In the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfire, tornadoes and other disasters, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the primary source of money from the Federal Government for long term recovery assistance.
For disaster damage to private property owned by individuals, families and businesses not fully covered by insurance, the basic form of Federal assistance is low interest, long term disaster loans from the SBA.
The SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for several countries in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the people of New York with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
The disaster declaration covers the several counties of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans:
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 up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.
Businesses and private non-profit 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. The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans 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.
Interest rates are as low as 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by mobile device at m.fema.gov. Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 31, 2012. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 31, 2013.