SBA offers disaster assistance to businesses and residents affected by storms, flooding in June

26 Jul 2022

News, Business, Economic Development, Community, Government

Minnesota businesses and residents affected by the severe storms and flooding from June 23 to 24 may apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced. Guzman made the loans available in response to a letter from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz dated July 21, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.

Businesses and residents in the declared area can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the SBA. The declaration covers Morrison County and the adjacent counties of Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Stearns and Todd in Minnesota.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Minnesota with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” Guzman said. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

To assist businesses and residents affected by the disaster, the SBA opened a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) in Randall, July 28 at the Randall Fire Hall, 535 Pacific Ave., Randall. Hours are Monday – Friday, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. It is closed Sundays. The outreach closes permanently Thursday, Aug. 11, at 4 p.m.

Customer Service Representatives will be available at the DLOC to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the DLOC are encouraged to wear a face mask.

“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets,” said SBA’s Minnesota District Director Brian McDonald.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) 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.

“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20% 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.

Interest rates are as low as 2.935% for businesses, 1.875% for nonprofit organizations, and 1.688% 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.

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