With the SBA receiving additional funding last week for various small business programs, much of the focus has been on the Paycheck Protection Program loans.

However, the supplemental CARES Act funding will also make it possible soon to apply again for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) money, which includes a provision for small businesses to receive up to $10,000 in an emergency advance that doesn’t have to paid back. This has often been referred to as a “grant.”

Many small sellers on eBay, Etsy, and other marketplaces, as well as gig workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers can apply for this forgivable advance. However, they will be limited to $1,000.

As of this writing, the SBA site is not yet receiving additional EIDL applications, but you should check multiple times per day as the funds will run out fast again. Here is the link.

Editor’s Note: The information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge. This is not legal or otherwise professional advice.

The application and terms of the program may change. Please read all the information on the loan form before submitting it.

While suggested answers are provided below, they should only be given IF TRUE. These tips are meant to help you understand the purpose of some of the questions being asked.


Tips on How to Fill Out EIDL Application

  1. On the first question, make sure you are applying as an independent contractor or sole proprietorship.
  2. Applicants must use their social security number.
  3. The form will ask for your gross sales. There are two main ways to establish that number. You can take the amounts reported on 1099s, or you can use sales reports on marketplaces (if applicable) to enter your gross amount. Remember, to add up all the various income channels, but don’t double up on the number reported on a 1099 and a marketplace sales report.
  4. For “Cost of Goods,” add up all the expenses you incurred. For marketplace sellers that can include the cost of the product, listing fees, sales fees, shipping costs, etc. For rideshare or other gig workers, that includes all your expenses in providing the service. Use your 2019 data, even if you have not filed a tax return yet.
  5. Where it asks for ownership information, use your name and state you are 100 percent owner.
  6. When it asks for when the business was established (or when you started your gig job such as driving), enter the date and you may estimate the date, but make sure it was before January 31, 2020. Otherwise, you are not eligible.
  7. Where the form asks for the bank account to which you want the advance (or grant) grant money to be direct deposited, just add the name of your bank, the account number, and the routing number. You can get that information for your bank’s online portal or you can get from the bottom of your checks.Bank Routing Number
  8. When the form asks for a phone number, you can provide your cell or home phone number.
  9. When the form asks for “Is your business owned by a business entity?” your answer should be NO since you are applying as a sole proprietor or independent contractor.
  10. When the form asks for your business, just use your name unless you have registered a business name that you use on a business license, state license, or made a fictitious name registration with a local or state agency.
  11. When the form asks if you received assistance with this form, your answer should be NO (this post is not assistance or legal advice for the application). However, if someone helped you with filling out the actual form, then you need to provide the information requested.
  12. The last part is you want to make sure you check the box that requests the $10,000 advance. Although, as an independent contractor you will only be eligible for $1,000, that is still what you must request on the form to receive the $1,000.

Here is a link to see the actual SBA application once it will go live again (As of March 2020).

This is a good time to review the information so that you can have the details ready that are needed to complete the applications. It should take most people about 15 minutes to complete it.

Additional Tips

  • On the first round of EIDL applications, it took a few weeks to get paid. It is believed this may be faster now. You will not get a notification, so check your bank account regularly.
  • While you are applying for an EIDL loan, you do not have to accept it.
  • The advance (or grant) does not have to be paid back and is not tied to your acceptance of an EIDL loan.
  • This application is direct with the SBA, you do not work with a bank for this application. You just need a bank account for the SBA to transfer the money in to.
  • Question by phone: SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955
  • Question by email: [email protected]

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