What to Do if EIDL Payments Become Due

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By: Raj Tulshan, Founder of Loan Mantra

Restaurants, bars and other businesses within the hospitality industry were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, restaurant industry sales in 2021 were down a staggering $65 billion from 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. During shut-downs, quarantines, social distancing and other pandemic-related disruptions, many hospitality businesses struggled or shut down, including 90,000 restaurant locations that temporarily or permanently closed because of COVID.

  During the pandemic, bars were forced to reduce capacity limits, negatively impacting their profitability. Reopening after quarantine was expensive, requiring costly adaptations, including air filtration systems, plexiglass dividers, equipment for touchless transactions, cleaning and sanitation supplies and personal protective equipment for staff.

  Hospitality businesses – like companies across many industries – also struggled with employee shortages, supply chain issues and soaring inflation.

  This “perfect storm” of unprecedented challenges led four million small businesses to take out $390 billion in loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The EIDL was part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and US Treasury as an expanded part of The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act.

  Although the loan payments were deferred for two years, they’ve still been accruing interest until the first EIDL payment was due.

  Many small business owners have questions and concerns about the repayment process. The timing is not ideal, as many businesses – including restaurants, bars, hotels, and other hospitality venues – need funds to prepare for holiday sales and events.

If you took out an EIDL loan, here are some valuable tips to act:

      Contact:  Business owners can contact their local district legislators by calling, e-mailing, or writing letters to express concern. Loanmantra.com has put together a tool kit with:

        A sample form letter, an e-mail draft, a phone script and phone numbers to save time. Unsure of who a district representative may be? Find them here.

      Share:  There’s strength in numbers, so share this message with other businesses, business networks, chambers of commerce, businesses in the same area, associations and like groups.

      Reach out: Talk to people every day for the “sphere of influence” to gain community support.

      Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help when and where it’s needed.

Also, here are some valuable repayment tips:

      The loans won’t be forgiven:  Unlike the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), EIDL loans won’t be forgiven and need to be repaid. All Economic Injury Disaster Loan recipients received an email from The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) with the subject line: Important EIDL Reminder, which contains important information regarding your EIDL account setup and payment.

      Set up a repayment schedule:  Payments were deferred for the first two years, during which, interest accrued. Now, business owners must start making their monthly payments on their due date, which is determined by the “Effective Date” noted on your business’s promissory note.

        Another payment can seem overwhelming stressful given inflation, staffing and supply-related pressures. Don’t look at the big picture. Instead, think about the incremental payments today as steps in the right direction. Set a calendar reminder or appointment to make this payment every month so you will stay ahead of schedule.

      EIDL loans must be paid via a special platform: There are two separate platforms you will need to access your loan information and pay your loan balance.

        First, Capital Access Financial System (CAFS) maintains your EIDL & PPP loan information. This includes your original balance, interest, accrued interest balance, etc. To obtain the EIDL loan information for your business, please select ‘EIDL’ and then ‘borrower search’ from the menu options. When registering on the CAFS website, carefully follow each step. There is no room for error when using this system, so be thorough and accurate when inputting your information.

        Secondly, pay.gov allows businesses to input their bank information and to set up recurring payments online. Inside your profile, choose ‘Make an SBA 1201 Borrower Payment’ as the menu option. While registering on pay.gov may be simpler than registering on CAFS, it is not easy to change bank account information after you begin your loan payments.

      Use the right number:  Keep in mind that your SBA loan number is different than your EIDL loan number. This information can be found on the top of the second page of the promissory note.

      EIDL loans accrued interest:  Many business owners received their first EIDL loan in early 2020 and a second EIDL loan in 2021. For many borrowers, that means interest has been accruing for more than 24 months, with additional interest accruing for more than 16 months. Borrowers are responsible for paying back the loan plus all accrued interest.

      This type of loan program has ended:  The COVID-19 EIDL program is not accepting new applications, increase requests, or reconsideration.

  Business owners should focus on what they do best: Run the business and do it well. That’s why Loan Mantra is providing advocacy tools for business owners on  loanmantra.com so they can be empowered to take action and have the latest information to make the best decisions.

  Small businesses have been the backbone of the US economy and deserve fair economic terms and transparency. Loan Mantra is here as a resource to serve companies of all sizes and types during both good and turbulent times.

About the Author

Neeraj (Raj) Tulshan is the Founder and Managing Member of Loan Mantra, a financial advisory firm with best-in-class and proprietary fintech, BLUE (“Borrower Lender Underwriting Environment”). Loan Mantra, Powered by BLUE, is next-level finance: a one-stop-shop for business borrowers to secure traditional, SBA or MCA financing from trusted lenders in a secure, collaborative, and transparent platform. Clients turn to Raj because they know he will always pick up the phone and offer unparalleled financial counsel in a remarkably human—even friendly—way.

About Loan Mantra

  Small business owners identify two obstacles to their success: access to capital and financial education. Loan Mantra removes these hurdles so business owners can spend more time actually building their business.

For more information visit their website…www.loanmantra.com

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