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Hurricane Michael: Small Business Disaster Recovery Loans, Financial Assistance Emerges

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a loan program for businesses affected by Hurricane Michael. Similarly, Governor Rick Scott has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program for companies affected by the storm.

The storm destroyed the waterfront town of Mexico Beach, Florida; severely damaged properties across Florida, Georgia and other states; and triggered at least 18 deaths.

Hurricane Michael SBA Loan Information

According to the SBA:

  • 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.
  • Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
  • For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans 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.
  • Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 2 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.

Small businesses affected by Hurricane Michael can:

The SBA filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 10, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 11, 2019.

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Florida Governor Rick Scott
Florida Governor Rick Scott

Meanwhile, the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, managed by the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during Hurricane Michael, the DEO says. The application period runs through December 7, 2018.

DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network to provide cash flow to businesses damaged by a disaster, the organization says. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term SBA loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.