ICYMI: SBA Disaster Assistance to Help Businesses and Residents Recover
WASHINGTON – Florida businesses and residents affected by a tornado that occurred Oct. 12, 2023, are eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced today.
Administrator Guzman made the loans available in response to a letter from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ authorized representative Kevin Guthrie, on Oct. 25, 2023, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA. The declaration covers Citrus County and the adjacent counties of Hernando, Levy, Marion, and Sumter in Florida.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Florida with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Guzman. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31 in Crystal River:
Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Coastal Region Library
Crystal River, FL 34428
Opening: Tuesday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Hours: Monday – Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed: Saturday and Sunday
Friday, Nov. 10 in observance of Veteran’s Day
Permanently Closes: Friday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m.
Customer Service Representatives will be available at the DLOC to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s North Florida District Director Jonel Hein.
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.
“Loans up to $500,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Francisco Sanchez Jr., associate administrator of SBA’s Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of 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.
Interest rates are as low as 4% for businesses, 2.375% for nonprofit organizations, and 2.5% 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.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at sba.gov/disaster and should apply under SBA declaration # 20026.
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 Dec. 29, 2023. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 30, 2024.