ATLANTA – Through its economic injury disaster loan program, the Small Business Administration has provided federal financial assistance to Florida businesses following the April 20 Deepwater BP Oil Spill that shook the state’s coastal economy. As the Feb. 14 deadline to apply for assistance nears, the SBA wants eligible businesses to be aware of all their recovery options.
“We encourage affected businesses to consider an SBA economic injury disaster loan to help recover from this disaster,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. “Currently, we have approved loans totaling $36,468,000 for businesses throughout the Gulf Coast region that were affected by the oil spill,” added Skaggs.
Through its Office of Disaster Assistance, the SBA provides working capital loans up to $2 million, with terms up to 30 years. The loans provide essential working capital to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. Interest rates are 4 percent for small businesses and 3 percent for private non-profit organizations.
The loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private non-profit organizations in the following counties: Alachua, Bay, Broward, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Sumter, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington in Florida; Baldwin, Covington, Escambia and Geneva in Alabama and Brooks and Thomas in Georgia.
The SBA also encourages businesses to file claims with BP through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Borrowers may be required to use claim payments to help repay these disaster loans.
For more information on disaster loans call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Loan application forms can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Those impacted by the oil spill may visit SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply for disaster loans.
The deadline to apply for SBA economic injury disaster loans is Febuary 14, 2011.
# # #
For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Programs, visit our website at www.sba.gov.