If your home or business was affected by Hurricane Irma (or any other natural disaster), you have the opportunity to apply for a low-interest disaster loan from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA offers federal disaster loans for business of all sizes, as well as for homeowners and renters. Next to insurance, an SBA disaster loan is the primary source of funds in Georgia for property repairs and for replacing contents destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The deadline to apply for such loans for physical property damage is November 14.
“Currently, 45 disaster loans have been approved in the amount of $1,231,200.00 for affected survivors. The SBA encourages anyone who has not applied to take action right away. Our mission is to help businesses and residents rebuild and resume their normal lives as quickly as possible,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
The disaster declaration covers the counties of Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh counties in Georgia, 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: Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Bryan, Effingham, Evans, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Long, Tattnall, Telfair, Ware and Wayne in Georgia; Baker and Nassau in Florida; and Jasper in South Carolina.
SBA disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to cover uninsured losses from the disaster. Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters. Loan terms can be up to 30 years.
Economic injury disaster loans are also available to provide disaster related working capital to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.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.
Additional information on other recovery centers and the disaster loan program may be obtained by calling SBA’s 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. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to a recovery center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. For more information about SBA recovery assistance, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.
The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is November 14, 2017. The deadline for economic injury applications is June 15, 2018.