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SBA has distributed $690 million in loans since Hurricane Ian

Man going over paperwork with a woman
George Armstrong
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FEMA
Small Business Administration (SBA) Specialist Grady Billingslea explains services available through SBA for residents impacted by storms. FEMA and SBA are partners in helping people with disaster recovery.

The deadline to apply for help for physical damage for homeowners, renters, and businesses is Nov. 28.

As of November 9, the Small Business Administration has approved more than $690 million in loans to survivors of Hurricane Ian in need. And they don’t just help small businesses, but individuals as well.

“In times of disaster, the federal government allows the SBA not only to help small businesses, but businesses of any size, homeowners, renters, nonprofit organizations, that are eligible to submit an application as well,” SBA Public Affairs Specialist Tauheedah Mateen said.

The first step to get help, Mateen says, is to register with FEMA at disasterassistance.gov.

“We want to make sure that those homeowners and renters, all of those survivors, first register with FEMA, if you have not done so already,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how small your damages are. Please continue to register with FEMA. If FEMA refers you to the SBA, that step is very important. The homeowners are eligible for up to $200,000 to repair and replace their real estate. And we also say don’t wait for insurance to settle. Go ahead and get into the queue. It’s better to have that loan, that cushion, than not to have it.”

The deadline to apply for help for physical damage for homeowners, renters, and businesses is Nov. 28. For business owners who may have lost working capital, the deadline is June 29, 2023.

Mateen recommends going to a Disaster Recovery Center and talking to someone in person to find out what you are eligible for. And don’t be afraid of the word “loan” – they are extremely low interest, she says, and survivors get up to 30 years to pay them back.

To find a Disaster Recovery Center, go to fema.gov.

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Cary Barbor