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Following Push from Shaheen & Hassan, U.S. Small Business Administration Extends EIDL Loan Deferment Period to Help Small Businesses Stay Afloat

**Last week, Shaheen & Hassan sent a letter to SBA Administrator Guzman urging the extension of the EIDL repayment period to recognize the financial fallout & uncertainty facing small businesses** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today applauded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s decision to extend the repayment deferment period for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) by six months. This follows a push from the Senators last week to SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman to allow small businesses in New Hampshire and across the nation to have more time to pay off these loans given the lingering economic consequences from the pandemic facing the small business community.

“I’m thrilled the Small Business Administration heeded my calls to provide relief to small businesses across New Hampshire and the nation by giving them more time to pay off economic injury disaster loans,” said Shaheen. “These loans have been a lifeline for small businesses to keep their doors open and weather the financial crisis caused by the pandemic. Though we’re seeing strong signs of economic recovery, we’re still not in the clear – more time is needed for struggling businesses to recover lost income and resume normal operations. I fought to strengthen the EIDL program through COVID relief negotiations, and I’ll continue advocating for our small business community as we work to put this pandemic behind us.”

"This is much-welcomed news for New Hampshire small businesses. We might be on the other side of the pandemic, but our economy is still recovering – small businesses need more time before having to pay off their economic injury disaster loans," said Hassan. "I'm pleased that the Small Business Administration listened to our call and extended the deferment period. During a critical time, these loans provided incredible support to New Hampshire's small businesses, and I look forward to continuing to work directly with small business owners to support their growth."

SBA EIDLs are low-interest loans available to eligible small businesses. EIDLs provide eligible small businesses a loan up to $2 million, with a repayment term of up to 30 years. The loans can be used to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses. COVID-19-related EIDLs have an interest rate of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits and initially had an automatic one-year deferment on repayment, but on March 16, 2021, the SBA announced that they would extend the deferment period for a second year.

Shaheen worked to provide small businesses with the resources they need to weather and recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She helped lead negotiations on provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law in 2020 to assist small businesses, which established the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. More than 41,000 New Hampshire small businesses and non-profits received over $3.7 billion in PPP assistance. In the COVID-19 relief signed into law in December 2020, she helped secure $20 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) emergency grant program and $3.5 billion to extend the Debt Relief Program established under the CARES Act, which covers payment of principal, interest and fees on all pre-existing and new Small Business Administration (SBA)-backed loans.

­­Hassan is working across the aisle to ensure that small businesses have the support that they need, and recently led her colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act to reinstate critical tax relief for businesses in New Hampshire and across the country. She also successfully worked with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) to include bipartisan legislation in the funding bill that passed into law in 2020 to allow eligible small employers to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit. Additionally, thanks to efforts by Senator Hassan, the American Rescue Plan provided payroll assistance through the Employee Retention Tax Credit to new small businesses started during the pandemic, which at the time could not access this tax relief. The American Rescue Plan also expanded the Employee Retention Tax Credit in order to further support businesses hardest hit by the pandemic following bipartisan calls led by Senator Hassan.