The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is accepting COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program applications through December 31, and strongly encourages eligible small businesses to submit Supplemental Targeted Advance applications by December 10 to ensure adequate processing time, as it may be unable to process some applications submitted near the December 31 deadline due to legal requirements.

The SBA will continue to process EIDL loan and Targeted Advance applications after December 31 until funds are exhausted, but it says it cannot continue to process Supplemental Targeted Advance applications after the end of 2021. Reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL applications received on or before December 31 will be accepted by the SBA if the reconsideration/appeal is received within the timeframes in the regulation. This means six months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals—unless funding is no longer available.

The SBA’s guidance also notes that borrowers can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two years after their loan origination date, or until the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

“The COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs still have billions of dollars available to help small businesses hard-hit by the pandemic,” says Patrick Kelley, associate administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. “More than 3.8 million businesses employing more than 20 million people have found financial relief through SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Key enhancements have been made to the loan program that will help our nation’s businesses recover and get back on track.”

Small-business owners, including nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for the EIDL program. It provides assistance to small businesses that may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Since its inception, the COVID EIDL program has approved nearly $300 billion in relief aid.

Introduced in April 2021, the Supplemental Targeted Advance program provides additional assistance to small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have been most severely affected by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The qualify for the $5,000 loans Supplemental Targeted Advance, an eligible business entity must be in a low-income community, suffered greater than 50 percent economic loss and have 10 or fewer employees.