Florida small businesses escaped the physical wrath of Hurricane Dorian, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t economic hits because companies needed to prepare for the storm and close up shop.
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that businesses negatively impacted economically by Dorian between Aug. 28 and Sept. 9 are eligible for low-interest, long-term government loans up to $2 million. Low Interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to businesses whether or not they suffered any physical property damage. Eligible small businesses may include commercial fishing and charter boat operations, hotel and restaurants, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers.
Acting SBA Administrator Christopher Pilkerton made the loans available in response to a letter from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Nov. 6, 2019, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the following counties: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Seminole, Volusia and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Desoto, Glades, Gulf, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Okeechobee, Pasco, Putnam, Sarasota, Sumter and Wakulla.
Loans are available to help pay debt, payroll and bills that could have been paid had Hurricane Dorian not threatened Florida. Rates are 4 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit groups, with terms up to 30 years. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA,” Pilkerton said.
Those interested in applying for the loans can do so online on the SBA’s site, DisasterLoan.sba.gov. The deadline to submit the applications is Aug. 13, 2020.
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