Small Business Administration providing assistance in the Panhandle

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The U.S. Small Business Administration has added more counties to the disaster declaration in Florida for businesses and residents affected by Hurricane Michael beginning Oct. 7, 2018.

The disaster declaration covers the counties of Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf,
Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Taylor and Wakulla in Florida which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Dixie, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Madison and Walton in Florida; Geneva and Houston in Alabama; Decatur, Grady and Seminole in Georgia.

Due to the severe damages caused by Hurricane Michael, recovery centers may not immediately open in the disaster area. As a result, disaster survivors may register for federal assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov and apply for SBA disaster loan assistance using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

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 survivors don’t have to wait to submit their insurance claim to apply for a SBA disaster loan because we can approve and disburse your loan funds while the claim is pending.

If a survivor does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan.

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. Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.

Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, 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. 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. Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 2.0 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

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 (800- 877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 10, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 11, 2019.
 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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