SBA coronavirus loan portal puts thousands of businesses’ information at risk

Impacted individuals have been notified by the government agency and will be eligible for free credit monitoring

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Thousands of financially strapped small businesses applying for government loans may have had their data exposed during the process.

The Small Business Administration confirmed to FOX Business on Tuesday that there was a glitch that may have left some businesses vulnerable.

“Personal identifiable information of a limited number of Economic Injury Disaster Loan applicants was potentially exposed to other applicants on SBA’s loan application site,” a spokesperson for the SBA said in a statement. “We immediately disabled the impacted portion of the website, addressed the issue, and relaunched the application portal.”

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Impacted individuals have been notified by the government agency and will be eligible for free credit monitoring.

More than 7,900 businesses were potentially affected.

The news was first reported by CNBC on Tuesday.

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In order to qualify for an SBA economic injury disaster loan, a business must prove substantial economic injury – that it is unable to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. The point of the loan is to help a business ride out a disaster period until normal operations can resume. It applies to situations where there is no physical damage.

Businesses can secure up to $2 million, but loan amounts will be based on an assessment of actual economic injury.

As of Tuesday, the SBA had approved 26,000 loans worth nearly $5.6 billion through the economic injury disaster program. Additionally, approved advances totaled more than $3.2 billion.

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Meanwhile, lawmakers were expected to be closing in on a finalized agreement to replenish funds for the Paycheck Protection Program after the initial $350 billion ran out last week. Congress said it had reached an interim agreement Tuesday.

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