Washington D.C., Nov. 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America's 33 million small businesses in President Biden's Cabinet, announced that more than $1 billion in disaster assistance has been approved by the SBA for small businesses, homeowners, renters, and private nonprofit organizations with losses resulting from Hurricane Ian in September.
"Our SBA disaster assistance teams hit the ground immediately in the wake of Hurricane Ian to help disaster-impacted individual homeowners, renters, and businesses with critical financial relief," said Administrator Guzman. "Reaching the $1 billion mark demonstrates the scale of devastation and the commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration and the whole of SBA to swiftly assist communities in their recovery."
Natural disasters, such as Hurricane Ian, are not just more devastating; they are also coming faster, more frequently, and are often rapidly changing in their complexity and scope. Fighting climate change and preparing America to adapt to its impacts has been and will remain a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. That includes reimagining how the Agency provides disaster assistance, transforming how we do business, and showing up to deliver a positive customer experience to residents and small business owners in their time of need – a critical component of the SBA's work under Administrator Guzman.
As of Nov. 28, the SBA has approved 14,877 low-interest disaster loans delivering a combined $1,049,679,000. The SBA is rapidly processing applications and will continue working to meet the needs of all those affected by this disaster.
The Florida Disaster Declaration, issued by President Biden, began on Sept. 23 and now includes the following counties: Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Sarasota, Seminole, and Volusia. Small businesses impacted by the hurricane and living in these counties are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Alachua, Bradford, Broward, Clay, Duval, Hernando, Indian River, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Saint Lucie, and Sumter. For more information about the counties and parishes impacted, visit www.disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/search-declarations.
About the SBA's Disaster Relief Funding:
The SBA's disaster loan program is the only federal assistance program that provides private property owners an affordable way to protect their homes, families, businesses, employees, and livelihoods against the next disaster. Funds received from these loans can be used by property owners to build back better, stronger, and more resilient. The owners of private property impacted by natural disasters, like Hurricane Ian, are eligible for up to 20% of their total physical losses, as verified by SBA, to incorporate protective measures to protect them against the next disaster.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates are as low as 3.04% for businesses, 1.875% for nonprofit organizations, and 2.188% for homeowners and renters, with terms of up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
How to Apply for Disaster Funding for Damages Resulting from Hurricane Ian:
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration #17644.
To be considered for disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should also call 800-621-3362.
Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Jan. 12, 2023. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023.
About the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance
The Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters recover from the devastation caused by federally declared disasters. Their efforts ensure that adequate and affordable financial assistance is rapidly extended to those in need. The disaster loan program is the only form of SBA assistance not limited to small businesses. ODA has been part of the Agency since its inception in 1953. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disasterassistance.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
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