The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is dedicated to helping small business owners succeed. In the wake of a disaster, SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations.
These loans can help you recover from uninsured or underinsured disaster losses. Loans can be used to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory, furniture and fixtures, leasehold improvements and other business assets. Some applicants may be eligible for additional funds for refinancing existing mortgages or mitigation projects to protect against future damage. SBA also offers working capital loans to small businesses that have suffered economic injury.
Obtaining a disaster loan is a three-step process that involves your loan application, loan processing and disbursement. To apply for assistance following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, you must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Go to DisasterAssistance.Gov to apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance.
In most cases, you will be referred to SBA for possible loan assistance. Apply online at SBA Disaster Loan Assistance for the fastest way to receive a decision about loan eligibility. Apply in person at any Disaster Recovery Center and receive personal, one-on-one help. Call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 to locate the center nearest you. You can also submit a paper application by mail. In non-presidential disaster declarations, individual assistance from FEMA is not available and you can contact SBA directly to apply.
Next comes your loan processing. SBA will conduct a credit check before scheduling an onsite inspection to determine your total verified losses. A loan officer will work with you to approve or decline a loan. This may take up to three weeks.
The final step is disbursement. Within five days of signing SBA’s loan closing documents, your initial disbursement is made. A case manager will work with you to meet all your loan conditions and schedule the rest of your disbursements until you receive the full loan amount.
Download SBA Three Step Disaster Loan Process to learn about the SBA Disaster Loan process.
Go to DisasterAssistance.Gov for FEMA Disaster Assistance.
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