The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that low-interest disaster loans will be available to businesses and residents in Kentucky following the announcement of a Presidential disaster declaration due to the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that began on July 26.
The torrential rains in eastern Kentucky have killed at least 37 people so far, including four children, according to Reuters reports. Governor Andy Beshear warned that more dangerous weather is approaching the region.
Kentucky Disaster Declaration Coverage
The Presidential disaster declaration covers Breathitt, Clay, Knott, Letcher and Perry Counties in Kentucky, which will be eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.
Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in Bell, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Magoffin, Owsley, Pike and Wolfe in Kentucky, and Wise in Virginia are also eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs).
Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size can potentially borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed property, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Small businesses such as agricultural cooperatives and those engaged in aquaculture are being offered EIDLs to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. The special financial assistance is available regardless of whether a business has experienced any physical property damage.
In addition, disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to help them repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate.
Helping Communities ‘Recover and Rebuild’
The SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said: “SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Kentucky small businesses and residents impacted by this disaster in every way possible under President Biden’s disaster declaration for certain affected areas. We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”
A statement on the SBA website explained the eligibility: “Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20% 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.
“Applicants that have an existing SBA disaster loan may apply under this declaration. Businesses and residents with previous SBA disaster loans and current applicants have up to two years from the date of their prior loan approval in which to request a loan increase for mitigation projects.”
The SBA’s Associate Administrator, Francisco Sanchez Jr., added: “The opportunity to include measures to help prevent future damage from occurring is a significant benefit of SBA’s disaster loan program. I encourage everyone to consult their contractors and emergency management mitigation specialists for ideas and apply for an SBA disaster loan increase for funding.”
How to Apply for EIDL Assistance
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application on SBA’s secure website, with applications needing to be applied under SBA declaration #17546. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s individual financial condition.
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