Atlanta MBDA Business Center Launches CARES Act Assistance Program

ATLANTA– Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Centers have responded to hundreds of requests for assistance with funding, opportunities, and disaster recovery and resilience.

The staff fielded more than 500 calls on a variety of questions and concerns related to COVID-19, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the economy, and the future of the business community. Our finance specialists have helped dozens of companies secure CARES Act funding.

The Atlanta MBDA Business Center has been awarded funding from the CARES Act to provide unique assistance and programming while leveraging the expertise of the business programs in the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute.  The MBDA Business Center CARES Act Assistance Program will provide training and technical assistance in health and safety and cybersecurity, compliance to the Paycheck Protection Program, funding identification, and pivoting strategies. 

“We are pleased to receive this additional funding from the MBDA through the CARES Act,” says Project Director Donna Ennis, C.P.F.  “It gives us the opportunity to focus on the specific needs of our small and minority business community during these challenging times.”

The Atlanta MBDA Centers will partner with various Georgia Tech programs and organizations including the Georgia Tech Safety, Health, and Environmental Services (SHES) group. These partnerships will grant MBEs easy access to free and discounted resources while ensuring the MBE community continues to survive and thrive. In addition, the MBDA Business Center CARES Act Assistance Program will conduct listening sessions and roundtables with small and minority-owned businesses to determine needs, challenges and solutions that will ensure our companies succeed post-COVID-19.

The CARES Act is a law intended to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. As a two trillion dollar relief package, the CARES Act provides various economic relief to communities, taxpayers, and businesses including direct payments to eligible taxpayers, expanded lending for businesses and local governments, expanded unemployment insurance and new loans and grants for small businesses. 

SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses Affected by the Pandemic Launches

The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years.

The U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza launched the Paycheck Protection Program, a $349 billion emergency loan program created last week with the President’s signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The program provides forgivable loans up to $10 million to small businesses left financially distressed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The loans, which will be administered at the local level by a national network of banks and credit unions, are designed to maintain the viability of millions of small businesses struggling to meet payroll and day-to-day operating expenses.

Read the full press release.

The loans, which are 100% backed by SBA, are being provided to small businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, SBA fees, or credit elsewhere tests.

Those eligible for the program include small businesses, certain non-profits, veterans’ organizations, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and other businesses meeting size standards based on their North American Industry Classification System code.

The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years.