SBA’s Herbert Austin provides insight on COVID-19 loan program

Herbert Austin is the district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Dallas/Fort Worth office, covering 72 counties of north, central and east Texas.

As director, he is responsible for the management and delivery of SBA programs and services, which includes oversight of SBA resources – Small Business Development Centers and SCORE Chapters. [The SCORE Association Development Centers and SCORE Chapters. [The SCORE Association “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is a nonprofit association comprised of 13,000-plus volunteer business counselors volunteer business counselors throughout the United States and its territories].

The Dallas/Fort Worth district office works with about 200 participating lenders to 22%provide access to capital to the small business community. The district covers 22% The district covers 22% of the land area of Texas, 36.3% of the population and an estimated 800,000 small businesses.

Austin is a 32-year SBA veteran who has been in the Dallas/Fort Worth office since 2008. Here, he gives an update on fund availability for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. EIDL is federal small business loan program that supports small businesses’ recovery from the COVID-19 disaster’s economic impacts by providing accessible and borrower-friendly capital.

SBA is authorized to make COVID EIDL loans through Dec. 31, 2021, or when funds are exhausted, whichever occurs sooner.

Q. What are the minimum and maximum loan dollar amounts?

A. There is no minimum loan amount, but the maximum is $2 million. SBA began

approving loans greater than $500,000 in October.

Q. How successful has SBA been at getting EIDL loan funds to small businesses?

A. If you qualify, it is not so difficult to get funded. Of course, there is a process,

and that can take some time from application approval to funds in your account.

To date, nearly 4 million applications have been approved and funded.

Q. How successful have minority businesses been at getting funding approval?

A. If you meet the requirements, your application will be looked at the same way

as others, whether you are a minority, veteran, woman or Anglo.

We have a serious credit problem in our communities and, to qualify, you need to

meet first the credit requirement: a 570 FICO score or more.

Many minority firms get denied because of their FICO scores. However, if they can overcome this, they can request a reconsideration.

Q. What specifically can the EIDL funds be used for?

A. Funds can be used to meet normal operating expenses and working capital,

prepay or pay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt,

rent, cost of goods sold and payroll.

Q. What is the best way to apply for the EIDL funding?

A. There is only one way. Go to the portal at

Q. If funds are still available, is there a deadline for making an application?

A. There are lots of funds still available. The deadline to apply is

Dec. 31, 2021. SBA will continue to process loans that are in the house by Dec. 31.

To learn more about EIDL loans, visit

To apply for an EIDL loan, visit

For more information, contact Austin at (817)684-5502 or


Herbert Austin SBA COVID EIDL Minority Business communities Minority Women Communities Small Business Administration

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