Our friends at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) wanted us to let you know that whether you rent or own your own home, own your own business, or own a small agricultural cooperative located in a declared disaster area, and are the victim of a disaster, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U. S. Small Business Administration.
U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for several counties in Connecticut affected by Hurricane Sandy that began Oct. 27, 2012: "The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the people of Connecticut 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 counties of Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribal Nation located within New London in 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 Hartford, Litchfield, Tolland, and Windham in Connecticut; Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester in New York; Kent and Washington in Rhode Island.
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. 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. 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 email to email@example.com. 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.
How did your small business hold-up during Hurrican/Big Storm Sandy? Let us know in the comment section below.