Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) – Following President Obama’s major disaster declaration on Monday, Florida businesses in adversely affected and contiguous counties that have been impacted by Hurricane Matthew may now apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Through the declaration, businesses and nonprofits in Brevard*, Flagler, Indian River*, Putnam, St. Johns, and Volusia counties are eligible for Business Physical Disaster Loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, not to exceed a combined maximum of $2 million. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Clay, Duval, Lake, Marion, Okeechobee*, Orange, Osceola*, Saint Lucie*, and Seminole counties are eligible to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Business Physical Disaster Loans
Business Physical Disaster Loans are intended to help repair or replace disaster-damaged property. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace property, including real estate, equipment, inventory, machinery, and other business assets.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Businesses in qualifying adjacent counties may apply for up to $2 million for working capital through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations meet financial obligations and operating expenses through the disaster recovery period.
Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses and 2.625 percent for private, nonprofit organizations. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms up to a maximum of 30 years for each applicant.
Applicants may also be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages to protect property from future damage, including adding a safe room or storm shelter.
How to Apply
To apply, businesses must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by mobile device at m.fema.gov or call the toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY).
Upon registration with FEMA, businesses may apply for a disaster loan a number of ways:
- Submit an online application at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela;
- Download an application from www.sba.gov/disaster and submit to a SBA disaster recovery center or mail to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155;
- Visit a SBA recovery center for one-on-one assistance; or
- Visit their local Florida SBDC for assistance.
Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist
As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.
“Our priority is to ensure that small business owners have access to the resources and assistance they need to recover as quickly as possible,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC Network. “We want business owners to know that our consultants are available to help walk them through the recovery process.”
The deadline to submit a Business Physical Disaster Loan is December 16, 2016. The deadline to submit an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is July 17, 2017.
For questions regarding the SBA’s disaster loans, and how the Florida SBDC Network can help, please contact (850) 898-3489.
* The notice of the Presidential disaster declaration for the State of FLORIDA ( FEMA – 4283 – DR ) dated 10/17/2016, amended to include these additional counties as adversely affected by the disaster. read more