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Sandy Update 5: A Lending Milestone as Congress Adds Recovery Funds

Sandy Update 5: A Lending Milestone as Congress Adds Recovery Funds

By James Rivera, SBA Official
Published: January 30, 2013 Updated: February 13, 2013

Ninety days after Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast, the U.S. Small Business Administration crossed the $1 billion threshold of approved loans to more than 16,800 homeowners, renters and businesses. This makes Hurricane Sandy, in terms of SBA disaster lending, the third largest natural disaster in U.S. history, behind Hurricanes Katrina/Rita/Wilma ($10.8 billion), and the Northridge Earthquake ($4 billion).

To put this massive storm and the coordinated federal recovery effort into context, the SBA has approved more loans for more money to Hurricane Sandy victims than what we approved for all disasters in fiscal year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012).  In FY2012, the SBA approved 15,000 disaster loans for a total of $689 million. 

The sheer size and scope of this disaster created an increased need for more assistance.  This week Congress passed an aid package that will provide SBA with an additional $520 million to support up to $5 billion in low-interest disaster loans.

The bill also provides:

  • $249 million to cover to the administrative costs of making the loans;
  • $20 million to support SBA’s resource partners (SCORE, SBDCs, Women’s Business Development Centers) as they help business owners rebuild;
  • And $10 million to cover salaries and overhead expenses associated with the agency’s recovery efforts.

We continue to process loan applications.  Together with FEMA, we have extended the disaster loan application deadlines for states where we have seen the highest demand. The deadline for New York is Feb. 27, and March 1 is the deadline for New Jersey.   The Maryland (Worcester County) application deadline is March 4, and the deadline for Puerto Rico is March 11.

If you have a disaster loan application, complete and send it back to as us soon as possible. Don’t wait on your insurance payout. Your policy may not cover all the replacement, repair and rebuilding costs—and the SBA disaster loan can offset the difference.   In addition, the SBA will use any insurance proceeds to reduce the loan amount.

You can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application. If you think you need help filling out the application, or have questions about what documents are required to complete the process, call SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss may call 800-462-7585. You can also email the center at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Visit SBA’s Hurricane Sandy website for more information.

About the Author:

James Rivera
James Rivera

SBA Official

James Rivera was named Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance in November 2009 after serving for several months as Acting Associate Administrator. In a typical year, his office approves about 20,000 loans totaling about $1 billion. This is the SBA’s sole direct lending program.