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SBA urges Puerto Rico businesses, residents to apply for disaster loans by Nov. 9

The U.S. Small Business Administration is encouraging Puerto Rico businesses and residents affected by Tropical Storm Isaias in July 2020 to submit their loan application for physical damages by Nov. 9, even if they have not settled with their insurance company.

“Waiting to file an SBA application could cause unnecessary delays in receiving disaster assistance, and survivors may miss the application deadline. Submitting the loan application is an essential part of the disaster recovery process,” said Michael Lampton, acting director of SBA Field Operations Center East. 

If a survivor has not settled their insurance claim, SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits. The insurance settlement will be used to reduce or repay the loan, the government agency said.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website.

Physical disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, including contents and automobiles. 

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, the SBA said.

Interest rates are as low as 3% for businesses, 2.75% for nonprofit organizations and 1.25% 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.

The disaster declaration covers Aguada, Hormigueros, Mayagüez and Rincón municipalities in Puerto Rico which are eligible for both physical and economic injury disaster loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Aguadilla, Añasco, Cabo Rojo, Las Marías, Maricao, Moca and San Germán are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online or download the FEMA mobile app. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov.

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

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