As of March 26, 2020 – In response to the COVID-19 National Emergency, theSBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities affected by Presidentially-declared disasters while those small businesses apply for and await long-term financing (including through SBA’s direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, if eligible).The general eligibility requirements for the EBL are as follows:

  • For small businesses with an existing banking relationship with SBA Express lenders as of the date of the disaster.  Check Lender List
  • Effective March 25, 2020, (announcement by publication of a notice in the Federal Register will follow), SBA expanded program eligibility to include small businesses nationwide adversely impacted under the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Emergency Declaration issued by President Trump on March 13, 2020 (“COVID-19 Emergency Declaration”).
  • EBL loans can only be made by SBA Express Lenders that had a valid Supplemental Loan Guaranty Agreement SBA Express Program in effect as of the date of the applicable disaster;
  • EBL loans can only be made up to six months after the date of an applicable Presidential Disaster Declaration, however for the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, EBL loans can be approved through March 13, 2021.
  • The Lender must have an existing banking relationship with the EBL applicant as of the date of the applicable disaster in order to help mitigate the risks associated with the streamlined underwriting process under the EBL Pilot Program.
  • The small business must have been operational when the declared disaster commenced and must meet all other 7(a) loan eligibility requirements (credit elsewhere, size, etc.);
  • All EBL applications will begin with a screening for a FICO Small Business Scoring Service Score (SBSS Score) – The minimum acceptable SBSS Score for an EBL loan applicant is 130
  • Lender must obtain a personal credit score for each guarantor. The personal credit score(s) must be satisfactory under the Lender’s standards for its similarly-sized, non-SBA guaranteed commercial loans.
  • The EBL loan must be structured as term loans not to exceed 7 years (revolving lines of credit are not permitted).
  • The EBL Pilot Program follows the SBA Express interest rate policy, and SBA guaranty percentage is limited to the maximum guaranty percentage of 50% for SBA Express loans.
  • EBL loans cannot be sold in SBA’s secondary market, they’re subject to the same upfront guaranty fees required for 7(a) loans of similar size and maturity
  • Because the maximum amount of an EBL loan is $25,000, SBA Express Lenders are not required to take collateral for EBL loans
  • Lenders may charge an EBL applicant an application fee of 2 % of the loan amount or $250,whichever is greater.
  • Prior to any disbursement of EBL loan proceeds, Lender must submit a signed IRS Form 4506-T to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and obtain an IRS tax transcript for the EBL applicant business for the purpose of verifying the existence of the business as of the date the applicable disaster commenced and confirming that the EBL applicant has filed required tax returns

For more information on the EBL Program and eligibility requirements, please review the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program Guide and feel free to contact our lender relations team with any questions.

As of March 25, 2020 – The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program has been activated statewide. If you are considering applying for the SBA Disaster loan, we urge you to submit an application online right away. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and it costs nothing for you to apply. If you get approved, you do not need to take the loan. The most important thing right now is to submit an application ASAP because it normally takes 3-4 weeks to get funded without delays.Please visit the SBA’s Disaster guidance web page:    Applicants may apply online and download applications to mail in forms at: .Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information on SBA disaster assistance.  Call early, waiting times can be upwards of one hour at peak times. Individuals who need language assistance, need to call in and reach a customer service specialist in English first – then you are able to ask for an interpreter in other languages who will get conferenced-in. Our resource partners may also have staff/volunteers that speak other languages.Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Completed applications should be mailed to:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth, TX 76155Please review the resources we have gathered here and reach out to my office and the SBA Resource Partner Network (SCORE, Center for Women & Enterprise, Massachusetts Small Business Development Centers) if you have any questions. 

Please subscribe to SBA by clicking the image below and follow our Twitter handle for the latest updates: @SBA_MA
Warm regards, Bob Nelson
SBA Massachusetts District Director

Additional Links and Resources:

If you are ready to apply online and just need an aid to walk you through the questions, please review the STEP-BY-STEP PDF and the RECORDED WEBINAR below…PDF: Economic Injury Disaster Loan STEP-BY-STEP Application OverviewRECORDED WEBINAR: SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan OverviewHandout: SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the CoronavirusHandout: Asistencia de Desastre de la SBA en Respuesta al Coronavirus


RECORDED INTERVIEW: Bob Nelson on North Shore Conversations

Listen to District Director Robert Nelson on a recorded podcast with Laura Swanson Executive Director at the Enterprise Center at Salem State University talk about statewide activation of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.


How to Apply – SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Overview

View On-Demand


Boston Business Journal: SBA loans leave financing gap for COVID-battered businesses

Bloomberg: Stay-Home Decrees Crush Small Business, Erasing Millions of JobsNBC 10 Boston: Mass. Small Businesses Getting Creative With Ways to Stay Afloat


All Massachusetts non-essential businesses are to
cease in-person operations until April 7.

Examples of essential business types include:

  • Grocery / Convenience / Bodegas / Pharmacies  /  Laundromats 
  • Laundry Services / Gas Stations  /  Automotive Repair  / Moving & Storage
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, inspectors & others providing emergency services
  • Food Businesses including restaurants and food trucks

The state also issued guidelines to limit gatherings to 10 people during the state of emergency, a reduction from the 25 person limit established in an earlier order. Please consider using tape or something similar to mark 6 feet between customers in line (both to enter and to pay). Click here for a copy of the Emergency Order and click here for a copy of the Guidance of Assemblages.


  • Massachusetts announces small business tax relief
  • The U.S. Chamber has resources available to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.
  • The Greg Hill Foundation has teamed up with Samuel Adams to support those from the Massachusetts restaurant industry who have been impacted by the COVID-19 closures.
  • Rally for Restaurants is encouraging consumers to buy gift cards for local restaurants during the pandemic and they will donate $1 to organizations supporting the community through
  • The Boston Center for the Arts has partnered with the City of Boston to create a COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund to help artists impacted by pandemic.
  • The Boston Music Maker Relief Fund provides financial relief to music makers in the Boston area affected by lost revenue from gig cancellations resulting from public health concerns related to coronavirus.
  • Boston Singers’ Relief Fund is offering emergency relief for singers with gigs cancelled due to COVID-19.
  • For parents caring for children at home, the Boston Children’s Museum is offering free online resources for parents and caregivers to use at home during this time of social distancing. And the New England Aquarium also has online programming, and recently did a live-streamed feeding of Myrtle the Turtle.
  • The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network has compiled a list of resources, policy updates, and philanthropy/government-led relief efforts to aid nonprofits in responding to COVID-19. This list is updated daily.
  • MCRF, an arm of the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, is providing support to those on Cape Cod who have lost income and/or need food or medical supplies.
  • The CJP is launching the CJP Coronavirus Emergency Fund for the Jewish community with $100,000 from its crisis reserve fund, and has already received pledges hundreds of donors
  • Tufts Health Plan Foundation is making an additional $1 million available to efforts driven by community and to nonprofit organizations supporting older people affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut.
  • Lawyers for Civil Rights in Boston is activating its network of pro bono attorneys at more than 30 law firms, to provide free legal support to small businesses during the crisis.
  • Cambridge Local First has organized conference calls for local businesses and launched a petition urging the federal government to help Main Street businesses.
  • RIZE Massachusetts Foundation, a nonprofit foundation working to end the opioid epidemic in the state, has awarded nearly $200,000 in rapid response grants to support nonprofit organizations strained by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • New Balance Foundation has committed $2 million in nonprofit grants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support local, regional and global communities.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID Business Resources Page

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