COVID-19 Relief Loan Product – Accion serving Southern California

UPDATE (7/1/2020): In addition to our COVID-19 relief program described below, Accion has restarted our regular  small business lending program offering term loans from $300-$100,000 to serve business owners with funding needs outside of COVID-19 relief efforts. Please feel free to fill out this contact us page so we can connect with you via phone to see if you qualify.


Since 1994, the mission of Accion has been to provide economic opportunity for primarily low-to-moderate income business owners who lack access to traditional sources of credit. Through business loans and support services, Accion strengthens the foundations of emerging entrepreneurs and helps them to thrive in their communities, creating positive social and economic change.


Accion serving Southern California is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on small businesses by offering low-interest relief loans and support services. See below for more information.

Product Details

  • From $5,500 to $50,000 term loans for COVID-19 impact relief
  • Low, fixed interest rate with a max of 3.99%*
  • No payments for the first 6 months
  • Terms up to 60 months, including the 6-month deferral
  • Administrative fees waived (State Guaranty fee financed with the loan)
  • Serving San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties


*(1% interest for businesses located in unincorporated areas of San Diego County through the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program)

Accion COVID-19 Relief Loan Eligibility Requirements

  • Business must be located in our COVID-19 relief loan service area listed above
  • Must have a current source of income (i.e. business, job, unemployment, spousal income)
  • Business must have been in operation prior to August 1, 2019
  • Must be current with credit report
  • No bankruptcy discharged within the past 12 months
  • No active business loans with daily or weekly payments
  • Must have less than 50 employees


Click on the APPLY FOR A LOAN BUTTON on the right-hand corner of this page to get the process started by filling out a short contact form.


If you are eligible to apply based on your business zip code, we will send you an email inviting you to fill out a loan application.



*If you have questions regarding your eligibility, fill out the Contact Us form.


If you do not meet the minimum requirements above, Accion is still committed to helping your small business access support during this challenging time with the resources we have compiled on this page. We also recommend visiting the California Association of Micro-Enterprise Organization’s list of other lending institutions in your area. Select “Yes” for Microlender.

How to Prepare

  • Once we receive your application and you pass the credit check, we will request the following documents. Please have them ready so that we can process your loan request as quickly as possible.
  • Driver’s License or Government issued Photo ID (e.g. Passport)
  • Access to 3 Most Recent Personal Bank Statements (see note below)
  • Access to 3 Most Recent Business Bank Statements (see note below)
  • Most Recent Business Tax Return (if 2019 isn’t available, 2018 Business Tax Return is acceptable with 2019 Financial Statements (Balance Sheet & Profit & Loss Statement))
  • Most Recent Personal Tax Return
  • COVID-19 Impact and Recovery Plan (Accion form will be provided)
  • Bank account information for loan funds disbursal (Form provided by Accion for direct deposit and 1st page of bank statement for account verification – account name must match business legal name)


Please Note: To make this process fast and efficient, we will request access to your bank account transactions using a secure portal. If you are not currently enrolled in online banking for your business and personal bank accounts, or if you do not remember your username and password to your online accounts, we will refer your application to our partner, the Small Business Development Center, for assistance with loan packaging and collecting the required documents to complete your loan file (including your bank statements).


*The 1% loan product for the unincorporated area of San Diego County is funded through The San Diego County Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program.

1) How long will the process take?

Once you are invited to apply, the online application takes approximately 15 minutes. We will review your credit report and if you qualify, will request the required documents to complete your loan file within 48 hours of receiving a complete application. Once your documents have all been submitted, it will take 1 week or less to get a final decision on your loan request.


Please note: the stage that takes the longest is when we are waiting to receive all the required documents from you. To expedite this process, please gather your documents in advance or as promptly as possible once requested.

2) How much can I apply for?

Accion’s COVID-19 relief business loans range from $5,500 to $50,000 and are approved based on multiple variables, while also considering the economic impact of COVID-19 on your business. Our loan application will ask you to enter a loan amount range including ideal loan request and minimum loan size requested so that we can ensure that you will receive enough capital, if approved.


3) If my business is currently closed due to mandatory restrictions, may I still apply?

Yes, you may still apply. We will ask you to complete a form called the COVID-19 Impact and Recovery Plan in which you can share with us ways in which you continue to generate income despite your business being currently closed. Businesses that continue to generate revenue, albeit less than when open full-time, are stronger loan candidates.

4) Do you require collateral?

No, we do not require collateral for our COVID-19 relief business loans.

5) Am I eligible even if my business is not profitable yet?

The business must show profitability in the 2019 business tax return or 2019 year-end financial statements in order to demonstrate loan repayment ability.

6) What if we already received assistance from other sources?

Grant assistance is acceptable along with anyone who has received funding from the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Anyone who has secured financing from alternative lenders and are paying daily or weekly payments (or paying an APR of 30% or more) is not eligible for an Accion relief loan.

7) Do my business partners have to fill out an application as well?

Anyone with 20% or more ownership in the business must apply. The first owner to fill out the application can list their partners and an email will be sent to them inviting them to apply. We do not consider a loan application as complete until all partners have applied.


Please note: the co-borrower application is abbreviated and should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

8) Is there a prepayment penalty?

Accion does not charge prepayment penalties for paying the loan off before the term ends.

9) What is the minimum credit score?

The minimum credit score is 580, and we require that applicants are current on their credit report in order to qualify.

10) How will this loan affect my credit report?

The Accion COVID-19 relief loan is a business term loan that will be reported on your personal credit report as a business loan that is personally guaranteed. That means that the business owner(s) are personally responsible to repay the loan even if the business cannot.

11) Who should I contact for questions throughout the process?

If you have questions before you apply, please fill out the Contact Us form on this page. If you have questions after you apply, you will receive emails from your dedicated loan processor and underwriter and can direct questions to them.


Please note: Due to the high volume of loan requests and our staff team working remotely, email is the best way to connect with Accion during this time. We will do our best to reply to your email within 24-48 business hours.

12) If I am approved for a loan, how will I sign the loan documents and receive my funds if your office is closed?

When a loan is approved, our loan documents will be emailed to be signed electronically. Once the loan documents are fully signed, the loan funds will be directly deposited into your business bank account.


If you have questions, please fill out this CONTACT US form and we will contact you via phone.

13) I currently have an Accion loan outstanding, can I still apply for a COVID-19 relief loan with you?
  • Must be in business a minimum of 7 months
  • Total of new loan + outstanding balance on active loan cannot exceed $50,000
    • If you have a $30,000 balance on your existing loan, the COVID-19 loan request cannot exceed $20,000.
  • Existing Accion loan may be currently restructured but the loan must have been current prior to the restructure
    • Accion has offered payment assistance in the form of restructured payments to existing clients impacted by COVID-19
  • Must have enough cash flow to cover current loan’s regular payment (if restructured) and new loan payment
    • If the existing loan has a monthly payment of $250 but is currently restructured at $125, client must show they can afford to pay $250 + the new loan’s monthly payment
14) Can my spouse and I both apply for a COVID-19 relief loan for both of our businesses?

We can only approve one loan per household.