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The original item was published from 9/30/2022 4:58:48 PM to 9/30/2022 4:59:01 PM.

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Posted on: September 30, 2022

[ARCHIVED] U.S. Small Business Administration Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents of Florida

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SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents of Florida Affected by Hurricane Ian

Information provided by The Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce

 Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to businesses and residents in Florida following the announcement of a Presidential disaster declaration due to Hurricane Ian beginning September 23. 

 "SBA's mission-driven team stands ready to help Florida small businesses and residents impacted by this disaster in every way possible under President Biden's disaster declaration for certain affected areas, "said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.  "We're committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild."

The disaster declaration covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties in Florida, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.   The filing deadline to return physical property damage applications is November 28, 2022.  

Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Broward, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pasco, and Polk in Florida.   The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023. 

 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.  

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 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.

Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters.  As verified by the SBA, applicants may be eligible for a loan increase of up to 20 percent of their physical damages for mitigation purposes.  Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, elevation, retaining walls, and landscaping to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Applicants that have an existing SBA disaster loan may apply under this declaration.  Businesses and residents with previous SBA disaster loans and current applicants have up to two years from their prior loan approval to request a loan increase for mitigation projects. 

 "The opportunity to include measures to help prevent future damage from occurring is a significant benefit of SBA's disaster loan program," said SBA Associate Administrator Francisco Sanchez, Jr. "I encourage everyone to consult their contractors and emergency management mitigation specialists for ideas and apply for an SBA disaster loan increase for funding."

Interest rates are as low as 3.04 for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2.188 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, Disaster Loan Assistance, and should apply under SBA declaration # 17644.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the 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 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 physical property damage applications is November 28, 2022.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023.


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