WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Florida businesses and residents affected by severe storms and flooding from July 25 through Aug. 9, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today.
Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Rick Scott's authorized representative Bryan W. Koon of Florida Emergency Management on Sept. 24, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties and the adjacent counties of Hardee, Hernando, Manatee, Polk and Sumter in Florida.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Florida with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans," said Contreras-Sweet. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
Businesses and nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
"Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.875 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Individuals and businesses may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing [email protected]. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 30, 2015. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2016.
For more information about the SBA's Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at www.sba.gov/disaster.
Contact: Michael Lampton
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (404) 331-0333
Release Number: 15-399 FL 14484/14485
SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration