Small Business Disaster Assistance Available

ATLANTA — The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that certain private, non-profit organizations (PNPs) that do not provide critical services of a governmental nature may be eligible to apply for low interest rate disaster loans.

These loans are available as a result of the Presidential disaster declaration for Public Assistance resulting from damages caused by Hurricane Gustav that occurred from August 31, 2008 through September 7, 2008.

PNPs located in Bay, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Examples of eligible non-critical PNP organizations include, but are not limited to, food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.

PNP organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and other business assets. The SBA also offers mitigation loans to disaster victims for up to 20 percent of the verified physical damage. These funds are designed to help borrowers pay for protective measures to minimize damages of the same kind in the future.

For PNP organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs, such as ongoing operating expenses. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based upon each applicant’s financial condition.

“PNP organizations are urged to contact their County Emergency Managers to obtain information about local briefings. At the meeting, PNP representatives will provide information about their organization,” said Frank Skaggs, Director of SBA Field Operations Center East.

This information will be used to submit a “Request for Public Assistance” which FEMA uses to determine if the PNP provides an essential governmental service and meets the definition of a “critical facility.” Based upon that conclusion, FEMA will either refer the PNP to the SBA for disaster loan assistance or possibly provide a “Public Assistance” reimbursement grant for eligible costs.

Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (for the hearing-impaired 1-800-877-8339), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST or by emailing our customer service center at or writing to U.S. Small Business Administration, Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center, 130 South Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202-2463.

Disaster victims may also apply for disaster loans from the SBA’s secure website at

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 26, 2008. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 27, 2009.

For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs, visit

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