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U.S. Small Business Administration offers Disaster Assistance

WASHINGTON – In the aftermath of floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, oil spills, droughts and other calamities that have occurred since 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than two million disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters for a total of $53.8 billion.

“During the past 62 years the SBA has expanded, updated and improved its disaster assistance operation, making it easier for disaster survivors to rebuild their lives and communities,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.   “These two million loans demonstrate the tremendous impact SBA’s disaster assistance program has made in terms of saving local jobs and supporting the long-term economic recovery.”

SBA disaster loans are the only form of SBA assistance not limited to small businesses.  The two million loans approved represent the agency’s recovery efforts in the aftermath of the costliest disasters in U.S. history.  Those events included:

  • Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (25,992 loans for $696 million)
  • The Northridge, California earthquake in 1994 (124,262 loans for $4 billion)
  • Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005 (160,809 loans for $10.9 billion)
  • Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (36,913 loans for $2.5 billion).

The SBA makes low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and non-farm businesses of all sizes.  Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate.  Individuals may borrow up to $40,000 to cover losses to personal property.

Non-farm businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged business assets and real estate.  Small businesses and non-profits that suffered economic losses as a result of the declared disaster may apply for a working capital loan of up to $2 million.

More information about SBA’s disaster assistance program is available at www.sba.gov/disasterassistance.

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