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PR 16253 - SBA Disaster Assistance Available to Businesses and Residents of Puerto Rico Affected by Earthquakes

WASHINGTON – SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration for several municipalities in Puerto Rico affected by earthquakes that began on Dec. 28, 2019:

“The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing Puerto Rico residents with the most effective response possible to assist businesses, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority.”

The disaster declaration covers Guánica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Ponce, Utuado and Yauco municipalities in Puerto Rico 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 municipalities are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Adjuntas, Arecibo, Ciales, Hatillo, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Lajas, Lares, Maricao and Sabana Grande in Puerto Rico

SBA is opening a Business Recovery Center (BRC) in Ponce Municipality to help businesses apply.  SBA representatives at the Center can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses in completing the SBA application. The Center is located as indicated below and will operate until further notice:

Ponce Municipality:

PR-SBTDC Ponce Center of

Interamerican University Campus

104 Turpeaux Industrial Park, Mercidita

Ponce, PR 00715

 

Opens:  Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 at 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Hours:   Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.              

Closed:  Saturdays and Sundays

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.  Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase 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, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 3.875 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.5 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.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

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.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is March 16, 2020.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is Oct. 16, 2020.

Release Number: 
20-159
Release Date: 
Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 2:30pm
Contact: 
Michael Lampton
Related State: 
Puerto Rico
Field Operations Center: 
East