NATIONAL (WTRF) — The U.S. economy is still healing from the devastating blow of Covid-19, along with soaring inflation and now small businesses must payback their federal pandemic relief loans, according to CBSNews.

Almost 4 million recipients of the disaster loans are now required to pay the amount back and are feeling the strain as the growing risk of recession, along with flu flareups ramp up over the holidays.

Ruth Simon, a special writer with the Wall Street Journal was interviewed on CBS Mornings and stated that the loans made from the Federal Disaster Program with 30-year terms and a low interest rate that helped attract many small businesses.

The first payment of the 1.2 million loans is due this month, and in January another 1 million are coming due. In October and November more than 400,000 loans started their payback process.

The Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program was set up in 2020 to help employers of smaller businesses and not-for-profit organizations stay open during the pandemic. The 30-year loans carry a fixed interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. 

These Small Business Disaster Loans were different than the Paycheck Protection Program, which required businesses to meet certain criteria for forgiving the loan.

The EIDL loans must be repaid to the government.