September 13, 2022 at 2:01 p.m.

SBA taking applications for disaster loans

Financial assistance intended to aid recovery for damages from May 29-30 storms

By Ben Sonnek- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Minnesota businesses and residents affected by severe thunderstorms and tornadoes from May 29 to May 30 may be able to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Apply for an SBA loan even if you don’t think you’ll qualify or need it,” said Sharon Gadbois, SBA public affairs specialist. “Applying will preserve your ability to cover your damages. Also, we encourage not waiting for the insurance check to come in before applying. Applicants will often miss the deadline to apply.”

SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman made the loans available in response to a July 21 letter from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, 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 Douglas County and the adjacent counties of Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stearns, Stevens 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.”

Homeowners are eligible up to $200,000 for structure-related costs; homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 for damage to personal property inside the home; and businesses are eligible up to $2,000,000, including costs related to structure, equipment and personal property. Applicants may receive up to an additional 20% of their physical property loan for mitigation costs such as house raising, sump pumps, retaining walls and storm shelters.

“The mission of SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance is to help businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against disasters of all types,” Gadbois said. “Through resilience programs, the ODA reduces the impact of these disasters to businesses, the communities they touch and the local economies.”

Homeowners and renters with damages not covered by insurance may apply and use loan proceeds for repairing, replacing or rebuilding damaged homes, as well as removing debris, fixing fences and landscaping and other similar costs. Businesses and nonprofits may use the loan money for repairing damaged buildings and contents including, but not limited to, inventory, machinery and furniture fixtures. Cars with damages not covered by insurance are also eligible.

For all deductibles, whether car or home, Economic Injury Disaster Loans or working capital may be used to pay for accounts payable, normal fixed expenses, rent, utilities, payroll and business debt payments as they become due.

“If you previously spent money on recovery, it may be better to use low-interest disaster loans versus high-interest credit cards to help your recovery,” Gadbois said. “Applying will stretch out your payments with a lower rate. It makes the recovery process easier.”

The deadline to apply for a physical loan is Sept. 23, and for an EIDL, the deadline is April 25, 2023.

Applications can be completed online at Applicants can also call 800-659-2955 any day of the week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time and can have an application mailed to them. Those who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment or disability can dial 711 for the SBA relay services line, and for those with a primary language other than English, interpreters are available via the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.

Questions can be directed to the lead public affairs specialist, Laurie Dana, at [email protected].


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