My experience with the CARES Act was frustrating, confusing and unfair 1

As a small business owner, I was excited to learn about the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that offers low-interest loans to firms impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as I read through the details and began to apply, it became clear that this legislation — while well-intentioned — may not be enough to help many SMBs and startups.

Here’s a quick recap of my experience.

Emergency Economic Injury Grants and Economic Injury Disaster Loans

First and foremost: You need to act swiftly. Emergency Economic Injury Grant and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs included in the CARES Act function on a first-come, first-served basis, and are funded from a limited pool of resources.

I began my company’s application process by submitting our EIDL and EEIG applications through the SBA website. This was easy, if tedious. It took about two hours to complete the necessary online forms and about two seconds to click the EEIG checkbox. Submission was seamless, but I haven’t received any further communication from the SBA since completing my application, which is a bit confusing — EEIG funds are supposed to be dispersed within 3-5 days of the submission date.

However, I know there’s been a huge volume of submissions recently and this must be exceptionally difficult to handle. I look forward to any email correspondence or updates from the SBA that might give me — and other applicants — an updated estimate of the expected dispersal timeline.

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