Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Florida businesses and residents affected by the tornado on March 12, 2022, may apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
The SBA disaster declaration issued includes Marion County and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Citrus, Lake, Levy, Putnam, Sumter, and Volusia.
“Getting small businesses back on their feet following a disaster is important to a fast recovery for impacted communities,” said DeSantis. “This assistance will put cash in the hands of small business owners and residents and help them rebuild stronger.”
“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, we are very pleased to announce this assistance for the families impacted by the March 12th tornado,” said Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Sec. Dane Eagle. “SBA’s disaster loans are a valuable resource for individuals and small businesses facing damage and hardship through no fault of their own, and those impacted and in need are encouraged to apply.”
“This SBA Disaster Declaration will provide much-needed relief to impacted Floridians still recovering from the severe weather,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “The Division continues to coordinate with local emergency management offices and we are committed to supporting recovery efforts and ensuring disaster survivors have access to all available resources.”
On March 12, 2022, a cold front brought multiple severe weather hazards across Northeast and Central Florida including heavy rain, thunderstorms, damaging wind gusts, and isolated tornadoes resulting in widespread power outages and damages. Later that same day, DeSantis issued Executive Order 22-56, declaring a state of emergency in the affected counties.
Following severe weather impacts, DeSantis requested an SBA Disaster Declaration, which would provide impacted Floridians with access to critical SBA recovery resources.
Disaster loan programs available to businesses and individuals in the impacted areas include:
Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery, and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.
Applicants may apply online, or download the application, using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) through the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.SBA.gov.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@SBA.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Submit completed loan applications to the SBA no later than May 27, 2022, for Business Physical Disaster Loans, and December 28, 2022 for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
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