SBA Loans and Assistance for Advocates and Care Managers
for Support During the COVID-19 Crisis
The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates (APHA) is not able to answer questions about these loans.
We include this information solely to provide some background and potential for our members and others who may be interested.
Updated April 9, 2020
Several types of loans, forgivable loans, and unemployment support are available to those whose income has been impacted by the COVID-19 through the SBA.
This is not the same “pot” of money allocated to the stimulus program which is sending checks to individuals to help them during the crisis. These are business-related loan programs and are additional to those individual checks.
It is also not the same support as unemployment payments being made by states. To find information about filing for unemployment, do a search for the name of your state, and the terms “unemployment” and “covid-19”.
The form of support will vary depending on how you have previously documented your income: Sole-proprietors, independent contractors, freelancers, and small businesses may be eligible. All are encouraged to apply.
(Please note: you may also be eligible for unemployment payments through the CAREs Act which you may tap into if you cannot perform any of your services, and receive no income for the duration. This is being administered state-to-state and is not addressed in this article. To find more information, do a search for your state’s name, “CARES Act”, and “unemployment” and you should be able to find the information you need.)
SBA Loan Programs (called 7(a) Loans)
- Paycheck Protection Program (called the PPP – for businesses who will bring employees back to work if they have been laid off). Find more information below.
- EIDL Loan Advance (which may not have to be paid back) Find more information below.
- SBA Express Bridge Loans (for those who already borrow money from the SBA. Learn more.)
- SBA Debt Relief (for those who are already using SBA loans, the government will pay the principal and interest on those loans for a period of time. Learn more.)
EIDL Loan Advance: Most advocates who work independently, in practices with fewer than five people, will be interested in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (called EIDL) which is described on the SBA website here. Please note, these rules are temporary – different from typical EIDL, non-pandemic related loans.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) may be of interest if you have employees you would like to bring back to work. This program is administered through a bank in your state- which offers SBA loans. Here is more information on the SBA website.
Please note that some entities are NOT eligible for SBA loans: agricultural, religious, charitable, gambling, or casinos or racetracks. (OK – how many patient advocates and care managers are going to request a loan for a gambling, casino, or racetrack business? 😉 )
Things to know and look for:
There is no cost to apply. (If you find a place to apply that wants to charge you to do so, then you are not on the right website.)
Be sure you have the documentation each form of support requests. For example, don’t claim you are an independent contractor unless you have filed 1099s in the past to support that (they may be documented as part of a previous tax filing). You’ll also be asked for your business income tax filings (a schedule C for independent contractors will suffice), a profit-and-loss statement, and monthly sales figures.
The amount of the loan may vary depending on the number of employees you have, or if you are a sole proprietor or the only person who works in your practice.
According to the SBA website, their criteria for a loan are:
- Business located in the United States
- Credit History
- The ability to repay (even though some loans will not require repayment).
- Eligibility by location
- There are additional collateral requirements if the loan you request is more than $25,000.
Give yourself several hours to fill out the application. On the SBA website, it says it will take up to two hours and 10 minutes. (Other reports say it takes 15 minutes).
Be sure you understand exactly what you will need to do – and prove – if the program claims you may not have to pay it back. (Or, plan to pay it back if you can’t document sufficiently, as it requires.)
If you need help preparing any of the required paperwork, you can reach out to a number of SBA affiliated programs including:
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
- Women’s Business Centers (WBCs)
- Veteran’s Business Outreach Centers
- Chamber of Commerce in your area
Additional reading which may be helpful:
- Financial Help For Freelancers And Independent Contractors Affected By The Coronavirus Crisis (Forbes) #3 in this article is a step-by-step outline to filling out the EIDL application.
- Financial Relief for Independent Contractors During Coronavirus (NOLO) This is a list of many types of relief including tax deductions and retirement withdrawals.