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Managing during a crisis is no easy task. Surviving COVID-19 has become the sole mission of many small businesses. 

Despite the unique aspects of COVID-19 I have learned there are commonalities among small business owners who are wading through this pandemic. They are resourceful and resilient.

To help entrepreneurs, the SBA’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office has been hard at work encouraging residents to support local small businesses while informing those same businesses about SBA resources during the COVID-19 crisis.

The district staff and I have participated in news reports, webinars, and congressional town hall meetings, providing advice and guidance to the more than 180,000 small business owners in the LRGV District. We have also fielded thousands of phone calls and emails, specifically guiding small business owners, lenders and resource partners on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program application process.

Signed into law on March 27th and executed on April 3rd appropriations for the Paycheck Protection Program were exhausted by April 17th. It’s unbelievable, SBA and lending partners processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days, which helped protect many jobs.

According to recent data, SBA approved nearly 135,000 PPP loans totaling almost $28.5 Billion in Texas. I’m so proud of our district’s community lenders. Many of them truly stepped up to support small businesses even though they were new to SBA programs.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin have urged Congress to support additional PPP funding.

In the meantime, I encourage small businesses to prepare for the possibility of increased funding for PPP. Take time to contact your lender to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program, the documents needed as well as connect with SBA resource partners such as SCORE and the Small Business Development Centers to discuss future opportunities.

I also encourage folks to look at other temporary programs established by the CARES Act to include SBA Express Bridge Loans which enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. And, SBA Debt Relief, a program that automatically pays the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and micro-loans for a period of six months. On new 7(a), 504, and micro-loans issued prior to September 27, 2020, the SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees.

Finally, if you have a current SBA Disaster (Home or Business) Loan from a previous disaster, SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.

Let’s remember perseverance is power! The SBA’s Lower Rio Grande Valley District is here to serve our resourceful and resilient small businesses. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or call mobile 956-793-0224.  Go to www.sba.gov/coronavirus for the most updated information on our COVID-19 funding options.

Onward,

Angela R. Burton        
District Director
Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office
2422 E. Tyler Ave., Suite E
Harlingen, Texas 78550
U.S. Small Business Administration 
Office (956) 427-8533 ext. 231
Cell (956) 793-0224
[email protected]


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