ATLANTA — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is closing its Business Recovery Centers in Florida from Wednesday, Nov. 9 through Sunday, Nov. 13 due to potential inclement weather from Subtropical Storm Nicole. The Centers will reopen on Monday, Nov. 14 and resume their normal operating hours.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the BRCs are encouraged to wear a face mask.
The disaster declaration includes Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia counties in Florida, 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 (EIDLs): Alachua, Bradford, Broward, Clay, Duval, Hernando, Indian River, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Saint Lucie and Sumter.
Businesses and private nonprofit 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.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) 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 for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates are as low as 3.04 percent for businesses, 1.875 for nonprofit organizations, and 2.188 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters. Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their verified physical damages for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, elevation, retaining walls, and landscaping to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration # 17644.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at 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 also call 800-621-3362.