In-Brief

SBA provides federal disaster assistance for businesses in P.R.

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available for businesses and private nonprofits that suffered physical damage or economic losses due to hurricanes Irma and María, the agency announced.

Uninsured and underinsured losses caused by a disaster can impact business owners’ ability to recover. SBA loans can help cover repairs and replacement of damaged physical assets as well as small business operating expenses after a disaster.

In some cases, SBA may be able to refinance all or part of an existing mortgage or lien. It may also be possible to increase the loan up to 20 percent of the confirmed physical losses, and use this increase to make improvements that reduce the risk of future damage. For example, retaining walls and storm shelters can be constructed.

The maximum amount that can be approved for any combination of property damage or economic injury loans is $2 million. This applies to all funding paid to a business and its affiliates for each disaster. Interest rates can be as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years.

Rental property owners may be eligible. For owners who lost a tenant and are unable to cover expenses such as mortgage payments or utilities, an SBA loan can help until a tenant is approved and normal operations resume.

SBA also offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners and renters who sustained damage to their homes or lost personal property, with interest rates that can be as low as 1.750 percent.

Business owners, homeowners and renters and can apply online. Visit an SBA Business Recovery Center or FEMA disaster recovery center for help with the loan.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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