a “small” business. Nelson, however, encourages all businesses to look into the programs, initiatives, and loans that the SBA offers in the chance that there is one that your organization may qualify for. 

EIDL programs logo

SBA Assistance Programs for Covid 

Most businesses are familiar with the PPP loans and the PPP Forgiveness Programs but there are still others that have deadlines looming that you may want to learn more about and determine if your small business may be able to take advantage of in the coming months.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

While this fund went quickly, with $28 billion in grants, this program was one to help restaurants that needed to pivot their business format or close entirely during the early months of the pandemic. 

Shuttered Operators Grant 

This program helped big names like the Wang Center for Performing Arts, Schubert Theater, the New England Aquarium, and the Museum of Science as well as many smaller entities like movie theaters across our region. 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program 

Nelson explained that this program is the “big thing” currently with deadlines sitting at December 31, 2021. This program provides accessible and borrower-friendly capital.

For instance, the EIDL program allows for a 3.75% fixed 30 year interest rate for recovery with a two year deferment plan. For non-profits, the interest rate drops to 2.75%. 

For more information about this loan recovery program before the deadline passes check out the application on the SBA site – EIDL program.