If you are located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle several counties were declared under the Presidential declaration to receive disaster assistance. Gulf County is one the eleven counties that were listed as primary counties in the disaster area.

 

The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest, long-term disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace uninsured/underinsured disaster damaged property. SBA disaster loans offer an affordable way for individuals and businesses to recover from declared disasters.

 

What Types of Disaster Loans are Available?

 

Home Disaster Loans: For their primary residence, homeowners may be eligible for up to $200,000 for repair/replacement costs not covered by insurance. Renters may be eligible for a property damage loan up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property, including clothing, furniture, appliances and even vehicles. Deadline passes on December 17, 2018. Local DRC is accepting late filings. (The SBA Customer Services Representatives at the local DRC will decide on case-by-case basis the validity and acceptance of any loan application pass the deadline. We ask you to bring a written statement with the reasoning for your late application.)

 

Business Physical Disaster Loans: Repair or replace disaster‐damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non‐profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities may also be eligible. The law limits business loans to $2,000,000 for the repair or replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, equipment and all other physical losses. Deadline passes on December 17, 2018. Local DRC is accepting late filings. (The SBA Customer Services Representatives at the local DRC will decide on case-by-case basis the validity and acceptance of any loan application pass the deadline. We ask you to bring a written statement with the reasoning for your late application.)

 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non‐profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. The law limits EIDLs to $2,000,000 for alleviating economic injury caused by the disaster. The actual amount of each loan is limited to the economic injury determined by SBA, less business interruption insurance and other recoveries up to the administrative lending limit. EIDL assistance is available only to entities and their owners who cannot provide for their own recovery from non‐government sources, as determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Deadline is July 11, 2019.

 

Even after the deadline, if you had hardship and extreme circumstances that precluded you to file an application timely, you may go to the local Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) and apply for a physical damage loan.

 

Once the DRC closes, we will not be able to offer in-person assistance close to your location. Your option at the time will remain the SBA Customer Service Center that can be reached at 1-800-659-2955 or the ELA for checking status of your application.

 

In Gulf County the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) managed by FEMA is still opened at the Wewahitchka Branch Library (314 N. 2nd St., Wewahitchka, FL 32465)

The hours of operations are (CST) Monday-Friday 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

 

All applicants could call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800- 659-2955 and ask for a list of the open centers close to their location at any time.

 

Three ways to apply: 1) online; 2) in-person at a disaster center; or 3) by mail.

 

Apply online at the SBA’s secure website https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

 

For additional information on SBA disaster assistance loans, please visit our website: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index