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SBA Disaster Assistance for PA Businesses, Residents Affected by Hurricane

by U.S. Small Business Administration

Sep 29, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it is offering disaster assistance to businesses and residents in some Pennsylvania counties that were affected by Hurricane Ida, following a Presidential disaster declaration.

The disaster declaration covers the hardest-hit counties, including several that neighbor Berks County. As an adjacent county, Berks County small businesses and private  nonprofit organizations can apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.  Learn more here >

Berks County officials continue to work with our local partners to petition for Berks to be included in a direct SBA declaration, which would provide a Home Disaster Loan program that could benefit homeowners and renters.   At this point, Berks County has not reached the threshold of damage needed for that request, so it is important for everyone to report any uninsured losses from Hurricane Ida to their local government office. Berks County Local Government Office Directory >

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses and residents in Pennsylvania following the announcement of a Presidential disaster declaration due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida on Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 2021.

“SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Pennsylvania small businesses and residents impacted by Hurricane Ida,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”

The disaster declaration covers Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties in Pennsylvania, 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: Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh and Northampton in Pennsylvania; New Castle in Delaware; Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil and Harford in Maryland; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer and Warren in New Jersey.

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 amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a sump pump, elevation, 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 for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 2.855 percent for businesses, 2 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.563 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 SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/, and should apply under SBA declaration # 17165, not for the COVID-19 incident.

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.

Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or emailing [email protected]. Loan applications can also be downloaded 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 filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 10, 2021. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 10, 2022.

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