November 13 2020

8,000+ Capital Region Businesses Received $442M in COVID-19 Disaster Assistance Loans

Amid the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, more than 8,000 of Capital Region businesses received more than $442 million1 in Economic Injury Disaster Assistance Loans (EDIL) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of new data from

The EIDL and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were the two main emergency funding sources that Capital Region businesses could tap into to help them weather COVID-19 and the lockdown of in-person, non-essential operations that began in mid-March. As CEG previously reported, more than 13,000 businesses and nonprofits in the eight counties received PPP loans.


Whereas the SBA’s declaration of New York State as a disaster area made Capital Region business eligible for loans under the EIDL program, provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act also made PPP loans an option for them, depending on their size and other factors. Because businesses were prohibited from using EIDL and PPP funds for the same purposes, many had to choose one or the other. To receive EDILs, businesses had to apply for them via the SBA’s website whereas applications for PPP went through approved lenders. Both types of loans could be used to pay payroll, rent, utilities, but the EDILs could also go toward accounts receivable and certain bills that could not be paid because of the disaster.

In the eight counties, nearly two thirds (61 percent) of the EDILs went to small businesses while more than a third (36 percent) went to individual/small business, such as independent contractors or sole proprietors and, 2 percent went to nonprofits. At 2,541, Albany County had the most loans, followed by Saratoga (1,646) and Schenectady counties (980).


EIDLs came with the option of a $1,000 to $10,000 advance that would not have to be repaid, even if their EDIL application was denied. Regionwide, 12,236 EDIL advances were issued, totaling $39.8 million2. Albany County led the region with 3,679 advances, followed by Saratoga (2,535) and Schenectady (1,568) counties. The EIDL advances were designed to provide businesses with an “interim but vital source of funds while applicants awaited a decision on their loan application,” according to the SBA. Some Capital Region businesses received both EDIL advances and PPP loans. In such cases, the amount of the advance would be deducted from the forgivable amount of the PPP loan.

CEG Activities

At the height of the pandemic last spring, both the Capital Region Chamber and its affiliate, CEG, advised businesses on EIDL and PPP loans. CEG has also supported Capital Region businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic by helping them meet workforce reduction mandates, pivot to make personal protection equipment and medical equipment, and prepare for the restart of the regional economy. CEG also awarded $200,000 from COVID-19 Emergency Fund to 41 Capital Region minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBS) and veteran-owned business enterprises (VBEs).


1 The EDIL data for emergency loans and grants is limited to those awarded under the  Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (Emergency Public Law 116-139), which authorized $50 billion for the EDIL program and $10 billion for emergency EDIL grants. Loan totals are the total of face value of loans, through mid-September.

2 Total of federal action obligation.

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