Here’s a tip for small business owners trying to complete the Small Business Administration’s new COVID-19 Economic Disaster Loan Program online application: Use Google’s Chrome browser, not Safari.
Unfortunately, the SBA’s online COVID-19 loan form does not work properly with Apple’s browser.
In Safari, the multi-page app does not move to the next page for some mysterious reasons. The “Next” button at the bottom of the page remains grayed out regardless of the number of times you complete the relevant fields on the page. However, the online app works well in Chrome. (Mac Cult I haven’t tested it with other browsers.)
The SBA’s new Simplified COVID-19 Disaster Loan Form looks like too many online forms and websites not working properly in Safari. As a rule of thumb, if you’re having trouble filling out information in Safari, switch to Chrome. It often works.
Unfortunately, web developers often treat Safari like a second class citizen. Safari collects about 16% of web browser usage shares, according to StatCounter Global Stats. Meanwhile, Chrome – the internet’s most popular browser – commands about a 65% share.
SBA COVID-19 Disaster Loans
According to reports, the SBA is under siege with loan applications as small businesses scramble to survive during the coronavirus-fueled economic shutdown. While large companies like Apple face daunting challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses face existential threats.
Unsurprisingly, small business owners are flocking to the SBA’s COVID-19 loan program. But navigation is not always smooth. Waiting times for telephone help can take three hours or more. Many people complain online that they encounter random crashes and freezes during the online application process. Worse yet, problems often arise after they’ve spent hours filling in numbers and other details about their operations.
The SBA’s disaster loan assistance is part of the federal government’s emergency response to the COVID-19 disaster. Congress passed three stimulus bills to provide much-needed cash to America’s 30 million small businesses. The SBA’s Economic Disaster Lending (EIDL) isn’t new, but this is the first time a pandemic has been classified as a disaster, making U.S. businesses eligible.
SBA loans seem rather advantageous:
- Loans up to $ 2 million
- No loan fees or prepayment fees
- 30-year terms
- Interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profit organizations
- First month payments deferred for a full year
- No obligation to contract the loan
You can find more information on the SBA’s Disaster Assistance page.