Abbott seeks emergency designation to secure disaster loans for small businesses

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Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday requested an emergency designation from the Small Business Administration for the entire state of Texas to access the agency’s disaster lending program for small businesses.

The SBA will review the request and, if it grants an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration, Texas small businesses will be able to apply for long-term, low-interest loans from the federal agency.

“At a time when small businesses are suffering from the economic impact of COVID-19, the State of Texas is committed to helping these businesses receive the financial assistance they need to keep operating,” Abbott said in a press release.


The SBA announced Tuesday morning that it would relax the criteria for states requesting the declaration of economic harm linked to the impact of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19. Typically, SBA loans are only available to small businesses in counties identified as disaster areas by a governor. The SBA now provides disaster assistance loans related to COVID-19 damage statewide.

On HoustonChronicle.com: Everything you need to know about the coronavirus in Houston

SBA Economic Disaster Loans provide up to $ 2 million in assistance to each affected small business.

Following Abbott’s action on Tuesday, it will likely take a few days for the SBA to approve the designation and open loan applications for Texas small businesses. After the SBA receives an application from a small business, it typically takes between two and three weeks to make a credit decision, according to Carol Chastang, a spokesperson for the SBA. If the loan application is approved, the SBA may distribute the loan within five days of receiving the loan closing documents.

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