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If you’ve had trouble securing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds for your business, the Federal Reserve is offering an alternative through a low-interest loan program. It’s called the Main Street Lending Program, and it’s designed to support lending to small- and medium-sized businesses that have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New loans through the program have five-year terms with a minimum $250,000 loan size. The maximum loan size is the lesser of $35 million or four times the business’s 2019 adjusted EBITDA.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to be eligible, businesses must:

  • Have been established before March 13, 2020.
  • Meet the eligibility requirements of the SBA.
  • Have no more than 15,000 employees or 2019 annual revenues of no more than $5 billion according to SBA rules.
  • Have been created or organized in the U.S. with significant operations in and a majority of employees based in the U.S.
  • Not also be participating in another Main Street loan program (although receiving a PPP loan does not disqualify you).

Main Street loans are not forgivable (as PPP loans can be), but they are low interest. Nonprofits will soon have the option to participate as well, although guidance is still forthcoming. The U.S. Chamber offers a guide here and the Federal Reserve is updating the latest information about the program, including which lenders qualify here.

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