ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is reminding South Carolinians that the deadline to apply for an SBA disaster loan is Jan. 20. Businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters in the declared counties who incurred physical damages due to Hurricane Ian from Sept. 25 through Oct. 4 should apply for the federal disaster loan program.
SBA will temporarily close its Business Recovery Center (BRC) in Pawleys Island, Georgetown County, on Monday, Jan. 16, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and will resume normal operations at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17. The Center will close permanently at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. Until then, SBA’s friendly and knowledgeable Customer Service Representatives are available at the BRC to answer questions, help upload documents, check an application’s status, and assist in completing applications and reconsideration requests.
SBA encourages South Carolinians to visit the BRC for one-on-one assistance while it is available. The BRC will operate as indicated below through Jan. 19:
SBA Business Recovery Center
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Holiday Closure: Monday, Jan. 16 for MLK Day
Closing permanently: Thursday, Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the BRC are encouraged to wear a face mask.
The disaster declaration covers Charleston, Georgetown and Horry Counties in South Carolina, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Berkeley, Colleton, Dillon, Dorchester, Marion and Williamsburg in South Carolina; and Brunswick, Columbus and Robeson in North Carolina.
Interest rates are as low as 3.04 percent for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2.188 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, elevation, retaining walls, and landscaping to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/, and should apply under SBA declaration # 17711.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services), or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The physical loan application deadline is Jan. 20, 2023. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Aug. 21, 2023.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
Recently, U.S. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced a policy change granting 12 months of no payments and 0 percent interest. This pertains to all disaster loans approved in response to disasters declared on or after Sept. 21, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023. This policy change will benefit disaster survivors and help them to decrease the overall cost of recovery by reducing the amount of accrued interest they must repay. Details are available through the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Individuals with verbal or hearing impairments may dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday, or email: DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.