SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Small Businesses in Florida Affected by Hurricane Dorian
Low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to Florida small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by Hurricane Dorian from Aug. 28 through Sept. 9, 2019.
Acting SBA Administrator Christopher Pilkerton made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 6, 2019, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the following counties: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Seminole, Volusia and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Desoto, Glades, Gulf, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Okeechobee, Pasco, Putnam, Sarasota, Sumter and Wakulla in Florida; and Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Florida with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist small businesses with federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans,” said Pilkerton. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million. The SBA offers economic injury loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. Eligible small businesses include but are not limited to commercial fishermen, charter boats, hotels, restaurants, retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.
The rates on these working capital loans are 4 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Eligibility for the loan is based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
“The SBA can help affected small businesses and nonprofit organizations overcome their economic losses by offering working capital loans, but the help cannot start until they submit an SBA disaster loan application to us,” said SBA’s South Florida District Director Victoria Guerrero.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
Businesses and individuals 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is Aug. 13, 2020.