Small businesses should take advantage of loans during pandemic, even if one isn't needed

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been given more than $300 billion to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, but experts say to file for it soon because they are still learning how long it will take to get it and who qualifies.

“It is important for small businesses to apply for the loan and get the loan because if you wait until you need it, the money may have run out and the application process and review may take longer than expecting," says Scott Roelofs, a chartered financial analyst with RCG Valuation.

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He shares tips on how to go about this process, saying the first step is applying at

It can take a few minutes to fill out the application online and add your routing numbers, he says.

“The SBA is offering programs to help businesses with small loans up to 2 million dollars and they are low interest rates and can be paid back over 30 years," he explained.

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The SBA is also offering $10,000 as an advance. He adds the IRS is also offering loans for small businesses.

"Even if you don’t think you are in trouble, even if you think you can make it through, these loans are for you," Roelofs says.

For some business owners, this might be a completely new process. Not everyone has applied for something like this or has sought assistance.

“There are programs available and people might have heard a little bit about them, but you need to dive in and apply for them right now, even if you have money to make payroll, the government is putting this out so you can make it theouth the next few months," he said.

And the uncertainty might be the worst part. There is no real timetable for how long this could last, which could be the hardest part.

“The main goal for the government and all of these programs is to keep people employed. If all of these people are let go, the government is going to have to help take care of them. The system works much better when people are employed," he said.

One major warning he has: Be aware of scams.

Roelofs advises and always go to websites ending in ".gov" to be safe.

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