Staggering? How much will the US Government make back from small businesses as part of their Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program?  

By Thomas W. Tramaglini, BRP Onesta

When the global pandemic hit the United States, it hit businesses hard as millions of businesses were forced to close their doors.  To combat the pandemic, quickly the US government began massive funding of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and other EIDL grant programs.  To small businesses, the EIDL was a great option as it is a 30-year fixed loan at 3.75%. with monthly payments.  One of our clients described the loan as “pretty much the cheapest money you could borrow.”

For a better description of the recent changes and updates of EIDL, The Journal of Accountancy has a great article here:

However, when fully repaid in 31 or so years (2051), how much will the government make on the EIDL program in interest?

The number is staggering – these are my simple but quick calculations… So far (as of 12/15/2021) there have been 3,859,280 EIDLs approved for a total amount of $312,406,166,938.  If you do the math, the government will make back nearly $12 Billion ($11,715,231,260.175) on EIDL Program. 

The Government Will Make Back $12 Billion from Small Business Owners

However staggering making $12 Billion off of the American small businesses seems, it is a drop in the bucket considering the government has forgiven nearly $800 Billion.

Only time will tell whether or not the program was or was not successful.

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More data can be found here:

PPP… EIDL… Was it enough?  Our clients said NO but SBA contends that there are Billions remaining? 

Are you eligible for what is remaining?  Still want to apply?  Time may be running out.

By Thomas W. Tramaglini,
BRP Onesta

We recently polled over 1,400 BRP Onesta clients who own one
or more small businesses.  Of the
responses we received, most (84.2%) were thankful of the PPP and EIDL programs,
and many (68.3%) said it was not enough.   

Perhaps the biggest recent barrier identified has been the
expansion of the EIDL loan – on our count, of the 1,487 business owners we received
results from, 1,299 said they had requested more funding as per the guidance of
the SBA and to date, 97.1% of our clients said they were either declined for
more funds, been told they needed to provide more documents, or that their
applications have been processing for months.
To date, only 2.9% of our clients have received additional EIDL funds.

What was successful?

The PPP program was certainly a move in the right direction

Since the beginning of the pandemic, small business owners
have taken advantage of several programs to help them get through the COVID-19
pandemic. For instance, as of December 20, 2021 there were 11,453,936
applications received by the Small Business Administration (SBA
Data Report
) for funding under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Of
the over 11 million applications, over 79% of the applications were approved
amounting to funding of $791,420,024,727. To date, $662,273,930,930 of PPP
funds have been forgiven (83.6%) meaning the small business does not have to
return the funds which they borrowed. The majority of business owners who we
have spoken to say the funds were the right help at the right time. While there
were major hiccups in PPP funding along the way, clearly it has made a

However, many small businesses felt that the original first
and second draw PPP funds were not enough.
Many businesses did not get funded before the money ran out.  For instance, our company helped get our
clients more than $40MM of PPP funding but we still had over 100 clients who
were waiting in the queue within banks or the SBA because of wrong codes, poor
loan execution by the fintechs or banks, or some other unforeseen issue. In
some cases, our clients had to close their doors because they lacked the
capital needed for sustaining their business’.

So, what will 2022 bring?
The answer is… Who knows?  Last week,
the JP Morgan Chase CEO said that the pandemic would end in 2022.  Towards the end of 2020 and the earlier this
year we anxiously awaited the next round of Stimulus funding, which President Trump
signed into law and later President Biden took to funding to the next level
with a larger bill (American Rescue Plan).

However, still to date, many small business owners say that
it was just not enough.

What other types of funding are available?  According to the SBA…

o    EIDL loan
and Targeted Advance applications
 will be accepted until December 31
and will continue to be processed after this date until funds are exhausted.

o    Supplemental
Targeted Advance applications
 will be accepted until December 31;
however, the SBA may be unable to process some Supplemental Targeted Advance
applications submitted near the December 31 deadline due to legal requirements.
The SBA cannot continue to process Supplemental Targeted Advance applications
after December 31 and strongly encourages eligible small businesses to apply by
December 10 to ensure adequate processing time.

o    Borrowers
can request increases up to their maximum eligible loan amount for up to two
years after their loan origination date
, or until the funds are exhausted,
whichever is soonest.

o    The SBA
will accept and review reconsideration and appeal requests for COVID EIDL
applications received on or before December 31
the reconsideration/appeal is received within the timeframes in the regulation.
This means six months from the date of decline for reconsiderations and 30 days
from the date of reconsideration decline for appeals – unless funding is no
longer available.

What is still available?

“The COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL
Advance programs still have billions of dollars available to help small
businesses hard hit by the pandemic. More than 3.8 million businesses employing
more than 20 million people have found financial relief through SBA’s Economic
Injury Disaster Loans,” said Patrick Kelley, Associate Administrator
for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. 
“Key enhancements have been made
to the loan program that will help our nation’s businesses recover and get back
on track.”

In September, Administrator Guzman announced major enhancements to the COVID
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Key changes announced included:

o    Increased
The SBA lifted the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2
million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working
capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying off debt.

o    Implementation
of a Deferred Payment Period.
 The SBA will ensure small business
owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan
origination so that they can get through the pandemic without having to worry
about making ends meet.

o    Establishment
of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window.
 To ensure Main Street businesses have
additional time to access these funds, the SBA implemented a 30-day exclusivity
window of approving and disbursing funds for loans of $500,000 or less.
Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 began after the 30-day period

o    Expansion
of Eligible Use of Funds.
 COVID EIDL funds are now eligible to prepay
commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.

o    Simplification
of affiliation requirements.
 To ease the COVID EIDL application
process for small businesses, the SBA established simplified affiliation
requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

How to apply

Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural
businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply. Visit to
learn more about eligibility and application requirements. The last day that
applications may be received is December 31, 2021. Applications received by
December 10 for Supplemental Advance will be processed in the order received
and the SBA cannot guarantee processing of all applications by December 31. All
applicants should file their applications as soon as possible to allow for
processing. For additional information on COVID EIDL and other recovery
programs, please visit

Small business owners may call SBA’s Customer Service
Center 1-833-853-5638 (855-440-4960 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or
email for
additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to
8 p.m. EST. Abbreviated hours will be observed during the Thanksgiving holiday
(closed on Thanksgiving Day; open Friday, November 26 – Sunday, November 28
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST). Multilingual representatives are available.

Small business owners may also contact SBA’s Resource
Partners by visiting


The growing teacher shortage: What can we all do?

By Thomas W Tramaglini


How bad has it really become? 

I recently came across this news story on CBS by Aimee Picchi.

You can read and watch the story here:

Aimee’s story profiles a growing, yet continual problem in the nation where schools having a harder and harder time finding teachers to fill their positions.  For several reasons, education is constantly losing qualified heroes for our children.

Ingersoll and Purda have a great slide which suggests the real reasons why teachers leave (or never come into) the profession:


An article that Ingersoll and Purda (2008) wrote can be accessed here for more on the status of teaching as a profession:

In reading the CBS story by Aimee Picchi, a very interesting section I found particularly interesting and noteworthy is written below:

“The teacher shortage emerged in the wake of the Great Recession, when school districts cut their staffing as funding dried up. But student enrollment has only grown, adding to the pressures on local schools. At the same time, fewer college students are opting to become teachers because of the economics of college debt, said Linda Darling-Hammond, the president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, a nonpartisan organization that focuses on education policy. 

“There are studies about this that show people choose careers based on the salary in relation to the debt they have from college,” Darling-Hammond said. “In many many states, salaries were frozen and never kept up with inflation.” 

She added: “People can’t stay in a profession where they can’t afford to support their own families.””

We need to think differently

Being a school leader has been one of the most rewarding experiences and perhaps one of the best parts about being a school leader has been the experience of hiring great people who can educate students, so they can accomplish their dreams.

There are plenty of candidates out there, but I would agree with the researchers, as well as Aimee Picchi’s piece, the base of teachers is diminishing.

From my experiences, the problem is complex and there are many reasons for the growing shortage.  For one, in recent years I have seen our teachers take a beating from the pressure of attaining higher test scores.  Also, some teachers have been challenged by a highly programmed learning environment which is standardized thus taking flexibility away from the teacher to customize learning experiences which master teachers artfully design.  Two great reads which not only paint this picture well, but also lead to what to do about it are written by Professor Chris Tienken of Seton Hall University.  I highly recommend both books:

The School Reform Landscape (Tienken & Orlich)

Defying Standardization (Tienken)

And while I would suggest that it has always been my intention as a leader to take teachers’ focus off test scores, policy makers, Boards of Education and communities’ value higher student achievement and school leaders and teachers feel the pressure for sure to produce higher test scores.  Simply put, education isn’t what it used to be.

So, what can we do to solve the teacher shortage?  What can you do?  How can we continue to inspire our children?  Higher pay?  Better benefits?  Privatize schools?

Please share your ideas and start a conversation by posting your ideas to my social media accounts:

Follow me on Twitter: @TomTramaglini




Use Your First Day of School Picture to Communicate with your child in a powerful manner

cropped-twt-pic-2018-reduced1.jpg By Thomas W Tramaglini

What goals are you and your children setting for this school year?

This time each year, my social media feeds (Instagram/Facebook) are flooded with pictures of my friends’ children holding signs underscoring that today is the first day of school, highlighting the date and their child’s grade they are beginning.  This fun exercise has become a staple for families (in social media) and I admit that I do enjoy seeing the pictures of my friends’ children each year.

First Day of School Template
Example of what typically blows up my social media feed this time of year.

What I also enjoy is when my friends take and post end of year photos of their kids 10 months later.  Each time, I get to see before and after photos that highlight their child’s amazing growth from the beginning to the end of the school year.

One thing that I wish I would see more often is a picture of children with their parent(s)/family member(s) on the first day and last day of school.  I think parents might have fun having their before and after photos as well – not only do children show growth from the beginning to the end of the year, parent(s)/family member(s) do too!  For instance, you can clearly see that I get more gray hair throughout the year, which is always fun for conversation for your children or friends.

However, as fun as this activity is or could be, opportunity is to be had!

Using the photo activity to focus on goals.

When parents and family members participate in this fun compare and contrast activity, a timely opportunity arises for adults to have a conversation with their children about what goals they have for the school year.



  1. Make your child’s sign! (sample above).
  2. On or before the first day of school, adults should talk to their children about what their goals might be for the year. Whether it be lofty or simple, two or three goals should be set for the end of the school year.  Both students and parents should have goals written on the back of the page.
  3. First Day of School Goals TemplateExample of goals to be written on back of the first day of school year sign.
  4. On the first day of school, take a picture of each child with their sign.
  5. Once the first day of school passes, parent(s)/family member(s) should keep their sign in a special place (umm, which they remember) for the end of the year. (Note: If students or parents/family members want to look at their goals throughout the year, a good place to hang the sign is on the refrigerator)
  6. At the end of the year, parent(s)/family member(s) should take out their signs from the beginning of the year and revisit the goal to reflect on whether the goals were or were not accomplished. Again, this is a great opportunity for parent(s)/family member(s) to have a conversation with their children which is reflective.  Start thinking about goals for next year too.
  7. Enjoy the summer break! For those of you who didn’t catch my recent blog on the Abyss of Summer Reading and Work, you an find it here:

The Power of Goal Setting.

One of the reasons that I wrote about this topic is because in over 20 years as an educator, I have found more and more that many parents and family members do not have conversations with their children about their individual or shared goals.  The power of building and sustaining relationships is a critical 21st century skill that will always have a place in both families and the workplace.  Such conversations between parent(s)/family member(s) and children build both better relationships and understanding of not only what each other wants and what supports are needed, it opens the door for better overall communication and reflection.

This activity is only one way in which parent(s)/family member(s) can have non-threatening, eye-opening conversations about what each other wants for the school year.  Such discussion and conversation can have powerful results because parent(s)/family member(s) can not only better understand their children, but build a successful bridge to address issues that their child might need, or want.

Follow me on Twitter: @TomTramaglini


How to improve student achievement? Simply put – focus on the student.

A simple strategy for increasing student outcomes: Focus on the students

By Thomas W Tramaglini

In August and September, schools around the nation reopen for what everyone hopes will be an outstanding school year.  Yet, each year public schools and school districts face the consistent demand to improve student achievement.  Although how student achievement is measured varies from school to school (and state to state), regardless of the metric educators need strategies for improving student learning which work.

In my research as a doctoral student at Rutgers University, I asked this specific question.  What can school leaders do (that they can control) to improve student outcomes?

Find my dissertation here: (Tramaglini Dissertation)

You can acquire the book/chapter (Tramaglini & Tienken, 2015) here: Policy Perils – Book

How can educators use what they can control in schools to improve student outcomes?  During my study, I came across a great article written in the Journal of Educational Research by Margaret Wang, Geneva Haertal, and Herbert Walberg (1990).  In their research, the Wang, Haertal and Walberg studied this concept through meta-analysis and found that variables which were closer (proximal) to the student mattered more to student outcomes than the ones far away (distal) from the student.  That is, it is more likely that initiatives which directly impact students in the classroom (curriculum, instructional quality) will influence student outcomes more than those which are driven from far away from the student (when schools adopt state or federal mandates).

ASCD published a version of their article in December 1993/January 1994 in Educational Leadership.

Where to Start?

In my dissertation research, I operationalized the concept of using proximal variables versus distal variables and found similar results to what Wang, Haertal and Walberg found (1990).

Here is an article written by a local paper regarding the work that we did in Keansburg that focused on proximal variables and what the outcomes were:

The simple place to begin is by focusing on the student.  It’s a safer bet to invest your efforts and resources on things that directly impact the students. That is, place your efforts in things that build better teacher to student interactions, improved instruction, and better professional development versus a concept that your state department of education rolls out as an antidote to low student achievement.


Wang, M.C., Haertel, G.D., & Walberg, H.J. (1990). What influences learning? A content analysis of review literature. Journal of Educational Research, 84: 30-43.

The Abyss of Summer Reading

By. Thomas W Tramaglini

Parents: Did your children do their summer reading? 

Perhaps one of the best television commercials about back to school was the 2013 Staples commercial featuring the Andy Williams’ Christmas song, ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’.  The commercial featured parents shopping in hope of sending their children back to school, thus ending the craziness of their children being home for the summer.

Yet, during this most wonderful time of the year parents and students are feeling the pressure of trying to complete the assigned summer work before the first day of school.  That said, when school ends before the summer, most students don’t rush to begin their summer reading.  In fact, many children just want to take a break from school and only some students begin their summer work early and pace themselves throughout the summer.  Even my own children (who love to read) get turned off because of the pressure of getting their reading done before summer’s end.  In a recent article written by Colette Bennett (How Teachers Should Rethink the Summer Work Packet ), she highlighted a recent poll which suggested that 82% of all students would choose “NO” if asked if they wanted to participate in summer reading.  She also noted that some teachers even dread the pile of papers which awaits them on the first day of school.

Parents: Get equipped!

Regardless, whether students do or don’t do their summer reading, parents should have a basic understanding of the different perspectives of summer reading and work.  The research on the topic is mixed and one might be surprised that summer reading/work might be better for some kids than others.  Furthermore, summer reading or work might be more effective if students do something with what they read or completed (operational work).

I came across two great reads on the topic and both articles should provide some perspectives on the topic which will provide parents with an overview on the effectiveness of summer work.

Researchers and practitioners: Ask this question

Although some of the literature suggests that summer reading can help some students, especially with reading ability, one question that I am not sure has received much attention is whether assigning summer work or summer reading matches what we know about how people learn.  That is, does summer work match learning theory:  For instance, we know that when someone does something once (such as reading a book or completing a packet), and does not do something with what they have done once (such as operationalize the work), then the retention of that material will likely be diminished.  However, we also know that learning transfer occurs when someone has operated what they have read or learned, specifically multiple times, thus promoting learning transfer.  A great resource for metacognition and learning theory is: The case for teaching for and with metacognition.

In the end, schools and researchers need to focus on the why of summer work and perhaps explore the question that I have raised.

Is Redshirting the way to go?

In my time as a parent and educator, I have long seen parents grapple with the concept of holding their children back from entering kindergarten until they were 6.  I too, grappled with this idea with my own children.

Anna Orso of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a very interesting piece which I saw in a recent publication of the US News & World Report.  The article is a great read which I believe captures the essence of “redshirting” children, including the pros and cons of holding kids out of school until they are older.

Click here to read Anna’s article Does ‘Redshirting’ Benefit Kids? Kindergarten Decision Looms