SBA Encourages Superstorm Sandy Survivors to Apply for Disaster Assistance

Jan 21, 2016, 17:19 ET from U.S. Small Business Administration

NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and member of President Obama's Cabinet, was in New York City today to promote disaster assistance for survivors of Superstorm Sandy. She joined Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY-7), Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, to announce that the SBA has reopened the filing period for survivors in all states affected by Superstorm Sandy to apply for low-interest disaster loans. The new filing deadline for physical damage and economic injury losses is December 1, 2016. 

Administrator Contreras-Sweet stated, "The additional time for businesses, homeowners and renters to request federal disaster loans will go a long way in continuing to support the rebuilding efforts of the communities affected by Superstorm Sandy. I want to thank the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Small Business Committees for their leadership on this issue. I was pleased to join Rep. Velazquez in her district today to make sure those impacted by this disaster take advantage of this expanded opportunity.  To date, the agency has received more than 1,000 applications.  We have improved processing time on applications and, on average, provide a disaster loan decision in eight days and cash disbursement on average five days after receipt of loan closing documents.  To date, we have approved $2.5 billion dollars in loan assistance to more than 37,000 individuals and businesses affected by Sandy."

In December, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities (RISE) After Disaster Act of 2015, which gives the SBA Administrator the authority to make disaster loans for Superstorm Sandy for a period of one year. The bill authorizes SBA to revise the disaster deadline for major Presidential declarations for Superstorm Sandy in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.  Additionally, SBA will be accepting applications under its related agency declarations for North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Virginia, West Virginia and certain counties in Maryland.

SBA has opened disaster centers across select counties in the affected areas and reviews activity levels on a continuous basis. SBA has made more than 370,000 phone calls and sent 286,000 emails to inform people that it is accepting disaster loan applications again.

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 non-profit organizations, 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.

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.

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.

Survivors may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at

Additional details on the locations of 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

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 1, 2016. The deadline to return economic injury applications is December 1, 2016.

For more information about the SBA's Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at

Contact: Miguel Ayala (202) 205-6420  
Release Number: 16-03
Internet Address:
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SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration