Small Businesses Face Deadline to Apply for COVID Era Relief Program |

If business owners need help completing the online application or have concerns about language or technology barriers, the San Diego and Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center offers free assistance.

Recently, the SBDC hosted a webinar on the EIDL Lending Program with a panel of six community lenders and what small business owners need to know about Connecting to Capital in the New Year. Here are three takeaways from local community lenders on how small businesses can prepare for 2022:

* Have a plan to take care of your grants and loans

Lenders say it’s best not only to have your finances in order when you go to a financial institution, but you should also be prepared to explain how the pandemic may have impacted your finances.

“When you come to talk to a banker, myself or a lender, prepare your income, your tax documents and know what they mean,” said Roxanne Rostamian, branch manager at Banner Bank in Escondido. “So if you have suffered any losses and it was related to COVID, be able to explain that and how things are going to be different in the future.”

* Find out how to keep capital on hand to be ready for the opportunity

In addition to making sure your finances are sorted out before the new year, lenders say it’s best to keep cash on hand so you’re ready to grab the opportunity. Fernando Ponce, regional business development manager at Primary Funding Corporation, said he noticed companies that were ready to reach out and access capital early in the pandemic had the capacity to thrive.

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