SBA News and Views

Blogs.SBA News and Views

Register

Businesses and residents are rebuilding after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Businesses and residents are rebuilding after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

By Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator
Published: March 26, 2018 Updated: March 26, 2018
Robert Jucker begins post-hurricane cleanup behind the bakery.
(AP Photo)
Robert Jucker begins post-hurricane cleanup behind the bakery.

Janice Jucker and her husband Robert were preparing to fill bakery orders for their Houston-area client’s Rosh Hashanah celebrations last August 25 when Hurricane Harvey hit.  Four days and more than 30 inches of rain later, Three Brothers Bakery was forced to shut down.  The business losses—property damage and lost revenue—totaled $1 million.

The Juckers received an SBA disaster loan and worked around the clock to clean the inventory they were able to salvage. They used the disaster loan to buy new equipment and supplies.  Just 17 days after the floodwaters receded, Three Brothers Bakery reopened and returned to full operations, just in time for the Jewish holidays.  “We could have lost the business entirely if not for our SBA disaster loan,” Janice Jucker said.

It’s been six months since Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastated parts of Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.   These storms, in terms of property losses, were among the costliest disaster events in U.S. history.   While businesses and residents in those areas are still recovering, the SBA provided the funds for those disaster survivors to get back on their feet and contribute to the restoration of their local economies. 

Here’s how the SBA responded:

  • Within six months, more than $6 billion in SBA disaster loans were approved to 113,425 businesses, homeowners and renters in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
  • $5.2 billion in disaster loans were made to 103,926 homeowner and renters
  • More than 9,500 business disaster loans were approved for a total of $855 million
  • The SBA handled more than 900,000 phone calls in the days following the hurricanes
  • The agency increased its core disaster staff from 800 to 5,200 at the peak of the recovery
  • SBA staff worked in 402 recovery centers in the states and territories affected by the storms

Six months after the storms, the SBA and its resource partners, including SCORE and Small Business Development Centers,  continue doing outreach to help businesses not only rebuild, but develop long-range business continuity planning.  We will be there for residents and businesses rebuilding after last year’s hurricanes and be a partner for their recovery in the long term.

About the Author:

Linda McMahon
Linda McMahon

SBA Administrator

Linda McMahon serves as the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As a member of President Trump’s cabinet, she advocates on behalf of the 30 million small businesses in America, which employ nearly half of all American workers and account for 56.8 million jobs.