U.S. Small Business Administration Announces Deadline for Disaster Assistance

moneyAn estimated 543,000 new businesses get started every month, but their window for disaster assistance is closing, according to a recent announcement by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding all small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations that August 23 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans available.

The reminder is catered particularly to those small business owners in Essex, Franklin, Middlesex and Worcester counties in Massachusetts as a result of a drought that began in February.

Those areas aren’t the only ones where the SBA is offering assistance, either.

A Disaster Loan Outreach Center has been set up by the SBA at Fayetteville Street Elementary School in Durham to offer assistance to small businesses affected by the July 16 storm that ravaged the southeast.

Representatives at the outreach center are providing information on the loans, which have interest rates as low 1.625% for residents and as low as 4% for business owners.

Those eligible can apply at the outreach center, while those who don’t qualify for a loan can apply for a grant through NC Emergency Management.

Jalil Belmouloud, who owns a cafe in Durham, is still dealing with the aftermath of the storm after water leaked through his ceiling. Repairs are still being made.

“There was a lot of lost merchandise,” he said. “I unfortunately do pastries and ice cream and some sandwiches and things like that so all that stuff I had to replace. Also my employees did not work for a couple of days.”

Jalil certainly isn’t the only small business owner suffering from the onslaught of storms that have plagued the U.S. this year.

In the first 6 months of 2016 alone, more than $8 billion in weather disasters have struck the country.

Six “severe thunderstorm events” and two “flooding events” compiled to ring up a bill that of at least one billion dollars each from January through June this year.

According to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, 2016 has had the second-highest number of weather-related disasters of such scale since 1980.

The cost of damage is exactly why the SBA has offered such large quantities of assistance to small business owners.

The loans can be up to $2 million with interest rates of four percent for eligible small businesses, 2.625% for nonprofit organizations, and terms up to 30 years.

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