Another source of funding for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak has run out. On Saturday, July 11, The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advancement Program (EIDL), reached its funding limit of $20 million. This program offered almost six million businesses up to $10,000 in emergency grants. The end of this funding option has left many wondering what their options are.  

Payment Protection (PPP) Loans, another notable source of government funding, are still available. These low-interest loans could be turned into grants if companies spent the money on payroll costs. However, even this program may not be enough to help the small businesses that need funding. More than half of receivers have already spent all of their loan money, and of those who applied for a PPP Loan, 46 percent expect to need more support within the next year. 

While there could be more government funding in the future, there is no telling how long it will take for a new bill. So, where can Metro Atlanta-based small businesses look for funding in the meantime? 

Check out these funding options for small business owners in Metro Atlanta. 

Business Continuity Loan Fund – Invest Atlanta 

In late March, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council approved the use of $1.5 million to offer zero-interest loans to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. In a little over two weeks, the program exhausted all funds. Nevertheless, Invest Atlanta is currently working with various partners to restart the program. Visit the program website to sign up for updates on when funding will again be available. 

COVID-19 Business for All Grants – Hello Alice

AI-powered virtual accelerator, Hello Alice, is teaming up with Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, eBay, and other companies to offer $10,000 emergency grants to small business owners. These grants are meant to provide quick and immediate relief to companies severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They are currently accepting applications for a new cycle. Visit the website for more information about eligibility and deadlines. 

Dekalb County Community Development Small Business Loan Program – Dekalb County and ACE

Dekalb County is offering market-rate fixed asset loans to companies who have either been in business for two years or start-up owners that can show how their business will create new jobs in the county. Eligible applicants can apply for loans between $15,000 and $35,000 with interest rates that will not rise above five percent. Loan terms will depend on the needs of the business, and companies must have a credit score of at least 560. Loans can be used on equipment, business real estate, inventory, engineering, financial and technical assistance, business legal expertise, and various other uses. 

Fulton County Emergency Loan Program – Fulton County and ACE 

In partnership with ACE, Fulton County is providing emergency loans to businesses located in the county—excluding Atlanta. Companies that have lost consumer revenue, and have experienced disruption are allowed to apply. Applicants can apply for loans up to $50,000, with interest rates of four percent. To be eligible, business owners will have had to be in business for two years. 

Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund – The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta and the United Way 

For-profit businesses haven’t been the only entities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Nonprofits are also seeing fewer donations and funding. The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta and the United Way have partnered to establish a grant to offer resources and funding to nonprofit organizations providing services to children, families, and individuals impacted by COVID-19. To date, the fund has awarded $17.3 million in grants to over 300 organizations. While the program is not currently accepting applications, the next found of funding will begin in August 2020. 

Gwinnett County Small Business Assistance – Gwinnett County and ACE 

Gwinnett County is providing $20 million in grants and loans with funds provided by the CARES Act. Businesses can apply for a $75,000 grant or loans between $50,000 and $200,000. This $75,000 is originally a loan but is forgiven as a grant if the funds are used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, inventory, or other COVID-19 related expenses. For more information about the loan and grant applications, including eligibility and loan terms, visit the link above. 

Small Business Relief Grants – Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC)

LISC is a social enterprise, and nonprofit that connects people and local organizations with public and private resources. Developed by the Ford Foundation in 1979, this organization joined forces with Lowe’s, Synchrony, and Truist to offer small business relief grants to businesses experiencing economic pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants must only apply for one company, and entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses will be given priority. The next round of applications will be accepted starting July 27. 

There Are Still Funding Opportunities for Your Metro Atlanta-Based Small Business

Even though EIDL funding opportunities may be drying up, the funding initiatives above show that there are still ways to find fast money for your business. In addition to these programs, The PPP Loans have been extended with a new deadline of August 8, 2020. Additionally, the SBA’s Debt Relief Fund is still operational. These are challenging times, but there are still ways for your Metro Atlanta-based business to get the funding it needs to move through this outbreak.  


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